Peter and I took Zoe to the house on the afternoon of 11/28 so we could walk through the rooms and get the general feel for size and layout. Most of the pictures are of Zoe because I didn't have a wide angle lens with which to take pictures of the whole room..
Looking out the window facing our neighbor on our left:
The backfill was poured (meaning the dirt was put back and there is no longer a huge hole around the foundation) and the ceiling of the basement was on! We ended up creating a second area for another sump pump, but instead of installing the actual pump, the builder crafted a drainage system just using gravity. If it looks like it isn't working in the future, we can easily just add the second pump, but for now it seems to be working great. The water issues now appear to be solely groundwater, but just to be safe we also lined the exterior of the foundation wall with a water proof sealant. No water here!
At the very beginning of October, George emailed us to let us know that demolition was going to happen soon. Of course, it didn't happen the day it was supposed to because of weather and then not the next day because of some issue with the demolition company, but about a week later, in the pouring rain, the house came down. I drove by out of curiosity, certain that they wouldn't be doing the demo during such a torrential rain pour, but when I got to the house, 1/3 of it was gone!
It only took a few hours for the whole house to come down. Peter drove by about a half hour after these pictures were taken and the chimney was being taken down..
Back in the spring, Peter and I decided to start looking at houses/lots to build our new home. We were very excited to be taking this step, but we figured it would take a while. We talked to our friend, Steve DeFalco of Tradition Homes and he gave us some advice about pricing and areas and we decided to focus on an area called Lee Heights. A few days after our first conversation with Steve, he sent us an email about a house that was on the market that was priced too high, but was in a good area. I drove by it and liked it, but thought it was priced too high. That evening, Peter and I decided to drive by the house. When we drove past it and turned onto a neighboring street, we saw another house with a For Sale sign out front. I hadn't seen the house online and figured it had already been snatched up. We got home and emailed the agent who said it was available and just not on the market yet.
I decided to meet Steve and George, his brother and architect of the firm, there the next day. They told me the lot was great and a good value. All of a sudden, our long search was over almost as quickly as it started. And frankly, this doesn't surprise me! When we went house shopping in DC back in 2000, we looked for one day and I bought the 3rd house we saw. When we went looking in Evanston, we bought a house we saw the one and only day we looked. Only here did it take us much longer to find something, but considering we changed price ranges so often, that wasn't surprising.
Two days after that meeting with Steve and George, Peter and I made an offer..and about 24 hours later we had a signed deal. About 2 weeks later, we were proud owners of a rancher in Lee Heights. We realized at the closing table that we had actually never set foot in the house. We went by later that day...what a beauty ;) It made Peter feel so much better that we were tearing the house down. In fact, he said he wished they could tear it down ASAP ;)
From there we spent 6 weeks creating a new houseplan with George. After signing the contract, we retreated off to our summer vacation plans while George created construction documents (about 6 weeks) and submitted the plans to the County of Arlington for permits (also about 6 weeks). In late September we got the call that the permits came in earlier than expected and the house would be coming down soon-so exciting!
Here is the house right before demolition.
After the crane was delivered and site prepped for demolition: