Vacation House Before / After

We have a 40 acre farm in TN that keeps us pretty busy.  Who the heck needs a second place that needs work.....Us, I guess.  How in the world did this come to be and why Hot Springs, AR?  Several factors came into play.  In no certain order, my family is from AR, the economy was down and money was not drawing any interest (2011) and still isn't today (2015), we made a trip to Hot Springs for our Anniversary in 2010 and I feel in love. Real Estate prices were also down, which has never ever happened and there were a lot of foreclosures.  We felt it would be a good investment and a better return on our money.  But, when my friends ask, I say, "You know I hate winter.  I took the atlas and drew a line across the bottom of TN.  Then, I picked something south of that line and it happened to be Hot Springs."

All of 2011 we made trips over looking at houses and property.  We had just about given up, when this place came on the market. The internet makes shopping pretty easy.  Each morning we would get on the computer and just look at the new listings.  One morning when I woke up, I thought to myself, our house needs to be there this morning.  I fixed my coffee, logged on and there it was.  I called Bob and said, Our house is on the market, we need to go to AR.  Off we go to take a look, put in an offer, to find out that we have to wait for two weeks.....It was a Fannie Mae foreclosure and for two weeks, they only accept offers from someone that will be a permanent resident.  That was a long two weeks.  They had no offers, so we went in with one lower than the first offer that we made.  Basically, the house was in good shape.  It just needed some new paint, landscaping, and updating.

As purchased, with green plastic shutters, outdated old light fixtures,
 and no grass up next to the house.
No grass, overgrown bushes and a weird sidewalk.
A trip to buy sod and bang...instant yard.
Left a spot to move a new sidewalk, because the old one was just
didn't seem right.
Old light fixture and the brass one on the wall just blends in.
 Also, really no definition to the entry, keep scrolling to see what I have done. 

Painted the front door (I want a new one, but all in good time)
 Red is good for Feng Shui.
Never hurts to have things in Balance, just saying.

OK, The New look is happening....New Cedar Shutters, (we made them) a front deck, a new light fixture on the post and some landscaping..

Another trip, 4 stops to find the right stone for the sidewalk.
We love it!
Can you even see the brass light fixture near the door?
The fixture, you really couldn't see in pictures,
 we removed a long brass pole off the bottom and I just painted it.
 See below, what do you think?
  Saved about $80 from no having to buy new ones.

Oh, I had to show you part of my traveling crew.
Last trip over, we had a visitor in the yard....See him.
 I knew they had been there.  They have eaten the tops out of a couple of trees
 that I planted and nibbling on my hostas.
I have to say, I love the new look! :)
May 2013, I stained the deck.  The guy who built it said to wait till the treated lumber had time to dry.  I love it!  The deck really has POP now.

June 2013
Now, let me remind you, HOW it looked at purchase..............................

Update! Oct 2013- I stained the deck again...I only got 1 coat on it the first time.  I stained the shutters again.  The first time I used a clear coat stain.  This time I used a Cedar color stain.

I Love the darker stain!

I used the Olympic 7 year.....We will see what that really means....time will tell.

Nov 2014-  We added hardware to the garage door.....

It would be better if the garage had an odd number of panels, so there was a crease between the handles......oh well.... I still think it looks better with the hardware than without.  In the Spring, I may paint the door to match the shutters.  Be sure to check back for changes!

Now, that the front is DONE! It was onto the back of the house.  The sun room exterior was in bad need of paint and trim needing to be replaced.

We decided to add cedar trim to match the shutters around front.  I really like the green.  And, as project leads to another.  Now, the doors need a good cleaning, maybe paint and those gutters have to be scrubbed.  The Deck will have to wait till Spring.