Bachelorette Pad #1 was a dated foreclosure…rough around the edges. A diamond in the rough. I poured two years into that house. Two years of ripping out, painting, installing, and learning. It was that flip that ignited this enjoyment and passion for taking ugly things and giving them new life.
Then came Bachelorette Pad #2. Another foreclosure. Another two years. Exponentially more learning. But the ripping out, painting, and installing remained the same.
And then flip #2 sold.
As with every flip, I never search for the next one until that present one is sold. That can be scary. So I searched. And I searched.
And then March 12th happened. My sweet, sassy grandma unexpectedly passed away just two weeks shy of her 100th birthday.
In the midst of intense grief, I was desperately searching for a potential Bachelorette Pad #3. I found nothing that met my criteria within my price range. I would scour the HUD listings, repos, and other websites in search of something. And I couldn’t find one potential. In between my scouring of websites, my mother and I tackled the enormous (ENORMOUS) task of cleaning out my grandma’s house. She had lived in the same house for 50 years and lived for 100 years, so the task was monumental. We had an estate sale, we took loads of donations to thrift stores, homeless shelters, and the animal shelter. We began prepping the house for a sale to close out the estate.
And then I realized it. I couldn’t stand the thought of some stranger living in my grandma’s house. That thought profoundly tormented me for several days. They wouldn’t know how she organized her cabinets. They wouldn’t know the toys are supposed to be kept in the coat closet. They wouldn’t even know what the blue room was or Grandpa’s room. They’d be annoyed that when the hall toilet is flushed, it groans. I knew all of those things…and more. Who else could better appreciate the story of the house than me? Certainly no stranger could…or would.
And thus began the task of buying a house from family members prior to the closure of probate. Walking on eggshells might be an easier trick.
In 1964 Grandma and Grandpa Mac purchased a brand new ranch house. The saw dust was still on the floor from the brand new wood floors. For the next 20 years, they lived in this three bedroom, 1.5 bath house. Grandkids paraded around the house and did as we wanted. We scraped those beautiful hardwoods with our toy cars. We colored on the walls. We locked ourselves in the bedroom. We ate anything and everything we wanted.
And then in 1985, Grandpa Mac passed away. I guess, for me, the extremely unfortunate and aggravating thing with that is that all my cousins had memories of him. I was barely 1.5 years old. I will never have a single memory of him. Even to this day, I have spells of intense anger over the unfairness of it all.
There are two pictures of Grandpa Mac and me. Both of them are in this house. Not only was this house a reminder of my grandma, it’s my only tangible connection to Grandpa Mac. I couldn’t let some random person taint that by buying it.
The negotiations between my dad, uncles, and aunt took place over a few weeks. But the purchase took much longer. Every legal nightmare one could imagine took place prior to closing. Closing dates were scheduled. And delayed. And cancelled. Interest rates expired. A nightmare. It was stressful. And then the stars aligned for closing…and I was out of state. Just another wrinkle, but we finally closed.
And I bought 50 years worth of memories. I bought a connection to Grandpa Mac. I bought a reminder of Grandma Mac.