The transformation of the young single male homeowner

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1700 Blk of 4th NW
General photo of townhouses
Taken in 2005

A family, whose kids I've enjoyed watching go from infant to pre-schoolers and older, moved away. I will miss them, particularly when Halloween rolls around.

Anyway, that wonderful family did not start off on the block as a family, or even a young couple. They started off as a guy. A single guy who bought a house and figured he could fix it up.

Several years ago. In the 00s you could buy a fixer upper for about half or less of what a decently renovated place could go for. In the 90s, even less than that. There were more vacant shells, and run down rentals then.

The then single guy, who I'll call Bob, bought the house and lived in it while he worked on it. He was not the only guy doing the same thing. I knew of at least one other fellow, doing the same thing, living in a construction zone with only a ladder to get to the second floor, and no heat. One time, Bob mentioned, he couldn't understand why he was getting so little water out of the pipes. That's because his pipes were frozen and going to burst at anytime because the house was so cold.

Bob, though an office worker by day, knew how to swing a hammer. So eventually, he got it to a point where a Mrs. Bob could move in. This point in the story, it gets a little vague for me because, I remember when he was single and when he became a father to be. Everything in between.... I'm drawing a blank.

Bob was not the only single guy I knew who bought and transformed a place. One changed his place from a hovel to a 'historic' gem, then rented it out to pursue his career on the other side of the world. Sadly, the rental management company undid some of his marvelous work. Another modestly fixed up another fixer upper stayed for a very short time before he moved to follow his dream. His renters are a wonderful addition to the block.

I'm going to miss the Bob family. Who knows the neighbor you start out with may turn into the family of friends.

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