I off-handedly suggested she check out Greeley and vicinity.
One day while delivering a load of fuel to a gas station in Gilcrest, I read the local real estate magazine and noticed a church for sale in Gilcrest. The next day I was off work, and while chatting with her about local houses, told her about the church. She mentioned that she had also seen it listed. With that she called the realtor and requested to see the property. When he asked her “When would you like to see it?” she told him “Now!” So off we went to Gilcrest to look at a church, at 5 P.M.
It was in need of some work. There is a wide ramp and double doors for access, with little to nothing on the main floor. Behind the dais was a small walk-through room. At the other end, near the entrance, is a coat closet on one side, and two confessionals on the other side. This was a Catholic church! The basement had a kitchen, the bathrooms, and a couple of classrooms with some marginal cabinetry. Basically it was an empty shell. As a tinkerer, I could have been in pig heaven! My Lady asked me questions about this and that, and I briefly explained to her the way I would fix or upgrade it. She was impressed by my “Can Do Attitude”.
Afterward we went and looked at a house that was totally stripped and trashed. Whoever had been in it had taken the wiring, plumbing, and heat ducting out and probably recycled it. It was a bit pricey for being trashed, but the real killer was the room layout was not convenient and the rooms were small.
So back to my apartment we went. That was about 10 P.M. We finally went to bed about midnight, and laughed and giggled until 3 A.M. about the church! I told her we had to get to sleep, since I had a headache and bellyache from laughing so much. She concurred.
The next day, while I slept, she was out and about looking at houses again. There was a HUD home that was just put back on the market; the previous buyers had backed out. She went and looked at it, and about that time I awoke. She called me and told me to get over there right away. It turned out to be about six blocks from the apartment in a very nice neighborhood. As I walked in the front door, looking around, my first comment was “Oh my!” She told me that was exactly hers also!
She put a bid on the place, it was accepted in short order, and she requested a quick closing. The end of April she bought the place, and I moved in the end of May. Had to give my apartment manager 30 days notice. She moved in a couple of months later.
She went from living alone in a spacious house, to moving in with somebody with less than 1100 square feet of space. She got rid of a lot of stuff. Since I work nights and sleep days, we organized the house so that she has her bedroom and I have mine. That way we can move about in our respective time zones without disturbing the other.
I had to rebuild the kitchen floor because it had a slope in it from the weight of the refrigerator and water heater. Older house, what do you expect?!?!? Well, "had to" is subjective. We could have lived with it the way it was, with two layers of vinyl flooring, a layer of warped plywood, and the other stuff that was there. But I made a judgement call and dove in. I installed an I-beam under the floor and lifted it up about an inch. From there I finished leveling the floor and installed 16” ceramic tiling. What an educational experience!
The house had been empty for about a year, and previous occupants had made “improvements” that need fixed. Slowly we will get it done.
As for my being a “tinkerer”, I’m in hog heaven!