We each spent parts of our childhoods in older homes, both Victorians in small Mississippi towns, and have heard our parents complain about the upkeep involved in owning them. So far, the price tags on most historic homes in the area had deterred us from doing anything more than fantasizing. When we realized a house dating back to the early 1800s – possibly late 1700s – was under foreclosure and would be up for auction, we decided to pursue it if it could be won at a fair price. So we headed over to the courthouse square (imagine Mayberry and you’ve got a good mental image of the town of Amelia Court House) on a sunny spring afternoon and bought ourselves the money pit our parents always warned us about. My mom is trying not to worry herself sick over the whole thing.
Now here we are with a 3,100-square-foot manor house on 13 acres in Amelia County, VA, that needs some work. It’s got heart pine floors that need refinishing, three brick chimneys that need structural TLC (one has what looks to be a small tree growing out if it), a kitchen and bathrooms that need updating, and lead based paint that needs to be removed. So far, we’ve done a little yard work near the house and are scheduling consults with contractors to get bids and figure out how much our dream is going to cost. We’d love to get most of the major work done before moving in and save other projects to do ourselves.
We’re also planning on applying for the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places, so I’m getting started on the preliminary paperwork. Our goal is to rehabilitate the home both budget- and eco-friendly. This week I’ll be posting photos and videos to take you on a bit of a tour of the house and I’ll share our initial ideas. We’d love reader input on as to how we should address each space and can’t wait to hear what you think.