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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Looks like 2 Locust is coming off the market!

No, we haven't sold it. BUT! we did find an amazing family to whom we're going to rent 2 Locust. It's so fantastic when everything comes together just so perfectly. If we could have hand picked a family to live at 2 Locust (besides us, of course!) it would be this crew. We're thrilled. They're thrilled.

 Like the rest of this journey, it's not exactly what we expected, but it's better than we'd hoped.

So- after one year and 12 days from  the fire to the renovation to the relocation to NH, and all the ups and downs of trying to sell 2 Locust, this looks like it will be my last post. Thanks very much for reading and for all the encouraging words you guys sent to us along the way.

It's time to close this chapter open another. Perhaps another blog?! (writing this has been way more fun than I expected it to be).

Ta ta for now,

Amy!


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Open House This Sunday!

Time to open the doors and invite you in again! Come see all the updates in person- since our first open house (a mere 90 days ago to the DAY), we've dropped the price twice and done a bunch more work. (Have you seen the backyard yard!?)

"Motivated Seller" is an understatement....LOL

We're really falling in love with our new home in NH- and I am (finally) ready to let go of 2 Locust. I feel very honored to have owned it during this amazing, pivotal part of its history. But I think 2 Locust is ready to move on.... and so we're focused on finding the perfect buyer. Maybe it's you?

We're ready for you.... so come on in and check out all the possibilities laying in wait.

Call Jody or email me if you'd rather a private showing.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


This experience has been such a roller coaster ride. I think we're ready to get off of it now though...
So! we've asked our realtor to lower the price of 2 Locust again. We’re knocking another $10,000 off the price. 
 2 Locust Ave is now for sale at $204,900!!

The novelty of paying two mortgages has completely worn off and we’re ready to sell!  ;)

Plus: It’s the perfect season to sit on the front porch and toast your good fortune at having bought such a great house at such a fantastic price!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Good News & Bad News

First the bad: our deal fell through.
So...the good: 2 Locust is still for sale ;)

I am a little broken hearted. Not going to sugar coat it: we really thought we were ready to close this chapter and excited at the prospect of a new owner taking over 2 Locust.

But, t'was not to be.

I won't get into details- they're just not important. The important thing is we're ready to move on. Back up on the horse, so to speak.

In the immortal words of Cosmo Kramer: GIDDY-UP!









(picture came from mentalfloss.com, i am not - nor do i claim to be- the owner of any copyright associated therewith.)

Friday, June 15, 2012

What an Extraordinary Flag Day! ;)

We got an offer and are about to sign the contract to sell 2 Locust!

I hear the buyer reads the blog so I want to be the first to say "Congratulations!". I am really looking forward to meeting to you. I know, by tradition and convention,  we're not supposed to talk until the closing except through our agents or attorneys, but nothing about this experience has been conventional or traditional! So, I offer my sincerest best wishes to you as we embark on this little (but life changing) journey together.

We just bought a house in NH, so I know what you're in for with paperwork and banks and all the red tape. I hope that it goes smoothly for you and that before you know it, you're sipping a cold drink on a hot night on the front porch of 2 Locust. It will all be worth it in the end!


All the best 'til we meet in person. (And....don't mind my sobs at the closing table, I am truly happy for you. I will just miss this place like crazy.) On to our next chapters!

Cheers,

Amy

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Price Drop!!

Guess what! We're dropping the price of 2 Locust :)
We are now on the market for $214,900.

It's been about 6 weeks since the debut open house and the feature in the Times Union and we want to shake things up a little bit. While technically, 2 Locust has been for sale since December- the work has only been finished since April. So with only 2 months on the market,  we  know it's probably a little early to drop the price, but we ran the numbers and decided it makes sense. We really hope to sell over the summer. It's hard to settle into life in NH, when such a big part of us is still in NY.

We've had so much positive feedback about the house and its special charm! The only negative notes we've heard were about the mudroom and the back yard. So- we hired some folks to fix those things up and should be in good shape now. The mudroom should be all repainted  by this weekend. The landscapers have cleaned out and then re-seeded the whole yard, so if you don't see grass....just know it's coming. ;)


And! If you come soon, you'll be able to see the roses in bloom.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

My name is Mud

as in mudroom.
eew.

We were at 2 Locust the other day cleaning out some stuff from the garage when we came face to face with the back porch/mudroom. Gross.

My bad. To be completely honest, we haven't set foot out there since before the renovations. We knew the contractors were using it for storage and we sort of forgot how much work it needed even before renovation began.  Once Mike cleared out and we got a good look (just this Tuesday, by the way). We realized how gross it is. Peeling paint, dust, debris..... It definitely needs some major TLC if it's going to be a part of 2 Locust.

So! My apologies if you've seen it "as is". Come back in a bit- it will look so much better.  If you're coming this weekend (we have a few showings booked and an Open House) close your eyes when you go out the back door. Imagine renovated walls, freshly painted and then a lovely lush oasis in the back yard. (it took a beating through the construction traffic so it, too, needs some special attention). Sod, maybe? bushes? Perhaps easy care flowers..... it used to be so pretty! i am sure we can get it back there for you.

The garage may take a few extra weekends. There is a bunch of stuff out there that is heading for the dumpster and some stuff that is heading to NH with us. EVERYTHING, though- is dusty after its siesta in the garage during renovations.

No worries, though - we got this. ;)

PS- We have a pressure washer coming, too- there is some yucky dust on the outside of the house as well.  Again- not sure if it will all be done by the weekend- but we're certainly on it.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

National Open House Weekend is the weekend of April 29

So! you can go check out lots of other houses and  then come see us at 2 Locust on Sunday, April 29th to see how it's done right.  ;)

 (Don't think I don't check out the competition regularly to be sure we're leading the pack in value.... you won't find another Victorian in this neighborhood at our price point with ALL 2012 upgrades met or exceeded, plus: a brand new roof, new electrical system, new plumbing, new hardwoods, new insulation, new walls, new ceilings, new kitchen, etc.....you might not even find a comparable newer home with those bonuses, but if you're in the market specifically for a Victorian, you know what we're offering is unheard of)

Do I sound proud or just obnoxious? I feel like this sales pitch spins in my head like a broken record... I guess that's because 2 Locust is my dream house. It was my dream house even when it needed a new roof last year, so it's unbelievable to me now that someone can buy it and have ALL these new upgrades.  (Have you seen the roof, by the way? it positively gleams!)

I guess this is all on my mind today because our new home in NH is suffering from a frightening lack of new things/upgrades and we've (unexpectedly, of course) had to sink a boatload of money into it already. The house is less than 10 years old but it's starting to feel like that Tom Hanks movie "The Money Pit".  (We've even had the giant bee hive scene)  Let me tell ya- it makes leaving all the brand new-ness of 2 Locust even harder. 

But I digress. Moving on to the recent "House of the Week" Feature in the Times Union.

I used to take all the compliments we got with a giant grain of salt because they were coming from  friends and family who are sort of honor-bound to tell you what you need to hear in these situations..now that we've "debuted"to the public at large, however- people I've never met are saying fabulous things about the house. I get emails from total strangers telling me how much they love the house and are moved by our story. It's really touching. Nearly every single one has said "If I was in the market to buy, I would make an offer in an instant".  That's encouraging, for sure. Now, we just need someone to see the story  and visit 2 Locust in person who IS in the market to buy.

In addition to the all the emails and calls (both to us and to our realtor), the  TU blog itself  had some great feedback for us as well- check it out if you haven't. There are a couple of disparaging words- but even those are taste related...not substance issues. (Shocking- considering the general direction  those comments tend to go in)  I engaged with posters where necessary to correct factual misrepresentations but I won't defend our decorative choices. It's totally a matter of perception and if you hate the paint I chose, I know some great contractors you can hire to change it when you move in. ;)

(this post went on a lot longer than I intended to...sorry about that)


Anyway! It's just been so incredibly positive and encouraging- I am thrilled. We put our hearts into this renovation- to make sure it was done properly. I think that really shows through. We'll be showing 2 Locust to the world again on April 29th between noon and 2. (this time with lemonade on the porch, as was brilliantly suggested by a new friend I met when she reached out to me via email after she read the TU story).

In the meantime, we've had a few requests for private showings and so far we've been able to honor all of them....so if you want one of those, email me or call Jody. If that one special buyer doesn't stumble upon us before the 29th, then we'll see ya at National Open House weekend.


(518) 573-1093 Joseph Dalton

amy.monk@albint.com  (me!)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Times Union Readers are BLOWING up the 2 Locust Blog

Welcome!!

Check out the posts from January (when the work was just beginning) to get a full sense of how much is new. From plumbing to electrical, to the roof, the floors, the walls, the EVERYTHING.

you'll be amazed.

(thanks for checking us out)

We're Almost Famous!!!!

http://blog.timesunion.com/realestate/house-of-the-week-victorian-in-troy/11586/

How amazing! We are the "House of the Week" in the Times Union. As a long time reader of the feature, it's surreal to see MY house in it. Leigh did such a great job with the write up and the pictures are so fantastic....... it almost seems too good to be true.

So far, the comments are supportive and flattering and I am just THRILLED.  (truth be told: I've known for a while that we were going to be featured and have literally lost sleep worrying about how brutal the comments could be.)

Between this and the aptly timed Open House on Sunday from noon- 2 pm, I think I better start planning my very last porch nights. I doubt we'll own 2 Locust for too much longer.

For the record- if you buy 2 Locust and want a perfect "porch night", you really only need a few things:
*white twinkly lights to string up
*your favorite summer cocktail (or mocktail, if you prefer)
*a comfy chair to kick back in

that's it.
really very simple.

email me if you want to come see how it's done. ;)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Jody took some amazing pictures for the actual MLS Listing

Look!!!


Upstairs bathroom:



 Downstairs Bathroom



Dining Room 



Second Parlor/Office on First Floor


Entryway/Foyer


Kitchen


Kitchen




Front Parlor

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Sneak Preview

Very slight sneak preview.... since I am stuck in NH unexpectedly this weekend (long story*)  instead of working on the staging of 2 Locust as I'd planned to do this weekend.  There is a lot to do before next Sunday's (4/15) Open House! I would really like to hang up the curtains, at least. They make rooms so.... "roomy". Not spacious- just more like what a room is supposed to look like. Maybe "cozy" is the word I am looking for. 

Anyway.

Earlier this week, we got back all of our stuff that survived the fire last summer. While the water was still dripping, a cleaning company came and took everything. Some stuff- they were able to clean and salvage- lots of stuff just got tossed. Then, because we were living in an apt., the stuff that made it through the salvage phase was stored in a storage unit somewhere on our behalf. A few days ago, it all came "home". For anyone who has never been through it- it's like a very surreal Christmas.... All these boxes come back to you and you have to unwrap everything, but it's been so long- you hardly remember what's there. (And the nostalgia hides where you'd least expect it: an ice cream scooper brought tears to my eyes.) 

I guess I am trying to say: the stuff that came back is the stuff that makes a house into a home. Flowers, decorations, curtains, rugs, mugs, wine glasses, etc. Even when it's not your stuff- it lends a little charm to a house, right? I put some flowers on a table in the foyer and all of a sudden the house looks alive again. 




 we put our old decorative bar in the dining room and all of sudden you can imagine sitting there and living instead of just looking a pictures of sheetrock and granite and  hardwood floor samples....right?
anyway- there's a lot more of this to do. I will be very busy this week: gently waking up this sleepy life inside 2 Locust. It's been dormant almost a year- time to yawn really big, stretch her arms out and welcome you in to see what's been happening.

Friday, March 30, 2012

April 15 might just be our very first Open House

So! Mark your calendars.  (File your taxes, then come see how great the house turned out!)

  ...we should be ready to fling open the doors of 2 Locust Ave and welcome you in to see the finished product Sunday, April 15! I don't think I am allowed to be there- but I am sure I'll be nearby. (like in a tree with binoculars or something)

 If you want to see it sooner, or would prefer a private showing to the Open House, email me or call Jody.

(also: check out the lilacs! they usually don't bloom until May, but I think they're going to peak well before that this year. even the roses are just starting to bud- what a crazy spring! I like to think everything at 2 Locust is just putting its best foot forward so we can sell quickly and painlessly now that the work is done...but I suppose it might have something to do with the weather LOL)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

whoops! forgot to add the granite breakfast bar shots :)


New stuff!!


the trim is painted! looks so fresh and fabulous. (little things make a giant difference sometimes!) still need to do the porch floor- but the outside is starting to look as great as the inside.





the lilacs are beginning to bud!!




here's the mantle- all re-finished and back in its rightful place :) 
the granite is in! so are the appliances



the fridge!
 back outside to admire the trim (and new roof!) pls ignore the car in the driveway lol

downstairs bathroom sink and toilet 

more in the kitchen


 new sink

upstairs railing is back 
 upstairs bath, two sinks

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Oh my.

So... Mike tells me that we need to meet to pick out lighting fixtures and that the granite is coming this week for the counter tops  and the floors need one more coat, etc. All routine stuff. Then, he hits me with "if everything goes well, we're going to finish up by the end of next week."

I am so
so
so......

well. speechless, evidently.

This whole process has been nothing short of life altering. From the fire, to the apartment, to the renovation, to the the decision to sell 2 Locust, to buying the house in NH.  It's like all the troubles, opportunities, everything  from the fire onward have been like little trees and then today Mike said "hey, we're leaving this forest in 2 weeks, so pack your stuff up."

 seeing the forest through the trees and all (see what I did there?)

 

My very first thought upon hearing this "two weeks" news was "no, no. not yet. no way, man. I didn't get my hanging flower baskets yet this year."


But I suppose I knew this day was coming.
Bittersweet is the only word that comes close to describing this giant lump in my throat. Don't get me wrong:  I am really excited about our new home (and life) in New Hampshire. But, man!! I am going to miss 2 Locust like crazy. All this time spent "renovating" - she was still totally ours. I mean, at any moment, I could have said "paint that wall black" and Mike would have done it.

For some reason, the knowledge that 1.  the decisions have all been made and 2. those  decisions are the very last ones I'll be allowed to make about 2 Locust (unless the new owners are SUPER laid back and invite me to direct all their future renovations going forward) is very poignant.

He's done. It's done. Now we sell.

Oh. selling.
I knew deep down that no one would buy 2 Locust while renovations were in process. (From a legal standpoint, it would have been a nightmare to allocate risk and responsibility appropriately through a sales contract and unlikely a bank would even finance the purchase before the house was done, and thus worth the presumed mortgaged amount). I knew she would be ours at least until the renovations were complete (and I treasured that little tidbit of knowledge. seriously: any time I got sad about the sale, I'd think "don't be silly, Amy, they're not even done fixing her yet").


 cue the "Misty Water Colored Memories" music, right?

Nah. I am not going to dwell on the sad part.... I have way too much to do before we are ready for open houses and "finished" showings.  it's like getting her ready for the prom ;)
So, cue the music montage you'd expect from a fabulous 80's movie as the main character gets made over.

time to get busy.

For one thing, I definitely have to get some hanging baskets.






Thursday, March 8, 2012

New Pics and Views.

Wow. It's really the only word that comes to mind! I won't gush profusely- I will just tell ya what you're looking at.....


This is the first of the two parlors. We don't have a lot of prior shots of this room because the appliances have been wrapped up and stored there, so it was hard to see the actual room. Isn't it lovely?!



Another view of the same room. The windows look out onto Locust Ave.
This is a familiar shot from the upstairs hall looking towards the two back bedrooms. (The upstairs bathroom is to the left, the master bedroom and 4th bedroom are to the right.)

Here's a close up of the "split" between the two back bedrooms. One has a window that overlooks the back yard and the other bedroom's window faces Pawling Ave.

Upstairs landing view (mike is still working on the railings)

Here's a view from the stairs to the master bedroom. I took it mostly to show the floors - there will be a railing there soon.

Back downstairs- this is the front parlor again, looking back at the foyer, second parlor and archway to the hallway that leads to the kitchen and formal dining room. The floorplan is great downstairs- I love how the rooms are clearly divided- but still "flow" into one another with great big entryways.

Ah!! the kitchen. Here's the valance over the breakfast bar which faces the big window overlooking the back yard. It's funny that I used to stand in the window and drink my coffee every morning. I loved looking out at the seasons (and the dogs running in the back yard) Now, it's actually the perfect place to sit and get comfy for morning coffee....and the window is framed like a picture. Sheesh! why didn't we do this before?!

To the left of the window/breakfast bar is the fridge. This is the house the fridge will live in. It's got those two great little cabinets over it and the fabulous encasing cabinetry that makes the fridge look like it was made just for the kitchen.

Here's the door to the bathroom/laundry room off the kitchen. It was SUCH a good idea to use this kind of pocket door to save space for the cooler things in the kitchen. (Mary and/or Mike is a genius)

This blinding shot (sorry!) is to show you how the window fits into the brilliant scheme of the valance and breakfast bar to the right of the fridge.

here is how is all connects at the ceiling together in a seamless blend

more kitchen- less blinding, but kind of bad lighting. Again- just giving the highlights of what's to come.  (I think that's the oven all wrapped up in the middle of the room)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

sneak peek! (shhh- don't tell Mike)

We just opened the front door a little and took these pics. We can't walk on the floors yet- but HOW GREAT DO THEY LOOK!?! :)



Thursday, February 23, 2012

New Pictures!

 These pics will be the last until March 5- when we'll have (no doubt: outstanding) hardwood floors to look at. In the meantime....

 Here is a picture of the wood for the hardwood floors. Each room has a giant stack of wood in the middle of it. It looks to me like so much more than you'd need to "floor" a room, but what do I know?



Here's a cool shot of the cabinets going up in the kitchen. This is the sink area. Of course they'll  have granite counter tops and really cool vintage-y looking (but brand new) dark varnish handles. The carpenter working on them today showed me a cool function- they don't slam. You just sort of let them go and they close gently on their own. (What???!!!)



Here is some of the hardware/tools on the breakfast bar. 


These are the light cut outs for the fancy valance over the breakfast bar. It's the same style/wood/finish as the cabinets. Can't wait to see it up. 
 Here is the decorative support for the valance. It fits the period of the house so well, I think- while still  being a little funky and modern.


Another fab cabinet upgrade from Mary- this is a pull out for garbage and recycling. You could probably use it for anything, but- really- why would ya? This is so convenient!!

More hardwood piles throughout downstairs.

 These are the railings from the upstairs hallway over-looking the stairs. Mike took them down to re-finish them and also to insure a better fit for the hardwoods. It's on the upstairs bathroom floor right now, which has recently been updated to include the molding on the floor- so it's a "two-for" shot.

 Here's a shot of the top of the cabinets. Mary explained it was desirable to have cabinets go all the way up to the ceiling so we coughed up the extra money for it. At the time I was just blindly trusting her, but now that I see how awesome it looks - I am really happy. (Except that now all cabinets that don't go all the way up look silly to me and I have become far picker about kitchen design in general...)