RIP Project House

On a cool November day in 2010, we signed our names to a mortgage for the house next door to ours, one with which we shared a driveway. It seemed important to us to make the budget work so we could buy it, due to it's close proximity to our residence. Good neighbors, and all that jazz. 

Eventually, that house became known as the Project House (or PH) and I started blogging about our plans for it. Plans which changed approximately 50 million times (give or take). In May 2012, I shared our intention to close up the PH, and focus on paying off the mortgage on our own home, which is exactly what we did last November.

Once our home was paid off, we were faced with the decision of what to do with the Project House. In the meantime, another project was dropped on our doorstep, providing us with something else to add into the mix. When it rains, it pours. For about 6 months, we debated what to do with the PH, as we knew we didn't want neighbors that close to us, and we also didn't want to share a driveway again.

We discussed turning it into a workshop for the hubs, physically moving it farther up our property and flipping for a rental, moving it farther back on the property and turning it into a garage, and we even toyed with the idea of leaving it where it was and putting a pool inside! In the end, because of the way it was built, it just wasn't worth renovating or saving in any way.

With one decision made, we went back to the bank to refinance the house we had just paid off, and paid off the Project House instead. Emotionally, it felt like one step back, but mentally, I knew that we still had one paid off mortgage to our credit, we just changed the house that was paid off. And on the plus side, our new monthly payment was half of what either of the previous two mortgages were, which thrilled my cheap-o Scotch blood.

Once we held the title in our hands, we started looking for a company who could handle taking the house down and hauling every tiny piece of it away. We've learned a few things along the way, and one of them is knowing what we want to do -- and can do -- ourselves, and what it's worth paying professionals to do. Tearing down a house and hauling it away fell into the latter category, for sure! Which brings me up to what is happening this week...

Yesterday morning, the house looked a little forlorn. The last three weekends have been filled with us (and by us, I mean, the hubby) pulling out anything we wanted to salvage or that could be sold (think anything metal). On Monday, a few of the hubs co-workers came by to pull out windows and doors, and take off some siding that they plan on re-using. It made me happy to see things getting a second life.

At 8 am, a large dump truck pulling an even bigger trackhoe pulled up in front of the Project House, and by 3 pm, we no longer shared a driveway. Let me just say, there was a whole lot of {happy dancing} going on in our house. Euphoric would be an appropriate word. 

Today, the plan is for the crew to return and haul away the block and bricks, then fill the hole and smooth it out, making it look like there was never a house there. #Bliss

Do we regret buying the house? (We've been asked this a lot!) Not one bit. From the moment we moved into our house 12 years ago, we talked about buying the house next door if it ever went up for sale. When our neighbors did decide to sell it, we were able to buy it directly from them, avoiding realtor fees (apologies to any realtors who might read this blog!). For almost three years, we have enjoyed the privacy it gave us... and the additional parking, and now we will enjoy a large side yard. In our minds, it was still one of the best purchases we ever made. An expensive lot? Perhaps, but worth it when it comes to peace of mind and great neighbors. {ahem}

So farewell Project House. You were a lesson in Money Pit economics, patience, and how not to build a house, but for 72 years, you provided shelter to various folks, and we thank you.


  1. Great to hear that you guys are happy about the solution! Enjoy the open space, privacy, and the freedom from a tough decision dealt with!! : )

    1. Sandy, we really are. It feels like a weight lifted! :)

  2. Wow you guys constantly amaze me with all that you do financially

    1. Sophie, all I can say is that we learned from a lot of mistakes, and we're thankful for God's grace and provision.


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