oldhousejunkieinsc's Profile

Display Name: oldhousejunkieinsc
Member Since: 12/4/12

Latest Comments...

Definitely check police records. I can put up with a lot for convenience and a historical abode, but having to worry that your front door is going to be kicked in and stuff stolen while you're on vacation is not cool. We purchased a small bungalow in an up-and-coming neighborhood thinking that it would be OK. Not so. Less than three months later, someone came in through out back door and took off with pretty much everything that would fetch a price at the local pawn shop. They even pulled a vehicle in our back yard to help facilitate this. Our neighbors said it was the usual "welcome to the neighborhood" theft. We got a security system after that but after three incidents (one break-in, one attempted, and one A/C unit copper theft) later, we decided to get the heck out. Naturally the house would sell for what we had in it, so we ended up giving it back to the bank. Best.Day.Of.My.Life. Now I'm naturally skeptical about these types of neighborhoods and the local police records get consulted before we move. Fortunately, we now live in a lovely historical neighborhood where the neighbors look out for each other.

Location, Location, Location: Things to Beware of When Moving to a New Neighborhood Renters Solutions
7/17/14 09:02 AM

This loft is amazing. I'm drooling over the bathroom vanity sink and my hubby is totally coveting the pool table. Once again, AMAZING.

Scott & Kristan's Inspiring Arts District Loft House Tour
7/14/14 02:11 PM

Oh and I should also mention...be kind to your attendants. Fancy dresses and tuxes are a financial burden. I told my girls to buy a navy cocktail length dress. They all wore different ones, but remarkably, the color/hue was all the same and they looked fabulous. I told the guys to wear navy blue suits and we found matching ties at a local discounter. Everything worked out perfectly. As for hair and makeup, my regular hairstylist came for the event and offered her services to everyone after she finished with me, but I didn't require it. Just another waste of money for those of us who are cost conscious. The only reason I had it done was because I'm hopeless with hair and make-up. And since I was a regular client, she only charged $50 to do both hair and make-up.

8 Ways to Spend Less for a Wedding
5/30/14 09:29 AM

I was lucky enough that my parents pitched in and paid for the wedding. But even so, they were on a budget, so I was on a budget. I think the whole shebang was $6000. The total guest count was 125 but we only had 80 show up because it was Memorial Day weekend. I lucked out on a lot of things.

1. I found a woman who was a dental hygienist by day, florist on the weekends. We paid $500 for all of the bouquets, bouts, and table flowers. We planted flowers in vintage galvanized tubs to decorate the altar.
2. We booked our photographer (at $1500, they were the biggest splurge) and then had to move our date. In the space of six months, the photographer's cost had doubled because they were getting more popular and they had won an award or two. Our photos are still, to this day, fantastic.
3. The girl who designed our invitations was just starting out but did wonderful work. We got so many compliments on how unique they were.
4. We rented a unique venue. I fell in love with the vineyard look, but here in South Carolina, vineyards are few and far between. I finally lucked up on one that was just over the line in North Carolina. The owner was a weekend viticulturist, and wasn't very interested in turning the place into an event venue. Cost? $750. Downside? The tasting room was open until 5pm, so we had a few tourists wander in during the middle of preparations. But they were gone by the time the wedding started.
5. We initially didn't have alcohol because my in-laws were teetotalers. But my aunt from England was insistent so she picked out a red and white from the vineyard and paid for the wine to be served the day of. It was super sweet of her.
6. My favor was a candy bar (those were just getting popular 6 years ago). We put together ourselves using old jars picked up from flea markets and buying chocolate in bulk. I bought chinese takeout containers and tied bows on the handles for a bit of color. It was a hit. I wouldn't do any favors that aren't edible. Engraved mementos are just silly, IMO.
7. I purchased a wedding program kit and using the same fonts from our invitation, created our programs and assembled myself.
8. We went with a caterer that was more business focused (i.e. they do a lot of lunches for companies). Since the bulk of their business wasn't weddings and big events, the cost was cheaper. I think we paid $1500 for a buffet meal of pecan encrusted fried chicken, green beans, and sweet potato mash. The cost included tea and after dinner coffee. We provided our own soft drinks in bottles since we were going for a vintage vibe. Those were bought in bulk for super cheap and were a unique touch.
8. We had family members do the music. Luckily one of my aunts is a trained opera singer and my cousin is a fabulous guitarist so they performed "In Your Eyes" during the service.
9. We went the Ipod route and made our own playlist. If I could change that decision, I would have because my cousin screwed things up at the beginning and walked down the aisle to NO MUSIC. It was awful.
10. My other regret? Not hiring a professional day of coordinator. We got way off the established timeline and several things went missing (my little brother who was 6 at the time walked down the aisle without his ring bearer's pillow).
11. As someone once said, the goal is to get married. I got married. And though I was super critical, I still to this day get compliments on how awesome the wedding and reception was.

8 Ways to Spend Less for a Wedding
5/30/14 09:18 AM

The bathroom is to die for! We're hoping to purchase the 1936 Tudor that we rent. The first thing we want to do is turn the walk-up attic into a master suite.

Before & After Room Transformation: Colleen & Pete's Attic to Bedroom Suite
5/19/14 05:30 PM

I love it! And painting the painting was really brilliant. I've often agonized over painting a piece with inlaid or other details.

I love the color too. It took it from beat up semi-modern piece to instant classic.

Before & After: Second Time's The Charm Coffee Table Makeover
5/19/14 11:56 AM

This is pretty awesome. I would definitely implement something like this for my kids. Though I wouldn't dare cut my kids' hair. What a disaster! But a barber shop would do just fine for boys and I would probably grow the girls' hair out anyway.

We coddle children way too much these days. For example, I saw a family in Target on Saturday. The four year old was clutching two cartoon themed placemats. Innocuous, right? Well when the father took them away from him to have the clerk scan them, the kid immediately starts pitching a fit. The parents ignored him; had he been mine, I would have not purchased them. Pitching fits should not be rewarded. This is on top of the kids from another family that were running around the aisles clutching their toys and causing a scene with screaming, etc. I never received toys or special things just because. It had to be a birthday, Christmas, a good report card, candy for holidays like Easter or Valentine's, or once the time when I had to have extensive blood work done at the doctor's office and I almost passed out after being stuck too many times. My grandmother thought that deserves a Barbie because I didn't make a scene. Lol.

Could You Go A Year Without Spending Money On Your Kids?
2/18/14 11:45 AM

There's quite a bit you can get done online. Unless you're in a super small town, most register of deeds offices have put their files online. I became obsessed with a house I saw for sale online and ended up tracing it (and the plot of land it sat on) all the way back to the 1920s when that part of town was still farm land.

Once you have the name of the original owner, head to your local library and use Ancestry.com. Most libraries provide the service for free. It's easy to look up census records that way and you can often see what the person's profession was in addition to their families.

And as far as I know, the census website is shut down. One of co-workers remarked on it because she uses it on a daily basis for research purposes.

Home Histories: How To Discover Who Used to Live in Your Home
10/3/13 03:40 PM

Excellent post.

It is for the reasons outlined in it that I became a historic preservationist. I shake my head every time I hear of a historical building being demolished. Nothing a historical note may have taken place in the building, but everyday people just like us may have lived or did business there. I think it's important to save even the most mundane of historical buildings for just this reason. Everyone's story deserved to preserved or in some cases, told.

I do believe that in some sort of way, houses have "souls". You can get either good vibes or bad juju from a house, all because of past residents. I bought a 1935 California Craftsman several years ago; I walked into the first room and immediately said, "I want to make an offer." It was just a happy house; I could sense that good things happened there and the former residents lived a good, happy life.

I'm about to move into a 1926 Tudor cottage in a few weeks. I know from the owner that it was built by a local veterinarian. Hopefully that means good vibes for my kitties! :-)

Ghosts of Residents Past A Meditation on Unseen Connections
10/1/13 09:09 AM

Holy cow, this is awesome! I think I need all of the medical cabinets and that totally drop dead gorgeous wooden cabinet that had the bow ties on display. I had to wipe the drool off my chin when I saw it!

Celeste & David's Modern Pin-up Pad House Tour
9/17/13 01:28 PM

Gorgeous! So inspiring that you guys live comfortably in such a small space.

Whitney's Live/Work Canal Cottage House Call
9/9/13 04:29 PM

There's better things to argue about, IMO. I'm mindful of the power bill (especially since we live in a two story duplex) and the hubby goes along with that for the most part. We make good use of the adjustable thermostat, that's for sure. In the summer, we set it to 73 degrees during the day when we're away and then it gradually decreases to 71 degrees at night because I like to burrow under the blankets and be cold. Fortunately this year we've had a very mild summer, so our bill (electric/water) has averaged around $130/month.
Now during the winter, I feel like we freeze to death because our apartment doesn't have many vents (there's only two downstairs, one in the dining room and one in the kitchen). The hubby was constantly complaining about it being too cold this past winter, but our bill was closing in on $200/month by the time winter finally went away. I think I must have had the thermostat turned WAY down the year before because the bill was significantly less then. But then again, I remember being so cold my toes and fingers were numb. Needless to say, I'm not looking forward to testing this theory out come winter.

Moving In Together: Agreeing On Temperature
8/22/13 04:57 PM

I would frost the glass...'cause ain't nobody got time to put on pants! :-)

Interestingly enough, the stick on window frosting is way expensive, so I've been meaning for ages to go to a hobby store and buy the frosted transparent scrapbooking paper. Voila! Cheap fix. I have a six pane Craftsman style front door and while the panes are high enough for the average door knocking type of person, I'm still paranoid. Especially since I have a chair out front. I've had notebook paper taped up in the windows since I moved in...eh, two years ago. How embarrassing!

A Real Front Door: Does This Mean I Have to Start Wearing Pants?
8/12/13 01:54 PM

Wow. Not my style per se (too much yellow for me...) but it's still a fantastic apartment. What luck to have all of that period woodwork and such a lovely garden. I did <3 the decoupaged dressed. Fabulous!

Sofia’s DIY Garden Apartment in Brooklyn House Tour
7/19/13 12:19 PM

It's definitely different. I'm in Greenville, SC and you rarely find interesting things on there. I read about great Craigslist finds and know that I probably won't see something that cool on my local. Whenever I list and get responses, I always book a first appointment and then let any other responders know that I have someone coming to look at it and I will let them know if that person doesn't take the item. First responder gets first dibs, essentially. I have noticed that people won't extend the same courtesy though. I wanted to see a couch once and so I e-mailed and set up a time only to get an e-mail an hour later saying that someone else had gotten there first. If they were going to employ the first come, first served policy, they should have told me. I ended up telling just how rude I thought she was. :-)

What's Your City's Craigslist Culture?
7/2/13 12:17 PM

If your bullet points got swapped, I agree with your logic. I think a fancy e-vite is perfectly suitable for a bridal shower, especially given that the bride is eco-conscious.

I do, however, think that a Facebook invite would be too informal. That's for those direct sales parties or a backyard BBQ or maybe a birthday party.

Entertaining Etiquette: When Are Evites Acceptable?
6/21/13 02:02 PM

Tiffany--that's brilliant!

Another easy solution--in an under the bed storage box. When our house was burglarized, they took my Anthropologie jewelry box (which I loved!) and I was devastated because I thought all of my sentimental jewelry (the costume jewelry I wore on my wedding day, earrings that my husband gave me while we were dating, etc.) had been in there. Six months down the road, I was cleaning out under the guest bed and pulled out a box to find....my jewelry! I apparently forgot that I had hidden the stuff away when we went out of town before the burglary.

8 Secret Spots to Hide Valuables at Home
6/17/13 12:56 PM

Old houses are a must for me, so I'm sure people have died in places that I've lived. Though I have asked a couple of times, "Did the last owner die here?" It kind of creeps me out.

Ironically, my husband and I renting in our dream neighborhood. Houses in our price range are few and far between. Recently a couple committed suicide in the back yard of their gorgeous Victorian down the street. I run past there several times a week and wonder what will become of the house and do I have enough moxie to buy it. Of course my husband's first words upon hearing of the tragedy were "Good, we can buy it for cheap when it comes on the market." Cop humor, I guess.
On the flip side, in our small town has an infamous murder story. This guy who owned a building downtown, went crazy and killed his wife, two kids, and dog (at home) before trying to blow up downtown by turning on the gas in his building. He fled the scene and ended up driving to DC before killing himself. The building survived and most recently housed the local history museum but now stands empty. The house where the murders occurred has been empty for over a decade.

Would You Live in a Home that was the Scene of a Crime?
5/30/13 10:48 AM

Ah-mazing! What a fantastic job. Though I do hope some of those original doors (including the fabulous latticework one in the kitchen) were re-used elsewhere in the house. Good design can be had while respecting the historical aspects of a home.

Before & After: A 100-Year-Old Farmhouse Freshens Up The Sweeten
2/27/13 02:17 PM

Thank you, thank you for respecting your house's character. You did an a-mazing job! I'm so in love with the bathrooms...and book nook...and the fireplace...

Kathleen & Matt's California Craftsman House Tour
1/29/13 01:11 PM