The new Virginia House

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(click on pictures for a larger view)

house 01While staying at Hungry Mother State Park we decided to look at some property to possibly buy.  We had been thinking about buying in the area for a few years.  We had driven around looking at some houses and stopped at  a real estate agent's office that had been recommended by several people.  She told us about a house that was a repo that she was getting a listing from a bank in North Carolina and wasn't on the market yet.  We looked at it and it needed a lot of help.  We made a low-ball offer and the bank accepted it.
The house is about 8 miles north of Independence, Va. on a ridge at approx. 3700'. 
The views are tremendous!  This is the view from our driveway.

The interior needed a lot of work. Click HERE for a slide show of the interior when we took possession.   The previous owners had 9 dogs!!!  They would leave them for days at a time unattended. As a result they did a lot of damage. They scratched and chewed holes in the drywall, door frames and doors. They also didn't clean up after the dogs. There was filth everywhere.  The stench was overpowering!!!  The bank paid to have someone remove all the carpet and scrape out all the dog poop.  We have used 4 gallons of bleach and 7 gallons of enzyme pet odor remover to get rid of the smell.   
We have completely stripped the interior.  We removed the vinyl flooring in the kitchen and baths and all the cabinets.  The house had been vacant for 2 years and had not been winterized.  We have repaired over 12 broken pipes and removed the water heater.  We had to cut more holes in the drywall to repair some of the pipes.
tubcraneThere was a 6 person hot tub on the deck that had not been drained over the winter and we didn't want.  We offered it to our insurance agent if he would remove it.  A couple of days later he had a crane lift it off the deck and load it on his trailer.
We have hired a contractor to handle some of our projects.  The first was to remove and replace all the insulation in the basement ceiling.  It had mouse nests and we thought it might be contributing to the smell.
roof The second project was to replace the roof.  Several shingles were missing and an inspection showed that they were brittle so we had the old shingles removed and new high wind shingles installed along with new vents and flashing.
This picture also shows the entire property.  It is bounded on three sides by the paved county road on the left and the 2 private roads in the foreground and the right side.  The tan grass area on the left was a horse pasture that we had mowed by a neighbor.  There's a small pole barn hidden in the trees.barn

fencefenceThere was a chain link fence in the yard for the dogs that we didn't want.  We removed it and moved all the rocks that kept the dogs from digging under it to a hole in the yard. 
rocksEmmaWe gave the fence to Daniel White.  We used his trailer to move some of the rocks.  Emma even helped.
Daniel had helped a couple of weeks ago removing the kitchen cabinets and cutting tree limbs that were damaged by the ice last winter.  We took 5 truck loads of limbs to the brush pile on the neighbors land.
sidingsidingThere was evidence of water damage on the east side of the house at the end of the porch.  We had the contractor remove the siding.  He found some bad sheathing and wood that needed replacing.
sidingsidingThey cut out the entire wall section and replaced it.  They also found sheathing damage at the other end of the porch.  They are correcting the flashing that created the problem.
While all the outside work was being done we were busy at work on the inside.  I repaired the dry wall, replaced doors and woodwork and replaced the window sills.  Judy prime painted all the floors, closets and walls.  All the cabinets and vanities were removed.  The kitchen cabinets will be used in the basement.  Two toilets were saved out of three.  The other was split into two pieces by freezing. 
post  railingWhile the carpenters were here we decided to replace the posts on the porch.  They were split and deteriorated so the railing was removed, the posts replaced and the railing reattached. 
snowThe weather turned colder and dropped into the 20's at night.  We awoke to snow one morning.  We wanted to get the house exterior sealed up before winter.  It needed pressure washing,  caulking and painting badly.  Luckily the weather improved and we got a week of sunny dry days and the painters arrived.
paintingpaintingThey had a crew of 4 or 5 guys and rented a 34' lift to easier reach the high places.  27 gallons of paint and 13 tubes of caulk later, the outside looks like a new house!!
All that's left to do is to winterize the water system and we will be heading to Florida.  We will return in the spring to start finishing the interior.

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