Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Home Sweet - I Use to Own That

When I was in Florida earlier this month, I took a morning to drive into Orlando and revisited places from my past.  The city has changed a lot since I moved there in the summer of 1980 - we left there in the summer of 1995.  The population has more than doubled since we left 20 years ago.  Old familiar places, were sometimes no longer recognizable.  

I moved to Orlando to escape the town on the east coast, that my parents still live in.  The move was made possible by a job selling new homes for a small developer / builder.  Laurel Homes - long since gone they sold the building operation in 1987 - I moved onto another much larger builder that summer. 

While I worked for Laurel I built three homes, two I lived in, one was a rental.  The miniature Taco Bell above was my first house.  I built it in the late summer early fall of 1982.  Two bedrooms, one bath, one car garage.  As I recall I paid just over $40,000 for it, and picked up a bargain first time buyer interest rate of only 13.5%.  I sold it less than two years later and made about $10,000.  While I was there I built the rental, not included in these pictures, it became my ex's as part of a property settlement that bought the two of us freedom to enjoy the rest our lives.

The second house above was the last home I built for myself in Florida.  We built it in 71 days from building permits to move-in, in early March 1984.  It was a bit larger, 3 bedrooms, baths, 2 car garage.  It is on about 1/3rd of an acre.  As I recall it cost me just over $70,000 and interest rates were down to a bargain 11.5%.  It was in my half of the property split, I sold it in 1995 when J and I moved to Kentucky, as I recall made about $15,000 - over 11 years of a dead market. The first house had been as plain and simple as I could make it, the second one was much nicer.  I upgraded trim, windows, door handles, I reconfigured the kitchen and added cabinets (a job the cabinet shop messed up, shorting me 2 feet of cabinets and counter space - but I was in such a hurry to move in let it slide rather than wait two weeks for a remake.)  The brick on the planters was also the wrong color, it was suppose to be grey, and it was brown. The house hadn't been painted yet, so I changed the paint color to work with the brick rather than delay the house waiting for the brick to be changed.  In the long run I was glad I did that, the grey paint faded terribly.  I planted the tree out front, it was about an inch across and about 5 feet tall when I planted it.  

So there are my first two - no longer mine.  What homes have you owned in the past? 


  1. I owned a 1-bedroom condo in VA; bought new (with ex-spouse) in 1985, sold it in 1999 when current spouse and I moved home to philly.

    bought our current house in 2000 and still live here.

  2. Bought my first house in PG County Md in '83. Bought for $68K and sold 11 years later for $105K.

    Then moved to AA County Md, to a renovated farm house with addition, for $165K, still live there, on 3.5 acres (dang yard work!)

    Also own a house in Clifton Forge, VA.



  3. Anonymous9/27/2016

    I've only ever rented. I had a studio in Camden Town for a few years and then I met Guido and moved in with him. He owns his property in South London. I keep telling him to sell to property developers. Trust me, we could retire.

  4. David,
    We bought our first house, a town house in Philly in 1969 for $27,000 which I thought was outrageously expensive but I so wanted to live in center city Philly. We sold it in 1980 for $95,000. It sold in July 2009 for $582,500. We built a house in Downingtown for $125,000 in 1980. Sold that for $500,000 in 2006. Paid $531,00 for our home now. We'll never get in that price or higher during our lifetime. Too many foreclosures in our development which has lowered the average price of our home. Real estate, a roll of the dice for sure.

  5. It tickles me just howbig american houses can be
    Outpr cottage is just 5 rooms

  6. Awwww... the house on Mosshart!

  7. I love to see your past homes. As for me, I just spent two months reliving a lot of my own history! So now it's much more fun to relive YOURS.

  8. We have moved around a few times in our adult lives and I would love to go back and see our past homes. I am always curious to see what the new owners have done both inside and out. If we lived closer, I might build up the courage to knock on the door, but probably not.