4 min read

It's looking like June!

The end is nigh. (That's good.)
It's looking like June!
The azalea is blooming in the front yard of 615 Sunset Lane.

I don't mean that the garden at 615 is looking like June. Fortunately, the garden is looking like early May, which is a good thing because it means I can keep up with what is springing back from the big cleanup.

Freed from the prior jungle, the azalea out front is doing beautifully, and we have tulips popping up in various places. The neighbor on the other side of the shared driveway and I are particularly pleased that the mint along the driveway is back; we both plunder that regularly. (I mean, it's not like you can kill mint.)

This morning, I walked into 615 to have a look at progress and was struck by how the light had changed so beautifully in the living room because the mature burning bush on the south side is now leafed out. The room now captures the best feel of our Oakwood neighborhood, exemplifying why I made a suggestion a few years back that we change the name of the neighborhood to "The Garden District."

The living room this morning.

Yes, the living room is full of construction stuff, but all of it is signs of progress.

And I guess here's where I reveal that I buried the lead: Progress is going so well, it looks like we'll be ready to put 615 on the market in early June!

On Monday, an insulation expert is expected to complete the refilling of insulation in the ceiling and walls of the back bedroom/office on the first floor. That will allow us to wrap up the building permit for that part of the house. The framer will likely also work on Monday on the heated chamber in the garage.

The drywaller expects to complete his finishing next week. All of the drywall is roughed in, so he just needs to tape, patch, and sand. The tiler also expects to be done with both bathrooms late next week or early the week after. He's gotten going this week, including tearing out more of the flooring in the second floor bathroom and installing new subflooring:

Before his arrival, I primed both new bathrooms (first and second floor – we're not redoing the third bathroom – in the basement – beyond paint) and also gave the ceilings a coat of flat white ceiling paint.

With the clean new drywall around the tub, I'm especially excited to see how the tile "mural" on the wall behind the bathtub is going to look.

This tile will be the basis for a "mural" design on the back wall of the tub -- just a decorative feature to give the new bathroom some extra charm.

Perhaps most importantly, the Tennessee rehab-expert work crew is now expected to arrive on May 19 to stay for a week. They will get the cabinetry painted (for the pieces that need painting) and get the cabinetry installed in the bathrooms and kitchen. As time permits, they'll also be doing trim and the like. In the meantime, I'll continue with priming and painting.

So then it's just finishing up the electrical, plumbing, and trim, all of which is pretty simple, and then making everything tidy. I still need to contact a masonry specialist to look into replacing the cracked front walkway, but that doesn't need to hold us up for a listing.

No, I haven't figured out a price yet. I'm still waiting to see the final costs on a few things and am watching the market to see what comps are going for. Prices have been surprisingly high in the last few weeks, perhaps because stock in this part of town is so low.

Last night, I attended the East Lansing Zoning Board of Appeals meeting because I serve as a commissioner on that body. My fellow commissioner caught me afterwards to tell me that she remembers my house very well from her childhood, because she used to be taken care of sometimes by the Washburns, the original owners of our home!

I think she said she is 76 years old now and was 6 or 7 at the time. She had lived on Forest Street, one block over. I asked her about the tree in our front yard, a towering Norway Spruce, because it would have been planted around the time she remembers being at our house. She said she remembered it and enjoyed watching it grow so tall over the years.

She already knew about our adventure with 615 and told me her morning walking group keeps talking about how much better the house looks with the front yard cleaned up after falling into neglect. I'm looking forward to soon showing her both our house and 615!

Here's a photo of our own house's spring garden to brighten your day: