Oh to be one and twenty…

A listing that I took up in Plymouth today caused me to remember so many years ago a young man who was but one and twenty who was determined to buy a fixer-upper. His mother who looked at homes with him was getting more and more angry at me for showing him properties. I did everything I could do to dissuade him from purchasing something that needed so much work. He had a relatively good job but because of his youth, he had little savings and few skills. Every time we talked about the nuts and bolts of getting a rickety home up to liveable standards, his final comment was, “If I don’t know how to do it, I will learn.”

There was a home that was about as bargain basement that you could ever imagine at the time because the deceased elderly residents of the home must have made a choice to live as though they were still living in the 19th Century. There was no running water because there was an old well with an outside well pump, and of course there was an out house not far from the back door where there was growing the most beautiful walnut tree which must have been taking nourishment from the out house pit, and the layers of wallpaper and kerosene soot from the years of burning lamps. His mother was almost beside herself for me showing him the home as well as his determination to purchase it. It seemed there was nothing I could say or do to keep this young gentleman of one and twenty from purchasing this money pit.

The only positive thing about this property is that it was situated on two lots and had a number of old growth trees on it. A great site to build a new home I thought, but to resurrect the existing home would be a daunting task. After several emotional roller coaster days of listening to the mother and son fighting, the home was purchased. Some weeks after closing on it I would stop by and see how the gentleman of one and twenty was doing. I can only say after all these years, I have never seen a young man work so many hours deep into the night to bring an overly neglected 19th Century home rushing back into the 20th Century. Whenever I would stop and visit him I would see his over-worked eyes filled with pain and fear of failure. The only thing I could do was to offer suggestions and encouragement.

Well, after all these long years have passed this gentleman of one and twenty still owns the home and is to this day happy with his purchase. Once in a great while I see him in the grocery store and we have a few chats from the heart because he and I both know that his baptism in fire was getting that dyed in the wool handyman special up and running. If you want to see something similar to what he purchased, click on the link below.

300 E. Main St.

Joe Chodur

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