I am in Rochester staging a 1928 Tudor house for resale. This is a craft project and my success or failure means a great deal to my pocketbook.
The beginning of the week involved a lot of slippage as I struggled to get organized. Yesterday was the first day I found traction, even though the day started with my painter calling out.
This house is in a development called Bel-Air, carved into lots in the early 1920s. This was a time of rapid growth in Rochester, and there are many suburban tracts similar to it. Few, however, are as pristine. Bel-Air’s property values are supported by its location at the intersection of two expressways and that it’s in a great school district.
Because it was a planned suburb, the houses and their lots are all fairly uniform in size. That made researching comparable properties fairly easy: I located every house that has sold on my street and its intersecting blocks in the past five years. I’m absolutely down one bathroom from the average.
Since I already bought the fixtures and have the skills to finish it, I’m costing having a contractor rough it in and do the plumbing and wiring. I’m a die-hard do-it-yourselfer, but I’m very short on time. I spent yesterday and today finding contractors to bid on some of the work.
As most of America knows, the northeast had a brutal winter last year. Many houses had water infiltration from ice damming; others lost their fascia and gutters from the ice load. Mercifully we had none of the latter and very little of the former. However, the ice scoured the granulated surface off the shingles on the south face of our roof.
This roof is only about 12 years old, so the shingles should still be under warranty. The trouble is that the original contract is in my files in—you guessed it—Rockport. A friend fished through my file cabinet with no luck; I’m going to see if another pal can try again on the weekend. Despite my careful planning and list-making, living and working in two places means you never have what you need when you need it.
I also started hacking away at the gardens, which have been ignored all summer. Here I find a dilemma. I have a lovely young lilac, about five feet tall, that is in too much shade to bloom. Should I dig it up and move it to Maine, or find it another home in Rochester?