Tuesday, June 15, 2010


photo courtesy of Amelia White
We had to submit our plans for expansion to the city for approval on several zoning variances. The major one being the rear setback in regards to our addition. One benefit that came from this experience was that we had to have approval from our neighbors, which forced us to introduce ourselves to the 3 neighboring property owners. We explained our plans for the house, and asked for their blessing. We also spoke with the neighborhood association as well. Everyone was on board, and at the presentation we were given unanimous approval by the Zoning Board. Yeah!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Hello all, and welcome to our (future) new home! We are going to try to keep everyone posted on our progress of the purchasing, renovating, demolishing, and adding to of our not-so-new house. For those of you who don't know, when Brian and I got married this past December, he had a house and I had a condo, and because we opted for his downtown location, we rented out my condo and squeezed into his 640 square foot freedman's cottage. It was great for a little while, but we quickly decided that we needed more space, and we needed to act fast while the market was down. So while it wasn't the best time to sell, it was prime time to buy. We found a buyer, and thus began our search for the perfect home for the two of us.

However, we had to be out of our current house and had not found a new house yet, and with my place rented, we had to rent somewhere else. It is a comfortable apartment, and bigger than the house was, but it's still temporary, and we are ready to move on!

So, after putting in offers on other houses with no luck, we opted for another solution, and that was to buy a 'fixer-upper' and restore it/add to it/make it our own. And because we are both architects, we thought this would be simple. It's not. We are our own worst clients.

Built in 1935, the 2-bedroom, 1-bath home was owned by Mrs. Julia (Alston) Gourdine for over 40 years, until she died last year. We believe there may have only been one other family to live in the house prior to her.