"Well technically, people have lived in it since then. The Robinsons let a family friend and his wife stay there after their home burned, and..."
I kept talking for a while, but it was pointless. In short, the banks laughed at us. They didn't "get it" when we explained that this beautiful old home needed to be restored, and that we wanted to borrow the money and then do the work ourselves. They wanted us to have a contractor and crews to restore the home for us, and that was going to a) cost more money than we were willing to spend, b) cost WAY more money than we were willing to spend and c) result in a product that we did not create ourselves, with our own hands. Now don't get me wrong--I would probably look at another young, crazy couple the same way if I were the loan officer and I learned that said couple wanted to restore an abandoned home all by themselves (without a contractor) and borrow my bank's money to do so. But that's not the point. The point is that we REALLY wanted to restore this old house, and the banks really wanted to lend us the money for anything BUT the restoration.
So what does one start with when it's time to begin renovating a home this way? We looked at the entire house and picked the one spot that we needed the most to live, and we settled upon a bedroom. We figured that if we did the bedroom first, we'd have a place to sleep when we were drop-dead exhausted from working on the other rooms. We chose wisely, too. You've seen photos of the master bedroom already, but if you didn't the post I wrote about that room will give you a nice little breakdown of how much we spent to renovate the room and show you what a lot of time and a little money can do in a historic home.
Thanks so much for stopping by to check on THE HOUSE AT SUGAR CREEK! Y'all come back again soon... we hope that we'll inspire you to save a historic home of your own one day. Hubby and I know that we're saving a piece of north Louisiana history, one room at a time. And it feels GREAT!