I think I found the sweet spot of affordable, gorgeous houses in a just-barely-pre-gentrification neighborhood in Durham. There seems to be this rectangle of street blocks a 1/2 mile from where my oldest girl goes to school. Two blocks to the south or east, every third house is boarded up or burned down. Two blocks to the north or west the houses are gorgeous and not affordable. And in between these few blocks almost all the houses are for sale or being worked on. Yay Durham!

This is where I want to live, and I want to do it now. I took a walk around the neighborhood this morning, poking in windows of empty houses for sale. A contractor in a house next door started chatting with me, and then he let me walk around inside the house his crew was working on. He showed me what they were doing, and we talked about the structure of the building, and then, dear reader, he offered me the contact info for the owner of the house and said they might even negotiate sale of the house as is, without the kitchen or bathrooms even replaced yet.

I wish I knew how to get a mortgage, and I wish there were banks who would loan me money. Even though I’m unemployed, I’ve always paid my bills on time and never missed a rent payment. Shoot, I wish I knew someone who would go halfsies with me on buying the house. The downstairs parlor/bedroom/closet/bathroom combo could be a great place for a single parent and their child or two to live. Or for a single person or couple who want their own little extra living room

Every few months I let loose my dream of one day living in the most amazing house, and I get excited for a few days, and do a lot of research, and then financial reality hits so I go back to being disappointed again. Currently in the dreamy, excited phase of house fever.

So this is today’s find:

Three bedroom house built in 1900, sturdy bones, beautiful work being done, kitchen and bathrooms and closets remain unfinished/bare.
Could easily be 5-bedroom house, with all these extra rooms. Or parlor and downstairs bedroom could be its own little suite, easily shut off from rest of the house but convenient to front door and kitchen.

Porch leads to centered front door. Door opens into huge living room. To the left french doors lead into the parlor, immediately in front a door leads into the stair hall, the far right corner has an archway that leads into gigantic dining room.

Parlor has a door that leads to a bedroom with closet and bathroom. Bedroom has a door that leads to stair hall, and another door that leads to a suite of kitchen/parlor/pantry/laundry rooms/closets. Stair hall has a door to the living room, another to a bedroom, and another to back kitchen/laundry area, plus wide bright stairs leading up. Dining room has archway leading to living room and door leading into kitchen, plus a door opening outside out to side porch. There is a back porch leading off kitchen area.

Upstairs is a small front room without a closet (hence, not officially a bedroom), plus 2 bedrooms, each with their own bathroom and closet(s).

I want to buy this. So so much. Before they put in granite countertops in the kitchen.

An examination of the past

February 10, 2011

One of my recent interests has been studying my own genealogy. I’ve always been interested in family lines, genetics, rules of inheritance, passings of kingships. I pored over the only copy of Debrett’s Peerage I could get my hands on in suburban Southern California. I studied the quirks of history that arose out of genealogies and population growth patterns.

Recently, though, I’ve wanted to know more about where I came from, what’s inside of me, who are my progenitors, and where have we been?

I started to get serious about it when my father died, just over a year ago. I only had two living progenitors. Of all the people who came before me, only two still lived that could tell their own histories. The others had been laid to rest, had become quietly lost to the passing of years and the forgetting.

My mother and my mother’s mother are still alive. I intend to start a series of vignettes from my genealogy. I’m going to not just trace my people’s names and birth dates, I’m going to find out who they were and how they lived. I will not be telling my Mom and Grandma’s stories though; they will remain anonymous because they are still making their histories!