We purchased “The Party House” and got started working on demo in February of this year. Even when we stripped it of it’s dance floor, 8 track shelf, castle-like entrance and bar; the name remained and the ‘fun’ of the party continued. We had quite a few hurdles to overcome working on this property and felt triumphant to get it to a state we are proud of. Beyond the success of a beautiful transformation and quick sale, we also had another priceless event to make this flip even more memorable.
The property is a ranch style house with three bedrooms and two bathrooms upstairs plus a full basement with an additional bathroom and two rooms which could be used as bedrooms. It was a massive project to take on with some major obstacles not typical of every redevelopment project. We wanted to keep some of the features the last owner had spent so much time and energy to personalize the home and add some of our own re-purposed materials. One of the biggest challenges was managing how to change the not so functional spiral staircase into something unique to fit the character of the home. Now the house is clean, warm and ready for the next owners to tailor to suit their needs.
After a rush of showings and a few offers within the first 48 hours on the market, our realtor called to say she had been contacted by one of the people who used to live in the house. I was put in touch with Liz, the daughter of the former owners, who expressed her gratitude for someone buying and fixing up the home she loved so dearly. We agreed to meet and show them how the house looks now. Liz and her niece Jessica, who was also raised in the home, came to walk though last weekend. It was an emotional trip down memory lane for them to see the changes and to appreciate seeing the house “brought back to life,” as Liz put it.
Liz recalled when her family moved from across the street in the 70’s and how important this neighborhood was to introduce both her and her sister to their husbands. She remembered carrying bricks between the houses to construct the patio, how her dad put a giant freezer in the storage area and then built walls around it, and the hours spent on the pool table and entertaining in the basement. She talked about where the original stairway to the basement was and how her dad “got a wild hair” to put in the spiral staircase in the middle of the entryway. And she is looking forward to bringing home whiskey barrels from the bar as her own memento, as she remembered her dad’s dedication to making wine that everyone said tasted awful. Jessica also had fond memories of the home and especially the bedroom in the corner where her name remained on the wall when we bought the house. We had been calling the pink room “Jessica’s Room” all along. She reported unfortunate memories of taking a few tumbles down the stairs when she was young. And remembered dancing with her cousins on the dance floor and mimicking a champagne celebration by shaking up sprite, loving the sound and feeling of shoes sticking on the wooden floor.
It was extra validation of a job done well to hear from people who lived in and loved this home. They adored the improvements of opening up the main level living area, adding a laundry room upstairs and brightening up the basement with a sliding glass door and removal of dark paneling. They appreciated the original touches remaining in the house which blend in now with the fresh space. Liz stated she believed her mother, who wasn’t able to keep the home and has since passed, would be so pleased to see what has become of her home. It was an honor to have Liz and Jessica visit, hear their stories and to have them feel so happy about the effort we put into this renovation. The business of flipping houses can be profitable and it’s the impact on people’s lives which is truly priceless.