Last week we showed you one of the houses that is a final contender in our search for a second home. As you may have expected from our preferences and our current home, it is an older farmhouse filled with character, charm, and potential. But today we're going to share a house with you that might really surprise you. I know it surprised us.

While looking at a few different houses with a realtor in Maryland she said, "I have a listing for a house with an amazing view, great land, and tons of potential...it's just not the style and age I think you're going for, but you might still want to consider it."

I'll tell you one thing, she was 100% correct.

The house, a three bedroom, two and a half bath 1980s ranch, was situated on an inlet to the bay with sweeping and open views of the water.

Wait, what? Did I just say that? 1980s ranch? Yes, that's right, and nope, that's not a typo. You probably never thought us two old home junkies might consider buying something built after the time when home electricity became commonplace, but it's true.

When it comes to our preferred look, style and age of homes, 1980s ranches usually don't make it on the list. Alex's feeling is "the older the better," and if I had to choose, I'd say my favorite style is a 1930's tudor. But once I glimpsed the views from this home, I was intrigued. I needed to go inside to see more.


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Comments 20

After two years of dreaming, online scouring, and in person searching, we finally pulled the trigger and bought a second home that will be both a vacation/relaxation space, and another home for many more projects. For the long-winded explanation of our thought process in buying this second place, feel free to give our last post it a look. But if you’re here to get down to business and see house number one (of our top contenders), you’re in the right place.

This first house we’re going to take a look at from our home search is an 1882 Victorian waterfront farmhouse in Maryland.

The instant we saw this listing Wendy and I were very intrigued and a little smitten by the look of the home. Typically 19th century farmhouse style homes aren’t situated quite so close to the water, because owners 100 plus years ago didn't much care about "water views." But this house, sitting on several acres of land, has over 500 feet of waterfront visible from several rooms of the house.

The more we looked at the listing the more interested we became, so we contacted an agent (since Wendy isn't a licensed Realtor in Maryland) to show us the property and headed out on a day trip for a little weekend visit.


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So we have a bit of crazy major news we want to share with you. Rather than beating around the bush, let's just cut to the chase.

No, I'm totally serious, we actually bought a second home with actual doors, windows, and walls. And get this, unlike that house I was trying to convince Wendy we just had to buy...the creepy Victorian one on 50 acres in case you missed it...the one we actually bought has, get this, functional plumbing!

If you're a regular reader here, this is likely coming as a somewhat massive surprise since we haven't shared any of our search along the way for fear the purchase might not actually go through, that we might not buy a house, and we would be all build up and no bang. But now that the house is ours, we'll catch you all up to speed, sort of.

Flash back to 2003 when two kids had the brilliant idea to buy an historic fixer upper. As fresh faced newlyweds without a clue about what it takes to renovate a home yourself, we bought our first home almost 12 years ago. Since that fateful day, while many of our friends and co-workers have encountered changes in their lives that have required them to move on from their first homes to accommodate those changes, Wendy and I have been happily living in and working on our 15 foot wide Old Town Home in the city with no thoughts of selling. Sure, we have momentary inclinations of sale in the midst of arguments when we are simply overwhelmed with our home and the ongoing state of our projects, but those moments are fleeting at best, and we typically love our home and where we live beyond description.

So rather than selling, we've been working on our house for nearly 12 years, and there isn't a room or area we've not updated in some major manner. While we're nowhere near complete on the miles long list of projects we'd love to undertake and still have ahead of us, we're also winding down on the "must complete" items and have started to think about tackling the "dream list" items. And many of those "dream list" items could simultaneously be put on the "Wendy is going to kill me if I keep talking about these items" list.


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Comments 42

Alright...where were we? Our water had heater failed in a glorious manner with a basement waterfall, but our WaterCop saved our butt by shutting off our water.

Mending our wounded pride for allowing such a catastrophic failure as theoretically responsible home maintainers, we showered with a bucket for a few days and endlessly researched water heaters. We finally decided on a tankless heater, hired an installer, and made a complete disaster in the biggest disaster area of our house by ripping out the basement wall that was previously in front of the old busted water heater.

After we reached this point we cleared everything out of the basement and we were ready for the install of our tankless water heater.

Brent, our installer from Tankless Concepts, turned up to our house right on time and ready to install. When he got started he unloaded the contents of his truck in our backyard and used the yard as a staging area. I loved this part of the project because I got to look over everything that was being installed. I was like a kid on water heater Christmas morning.

A lot of people see hiring someone to do a job as a way to get the job done without putting forth effort. Whether the customer has the ability to do the job or not, people tend to take a fairly hands off approach once a pro is on the job.


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Have you ever been working on a project, humming right along and without issue, when a disaster jumps right up and bites you?

It's almost like Forrest Gump running thorough the jungle carrying troops, humming right along, rescuing people left and right, and that bullet just jumps up and bites him.

That's how I felt when the hot water tank went bad. No option other than to derail what we were doing (the bathroom) and begin concentrating on our replacement hot water heater.

Last week we told you we'd decided on working with local company, Tankless Concepts, on the install of a new tankless water heater for our home. But before we'd be able to get the new unit in place, we'd need to do some prep work in the giant disaster of a basement to clear the way for the replacement, and we'd also need to figure out what brand of water heater we'd ultimately purchase.


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