Tuesday, September 10, 2013

It's Official: We Bought the Old House!

After weeks of uncertainty, I can now share.......it's official!

Scott & I bought this 98 year old house in Due West!

In fact, we closed on the house earlier today.

(If you missed our bumpy journey to buy it, you'll have to read some of my older posts.)

The house is located on Bonner Street in Due West.

Yes.......Due West.

We've had this conversation with many of our friends......and family.    It's just 20 minutes
from Greenwood and about as far to Anderson.    It's quiet.    Erskine College is our
neighbor,  along with other beautiful old houses down our street and old buildings on
the campus.

I love that there's a hardware store, a coffee shop and a Subway within walking distance
of the front door, but more than anything --- I love it because of it's age.

The house was built in 1915,  just shy of it's 100th birthday -- and it borders the Erskine
campus on the quiet street corner of Bonner & Alexander -  just a block
or so off of Main Street.

I started searching for the history of the house and soon discovered that it's referred to as the
"R. M. Stevenson House."

Robert "Milton" Stevenson was born November 20, 1860.   He was a Presbyterian
Minister, graduating from Erskine College in 1877.  Milton married Miss Emma Christian
on October 26, 1881.    According to an article I found on the pair, it said that "six children
have blessed their home."

The cool part for me was finding a picture of Milton (yeah, I feel we should be on a first
name basis.)   I wanted to see what he looked like -- and found this photograph when
I googled his name.

He was a writer and a preacher.  

And authored a book.

I was also able to find an original copy of his book on a rare book site ---and
I'm planning to make a spot for it on the mantel of the study after we move in next year.

Milton and Emma and several of their children are actually buried at the ARP Church in
Due West.   Yeah.   Don't let it freak you out like it did my youngest, but I did go see
their headstones.    I'll be living in their house.   I thought it was the only neighborly thing to
do.   (Smile.)

There's many things I love about this old place.

Every time I walk up and down the stairway in the Stevenson house, I imagine how many hands
since 1915 have held onto the hand carved banister.  


Scott and I are planning a total renovation of the house, made possible by getting such a good
deal on the property.    

Let me rephrase that.  

We have a well recommended local contractor who will be renovating the house
for us from top to bottom.

Scott's overseeing just the first round of renovation--- demolition!

We're taking down all the plaster walls and ceilings.  

Yep.    A demolition day will be coming in October.

We'd love to recruit as many friends as possible to bring a hammer, a crow bar and a face
mask as we take the house down to the studs!  (If you have some stress or anger to work
off, let me know!  We'll put you to work.)

We're going back in with insulation, new wiring, new plumbing and sheet  rock.  
The bones of the house are solid according to our home inspector, but the interior of the house
will be pretty much gutted and brought back to life.

The maple hardwood floors will be stripped and refinished.

A new kitchen will go in.

Bathrooms will be torn out and replaced.

We hope to keep the old windows.  I'm reading up on how to put in improved
weather stripping and storm windows to make the old windows more energy efficient.

Fresh paint.  

New light fixtures.

I can hardly wait!

Not everybody enjoys this kind of project.

Some of you have told me so.

It usually starts with......."why in the world would you tackle this.......?"

Renovating is not most people's choice.


I love to take something old and shabby.

And turn it into something warm & friendly & inviting.

I see this house as a gift.

A long awaited gift.

We first stumbled onto the house back in June.

That's when we took our first look at it.

By July, I........ (and eventually Scott).... developed a serious interest in the house.

It was then, we were told the owner's family was taking the house off the market.

For an indefinite period of time.

We had already made an offer.

Already invested in a home inspection.

Already lined up everything to move forward.

Only to find out, it was going no where.

So.  What to do?

Nothing, but wait.

And we did.

So in July.

I was on my way to Anderson.

And I planned on driving by the house as I passed through Due West.

I had the thought.

I'm taking a ribbon with me.

I didn't really have a plan of what to do with it.

I just knew I wanted to take it.

Once in Due West.

I pulled up to the front door.

Walked up the side walk.

And tied the ribbon to the door knob of the front screen door.

For me.

It was symbolic.

My way of attaching my hope & expectation  that things might work out.

And I prayed.

If God wanted me to have this house.

I'd have to trust Him with it.

And trust Him in the wait.

July came and went.

August came and went.

With no certainty of what would happen.

Or what the outcome might be.

And today.

September 10, 2013.

Scott & I closed on the house.

98 years old.

Full of character.

A little worn and shabby.

But holding so much promise!

Watch for news of an estate sale!   We're planning one the morning of Saturday,
October 12th!    The owner left quite a few items in the house, which we'll
be selling to prepare for the renovation to begin.

You're welcome to stop by and see that house that morning as well.
As the official "before" renovation tour is provided.


Welcome to our journey.

Of renovating "this old house!"

The R.M. Stevenson House.

Will in about six months of renovation.

Become the.

Scott & Kathy Dublin house!


  1. It looks like a new house, Kathy. I'm pretty sure the previous owners maintained the house properly. I read that you've had a hard time looking for a new house, and I'm glad that you already got one. I'm looking forward to seeing your house tour soon. :)


  2. This house is already 98 years old, but it still look good as new, or is it just the exterior? Anyway, it's all yours now; you're free to do whatever you want to do with it. Good luck with your renovation project, Kathy!

    -Abdul Jackson @ South-Carolina.ChurchillMortgage