Waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting. The loan is in underwriting, although it's supposed to be finished this coming week, and we're supposed to close on Jan. 8. Although we were supposed to close last Wednesday, but the loan was still in underwriting. And it's entirely possible they will have new questions or documents needed on Monday and thus won't really be out of underwriting at all.
In short, no new tale to tell. The bank that holds the deed has extended us to Jan. 15.
We made a decision on Saturday that seemed a hard one at the time, but now makes sense. We've decided, at least until the chimps are gone, to not go the B&B route and instead rent out both the two-bedroom basement apartment and the rear unit of the first floor, or what was to have been the master suite. It's about 700 square feet, and had the original owner finished the project, it was to include a kitchen. Now it will function as an expanded studio or small one-bedroom for someone, with a good sized bathroom, a kitchenette, bedroom and living room with fireplace. Our downstairs space will include the main kitchen, family room, dining room, laundry room and library. Upstairs are four bedrooms and two baths--we'll take one of the front rooms and the bath, and each chimp will have a rear bedroom and share a bath. The other upstairs bedroom will be a guest room or office.
Assuming we can rent out both spaces--the basement for $1,100 and the back suite for $800, a large portion of the mortgage will be covered.
So given that we don't own the place yet, there wasn't much to do over the holidays except dream. Our friend Grady Harp, who has better taste than all the rest of us combined (including you, dear reader), came over and made some suggestions--for example, the bizarrely placed powder room on the landing of the staircase will become a very large storage closet. The garage that Chuck badly wanted to knock down? Grady has convinced him to keep it, because it will cost less to jack it up, pour a new foundation and put a new roof on it than knocking it down, carting it away and building something new. (I don't think the garage was built with the house in 1890, but it does have a cold-storage room for canned goods. Given that Chuck's canner is usually in use, it's a good room to have.)
And we spent a lot of time walking the yard, planning this and that. Rather than fencing in the front, I'm going with box hedges. The potager will go in the front yard on the left side because it gets the most sun. The urban chickens will go in the back yard along side the alley, and the croquet course will go along the yard opposite the potager. I've been told that goats aren't allowed in the city limits; we'll just have to see about that.
More pictures are posted here.