Sorry – I’ve been out of pocket (excuses follow)

It all started when I had to go to Little Rock four days in two weeks, and then we spent some time seriously considering whether we should just buy the Fulbright house,** and then we tried to buy a FSBO house, but ran into complications, and then Don had a big crush on a bungalow that creeped me out, and then there was Halloween (Little One went as Mr. Mistoffelees — you know, from Cats – isn’t that what every five-year-old wants to be? so I made her costume*), and then we wound up getting to make the FSBO offer after all, and the inspection (eight hours, can you believe?), and choosing exterior house colors, and work traumas (but we do expect one of our two vacant positions to be filled in January, and I think the new hire will be a really good fit), and the trip to Little Rock for the Arkansas Historic Preservation Conference (maybe Don will post on that when he gets back from Chicago before we go to Dallas), oh, and Don and the Little One have gone to Chicago for a quick salvage trip before Thanksgiving, we’ll go to Dallas for a quick inspiration trip after Thanksgiving…

Anyway, we’ve been busy and, yes, we think we are buying a house after Thanksgiving. Assuming, of course, that we work out the last details like, say, the appraisal (must appraise as a four-flat, not a five-flat, or the interest rate is insane), the insurance (turns out my insurance company of 20+ years doesn’t like to insure old houses in Arkansas, especially ones that haven’t been updated in the last 15 years and even more so ones that are about to be majorly redone and aren’t going to be owner occupied for months), and the mortgage (again with the investment property and number of units) … although it sounds like we caught a break and will be able to finance at 6.5%, even though it is an “investment” property — which means: It is a block from our apartment so it cannot be a second house; and we don’t intend to move in until our lease is up — and maybe even later, if necessary — so it cannot be our primary house. Apparently our primary house is our rental apartment. I think I will need an accountant this year.

In brief, the house was built sometime around 1915-1920. It is in Wilson Park, but is “non-contributing” to the historic district. It has been apartments since at least the 1950s, although my initial house genealogy already found two sisters (the older one was the owner) living there in 1930, along with two married couples renting from them — which sounds like it may have been divided already by 1930. It is the biggest project we’ve ever done, but I shouldn’t have to go without a kitchen since the house has five of them. We’re thinking to treat it as a hybrid Arts & Crafts/Colonial Revival.

More details and photos later — I had to edit 81 comments when I logged in tonight. Apparently the spammers have found me (along with two actual comments — thank you), and they accumulate when you’ve been off line for over two months. Also, I’d like to actually own the house before I jinx it by overposting.

* Pictures of the Little One. She was Mr. Mistoffelees three times (fall school carnival, church carnival, Halloween). Make that four times: She was supposed to dress as her favorite book character Friday, and Mr. M is, of course, from TS Eliot’s book, which she took to school to show, but I think somebody fussed at her for wearing her Halloween costume based on something she whispered to me while we were at a big band jazz concert at the University Friday night. I knew she was supposed to be a book character, but she was. (I don’t think it bothered her too much. Just me.) She had a good time meowing, “Meow, meow, thank you” to all the neighbors. Especially because it led the candy-givers to say how cute she was. Which she was.  (My folks came and handed out candy for us.  We had three trick or treaters.  Just three.  We have too much candy left over.)  The second picture is just her being silly.  Which she is.

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**Seriously. We spent most of a rainy Saturday inside the Fulbright house, taking measurements, and the better part of the next two weeks trying to talk ourselves in or out. The thing is, it doesn’t need walls moved or plumbing updated or stuff like that, just a lot of updating. We could probably live downstairs, and never need to go upstairs. It’s that big. But, we would be close to over-extended, and this house we probably won’t be over-extended. I hope.

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