You may remember last summer when I agonized over whether or not to purchase a cottage at the marsh where we held our family reunion. I was approved for the loan and then backed out because the down payment would have eaten up all my savings, and then I would have had an empty vacation home to rent out only to people who brought furniture on vacation with them. I wrote about it in a post I entitled "Risky Business......"
When we went to the family reunion this year, the cottage was still sitting there empty, looking kind of forlorn. AND they had reduced the price another $20,000. At this point it was listed for approximately one-fourth the amount it cost the guy to build it just six years ago.
This also goes back to my angry story about my mother, sort of, so bear with me here.
Mom wasn't at the reunion last year, so she had never seen the cottage. We went and looked at it en masse this year, and Mom was intrigued. She turned to me and asked, "Would you buy something like this?" When I explained that I came within a hair's breadth of buying it last year and explained why I chickened out at the last minute, she immediately said, "I'll make the down payment."
And that makes me feel terrible about getting so angry at her. Not that I felt that way, but because I held my tongue. I did NOT lash out at her and tell her how rude I thought she was, because she would have "punished" me by withdrawing her offer to give me the money for the down payment.
There. I've put the ugly truth into writing. I sold my soul to the she-devil because I had already received approval to buy the cottage and I didn't want to back out again.
It is still risky, but my cousin, who lives next door, is going to manage the property for me (along with several other property owners in the same community). He says it will pay for itself - mortgage, insurance, and taxes - if it rents for 13 weeks out of the year. He's pretty sure he can rent it for 15. And it's NEXT DOOR to him, so he has a vested interest in making sure it's taken care of.
It's called a cottage, but it's much larger than the house we live in now. It has four large bedrooms (each bedroom typically has two queen-sized beds in it, so the house could realistically sleep 16), and each bedroom has its own bath. Lovely hardwood floors, granite countertops in the kitchen, a wall of glass in the two-story living room that overlooks the marsh to the west. Gorgeous sunsets.
I've never started a house from scratch before. Usually when you buy a house, you move at least SOME furniture into it. But we have to start from ground zero. Furniture, linens, towels, dishes, a few small appliances, everything. Yikes. We could go the cheaper route and scout the area thrift stores (it's only about 30 miles from Hilton Head Island) for bargains, but that's time-consuming. And with everything we've got going on in our lives right now, we don't have an extended period of time to go over there and scout. Or we could go the more expensive route, buying all the furniture from a buy-the-whole-room store and having them deliver it and set it up all at once. We would then be able to start renting it out faster, and it could start paying us back.
What a dilemma. Hubby's usually the (cheap) voice of reason in our family, and I'm shocked that he prefers the second choice. I think that comes from his get-it-done-and-get-on-with-it approach to life. Fast and furious, the same way he plays golf and walks in the park and does just about everything else.
The pictures below are of the interior of the cottage when it was rented below. Good heavens, I hadn't even thought about ART WORK. Maybe I'll just snatch the few pictures we have off the walls and make those do for a while. Ha ha.
|The kitchen is fairly small, just the way I like them. This is on the left as soon as you come in the front door. The washer and dryer are off to the left of this picture. I like that little desk area.|
|One of the bedrooms. I have no idea which one. There are two on the bottom floor and two upstairs.|
|Combined dining/living room. I love those gorgeous floors.|
|A downstairs bedroom, and I know that only because it's visible from the living room picture above.|
|And another one.|
|Looking down into the living room from the loft area above. That area is large enough that we could put a futon or a sleeper sofa up there, providing additional sleeping space.|
The cottage would be an ideal place for several couples to go for a quiet getaway. The community has many kayaks, and dolphins (porpoises?) play in an area of the marsh just a short paddle away. They haven't shown up the two times I've been kayaking there, the buttheads.
It's about a four-and-a-half hour drive from our house, so I don't anticipate that we'll be spending a lot of time there, darn it. I have been planting the seeds in Hubby's mind, though, that it would be a great place for him and his golfing buddies to have one of their weekend golf outings. There's a course only six miles away, and there's always Hilton Head. If they don't have to pay Hilton Head prices for lodging, perhaps they can afford to play one of the courses there.
You can check out the community here: Palm Key . And if you know of any groups wanting to have a conference, retreat, vacation, getaway, witness protection program, let me know.
So that's what we are up to these days. Add to the mix an upcoming bicycling trip to Wisconsin, a Caribbean cruise, mother-in-law's many doctor's visits and possible upcoming surgery, and football season, and I may need to start color-coding my calendar.
Pray I haven't gone out on a limb with a chainsaw in my hand.