Sunday, September 18, 2016

Past Lives of Real Estate

Yesterday morning, I realized the 2005 dead link on my blog to the original ad I'd seen for the house I bought in 2015 could be recovered via The Wayback Machine.


I'm so confused. Everything I thought I knew is wrong.

I might be overreacting just a little, but the "original" 1895 tub and sink are someone else's careful restoration, and were not there in December, 2005, when I'd first noticed this house in an Armagno Agency ad.

(Note the ambitious price in this ad reflects the heady days of the impending mortgage crisis.)

I suppose this is what I get for doing all that restoration on my last condo, the one on 8th Street which some unscrupulous agent called "original" when they resold years later. 

I am sorry for the loss of the mantel. But I feel free now to just buy a "new" old sink instead of baking on new porcelain to the one I have. 

The outside of the house had a surprise too--the protruding section on the side is burnt sienna-colored in the 2005 photo. But now, it's a beige color. I wonder if that's new stucco, or just a paint job. 

The part that really stunned me was the bathroom photo. I thought this was a mistake, the photo of a bathroom in an entirely different house, until my tenant and I did a little studying.

See the tile outline in blue in the photo below? That's where they had to put in new tile because they'd pulled out the block in the first photo. The other clue was from when I'd looked at the house next door from the backyard. "Why would anyone block up their bathroom window like that?" I'd thought. But looking at the first photo...I realized it had been done to more than one house in the row. And when I'd gotten my windows replaced, I hadn't replaced the two in the bathroom, because they were on the new side, and were expensive wooden windows.

Honestly, I should write Lalitha a letter complimenting her family's amazing work. I'd believed this clawfoot tub came with the house in 1895. 

The mantel had changed—I'm not that keen on the new mantel. It seems too large for the room, and I know the chimney is blocked. If I ever want to restore this properly, I'll have to restore the front chimney on the roof.

The kitchen--well, we know it sucked when I bought the house. My new BBF kitchen is a vast improvement. And so are the beams Lalitha (the previous owner) and her family installed. 

"What bedroom is that?" My tenant was as baffled as I was, until I realized Lalitha and company had purchased old radiators and actually replaced some of the crappy baseboards. Hallelujah. A pity she didn't get to the whole house. '

The view, however, hasn't changed. 

Digging around like this led me to some building permits. I even tried to call the oil tank place to see if they had a paper trail of removing the oil tank, but they seem to have gone out of business. Maybe I can go to City Hall and find out some info on the permit history of my house.

I really am stunned by this sequence of events. I thought I had a house with original detail. No, I have a house with some old-timey detailed restored! 

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