South side. The hump with the chimney is the storm shelter
Our Greenwood, Nebraska house before we started working on her
The photos we took before we started to move in unfortunately were lost when my computer crashed
We bought the property for $80,000 sight unseen with only photos as guide. The house was worse in person than the photos and a lot of work that James and I would have to learn as we went as were are not carpenters. We learned we will never do buy this way again and my advice to anyone don't either!!
Our brokers, who had their own financing and was a bank of sorts would change their company name for 'tax reasons' or something similar every year.
The first winter we did not do anything to the house, we did find out that the furnace run by propane and filled for $500 only lasted one month so the rest of the winter and the next we huddled in our robes and blankets to keep warm. The electric heaters we had did not make much impression so we left the burners running on the stove to try and warm us that first winter. As you can imagine our electric bill was high! Then second winter we bought two new heaters which still did not make much impression in the freezing snow winter
During the first summer (summers are very hot) I took down the wooden screen doors, sanded down and painted. The screens in the windows and doors were replaced as needed as it was a learn as I went project which took me several weeks to get finished
Putting up the electric fence and keeping it working was almost a full time job once Chyna realised she could slip under and escape and was a huge problem as she got older and more aware that solar electricity run fencing was not going to keep her in. The hundreds of hours I spent walking the fence line, repairing and tweaking to find why we had weak spots
In 2008 we applied for refinancing and was given a list of what we needed to improve and fix to bring our house up to code - it was not up to code when we bought it!!! Not sure how we got the loan??
In July I took a terrible fall off our new horse who did not like to be ridden bare back and I was not told, so while my two wrists were in plaster and with excruiating back injuries I could not walk around too much so sat in the lazyboy chair most of the day - We started the 'get up to code' improvements out of our own pockets and had new carpet fitted in the lounge, there was no hardwood floors under the old carpet we pulled up and we did not have the extra money to put down.
James did the ceiling with dry wall as the old was ceiling panels which had warped badly and had to be replaced. We hired a drywall lift as I was not much use helping him and was two all nighters so we could get the lift back to Home Depot
The electrical fuse box we had to replace to bring up to code and was done in August with updated new as the old had antique glass fuses and blew out from overloading during
the winter. The Power Board changed all the outside wiring, new power pole and their fuse box as these were old and shorting out. Electricity has been good since.
The carpet was fitted in late June which we were very happy with the work however the following week we had our windows fitted which was
the biggest headache.
We decided to replace all the downstairs windows with double glazed panes and using money we received from an insurance claim from high wind damage to several of the single window panes getting broken or badly cracked
After listening to a demonstration of different windows with Sears we decided to go with them. They contract our their work whereby Amber came to measure the old windows and they would be costume made to fit. After about 10 days the windows were ready and Amber and her step son came out to start work on the Wednesday, taking out the old windows and woodwork framing which we asked to keep as well as all the windows. They got the old out and the new in and still had some of the finishing touches of trim etc to finish off inside, but the weather was clouding over so they decided to go outside and get started on the aluminium trim work outside. They were half way through when it started to drizzle then get wetter. I was annoyed as the stepson kept coming in and out onto our brand new carpet with wet and muddy shoes and making a big mess in the doorway. -
Anyway, the weather got worse so they decided to call it a day and they packed up and left saying they would be back tomorrow to finish and clean up
Amber called on the phone the next day to say that she would not be able to come out as on the way home her horse-trailer she uses for all her equipment had got a puncture and distroyed the tire and rim, she would not be able to make it until Friday
On Friday I did not hear from her nor over the weekend, however her husband called around on the Monday and he would be coming with his team of men to finish the job the next week. Amber was real busy - I never did get a phone call from her to apologise and make right for leaving us in the lurch!
The team of men came and finished the outside and when I showed them the unfinished trim etc on the inside he said that it was done!! They left gaping holes
with a little bit of fibre-glass insulation where the wood window frame use to be
and it did not look finished at all, and I still had leaks! I was not happy to be expected to pay $6,000 and have this workmanship and abandonment
I had to call Sears and complain whereby they sent out a husband and wife team from Illonis, two States over to finish off the trim and seal inside and out which took them several hours
Sears after some thought wrote to us and wrote off the debt of the windows as they had charged Amber for her breach of contract, however this has not stopped their lenders GE Money from trying to exhort money from us with repeated accounts sent to us and even after several phone calls to them to explain what happened they have still not resolved this account
We put a free-standing wood fireplace we have lots of wood so will not run out for some time. We hired a chimney sweeper to put in the chimney which was not put in solidly and it would move with the heat and if not careful could easily fall down when we tried to push it back in place!!
An Appraiser came to look over our work and the figure they gave us was $165,000. James and I were delighted and our brokers did the paperwork and we received around $10,000 from Wells-Fargo who had bought our mortgage loan. We used some of this money to pay off the loan on our pickup so we would own it outright and bought a brand new stove and dishwasher. We were going to mend cracks in the plaster, sand and repaint ourselves on a room to room basis... We never got anything major started or finished as I was still recovering but did manage to take down about half of the wall-paper in the lounge which was extremely hard going. James was working and driving long hours and then the bad event of James not getting any hours for 8 days straight.
When Wells-Fargo would not help us to keep our house and our exhaustive research and the inevitable we would loose the house, we were then advised not to do anything and leave things as they were, which we did and packed up and
left in September 2009.
Foreclosure story here
The house was left empty until just recently - not sure when it was sold. However it sold as HUD foreclosed home for $40,000!!! This makes me mad because Wells-Fargo is so stupid and mismanaged plus so wasteful. If they got their act together they could easily help families with their pending foreclosures much better than evicting them, then selling the houses at a loss to the bank!! Who else has spent time, effort and emotions in their homes than the existing families??
Following photos are after we left and was found online after it was resold.
Driveway. The small building is the Summer kitchen of the old days, used as storage shed. There is a seller underneath which held the electric pump from the well.
The kitchen was a later addition around the late 60s. Wrap around porch. There is a side entry we used as the front door leading into the lounge, none of the photos shows this door.
Downstairs all new double pane windows. These windows facing to the room we used as an office. Upstairs windows is a double bedroom and a single bedroom. Front porch, the decking was rotted away so did not use this door for entry.
Different angle and two extremely large pine trees in the front yard
Kitchen, facing the back door. The only bathroom was on the right off the kitchen
kitchen facing towards stairway and lounge. Brand new dishwasher we left behind! The cupboards were all real wood and just needed sanding and painting and new hardware. Needed new counters and backsplash as it is an awful green!!
The blue/greenish room just on the left is another small room which we had thought we would change over to a bathroom as it is backed onto the downstairs master.
New carpet on the floor, did not have hardwood as they had been replaced with subfloor type wood. Some of the wallpaper I could not get off still showing! Front door and windows. The woodstove has been taken away, I guess sold.
Office looking from lounge inwards. Original hardwood floors. Propane furnace we sent the propane tank back a couple of years prior as it was too expensive to run.
The closet, was possibly a bedroom in the early days very narrow for today's standards and large open doorway, we couldn't put the glass paned door back in as the ceiling had dropped.
Office looking from the closet towards the lounge.
Lounge looking towards downstairs master, and built in drawers
Inside downstairs master looking towards lounge.
There is an outside door that photo does not show.
Upstairs on the landing. We never used the upstairs as it was too cold in winter and too hot in the summer. There was no insulation in the house.
Double bedroom you could see these windows from the driveway
This room was two bedrooms and someone took out the wall that it was a huge bedroom
Garage. The lean-to the horses loved to hang out in.
Photo Album Home
Around the farm, Nebraska
Atlanta, Georgia Aquarium
Chyna, Quarter horse filly
Miss Daisy, Brittany spaniel
Damon, Alaskan malamute
Extended Martin Family
Ford Ranger wreck
Greenwood, Nebraska House
Harmony, Paint/Quarter horse
Horse Float/ Horse Trailer
James, Big Rig, Nebraska
James Mother - Cleo West Shaver
Kerie and Daryl
Koda, Mixed breed
Koda page 2
Lexington, North Carolina
Leo - Great Pyrenees mix
Nigerian Dwarf Goats
Missy - Brittany/Feild spaniel mix puppy
Pets we use to have
Princess, Tennessee Walking Horse
Puppies - Brittany/Field Spaniel Mix
Roxie, German shepherd
Taxidermy, James hobby
Wind damage, Georgia
Amanda Martin-Shaver ©