We bought our first home in Columbia’s Old Southwest neighbourhood in November 2008 (just a month too early to qualify for the first homebuyer credit, drat!). We bought it primarily because of its amazing location: walking distance to Columbia’s thriving downtown and the University where we work, not to mention its fantastic older established neighbourhood.
The house is a 1930s Craftsman-style bungalow that was meticulously cared for by its sole owner, but hadn’t been updated since the 50s. We bought the house at auction (with the help of a very savvy buyer’s agent, thanks Arnie!), and quickly went to work tearing it down.
We gutted the entire interior main floor of the house and took everything down to the studs. Charlie took the lead on the demolition and, with the help of several college students who later would never want to work for us ever again, tore the inside of our house down in two weeks. We removed from the house 8 tons of plaster, lathe, knob and tube wiring, green carpet and ugly curtains.
Once the demo was done, it took another two weeks to rebuild: new electric, insulation (for the very first time in the house – what a concept!), drywall, new furnace and ductwork. We hired out these jobs, but all the work past the drywall stage (except kitchen cabinet building and installation) has been done ourselves.