A tale of two houses

My uncle visited again last week. It was his first time in the house since just before I bought it, and he was duly impressed with the improvements that had been made. It made me remember what things were like that day back in January, and it made me feel a little better about our progress. We’ve really done a lot in three months, but it never feels like enough when considering how much is left to do.

These days, a lot of things are moving between the two houses. Outdoor furniture and supplies head downtown, and left-behind junk for our impending yard sale heads to the suburbs. We typically only get to work on the house on the weekend, but it’s usually for 4-8 hour stretches when we do.

Trying to maintain two houses at the same time is taking its expected toll on our finances. While we use considerably less in utilities at the Sullivan house, the bills are nonetheless not negligible. Doing yard work for two houses stretches our time. Insurance and saving for property taxes stretches our already thin budget. Ironically, we cannot go faster because of funds, and funds are the reason we need to go faster.

I must go to Pennsylvania for the first two weeks of June to visit family, and the Icrontic Expo follows immediately when I return. There is no way we’ll be moving by the end of this month, which means mid-July is now our best-case scenario. I worry it will be late August.

I’m attempting to get a loan for the chimney repairs and the boiler & water heater system. Those issues are big roadblocks and bigger costs. My biggest concern is that I’ll be unable to secure the loan because we don’t have a certificate of occupancy for the house. Needing to complete the repairs for the certificate before getting the loan would be extremely difficult and delay our progress even more.

As I spend more and more time downtown, I find myself wishing I didn’t need to keep returning to the suburbs. Our priorities are finishing the bathroom and kitchen; I imagine once that’s done it won’t be much longer before I spend the night there. That will be a milestone to celebrate indeed.

3 thoughts on “A tale of two houses

  1. What kind of repairs do the chimneys need?
    Two flues, tuckpoint, new cement at the top, and liner. It's a 4-story chimney with a curve in the middle. There's also a second chimney I'm planning to seal. The estimate I got for the repairs to the main chimney were in the $7-8000 range.

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