After James and Debra decided to get married, and had set a wedding date, next came the ordeal of looking for a place to live. We began looking at apartments in Spartanburg and rental property. Grandpa comes home one night and tells me that one of the employees that he works with is getting a divorce and that their house in Roebuck is for sale.
James and I set up an appointment with the homeowners to look at the house and property. The house was about 5 minutes from Granny and Grandpa. It was on a dead end street with almost 2 acres of property. The house was made of brick, with the eves and overhang painted 3 different colors. One end of the house did not have finished eves or overhang. There was a dirt driveway that led to a side deck that was in need of great repair. The railing on the deck was loose and unstable, the flooring on the deck had several places that needed to be replaced, not sure if it was safe to walk on or not.
James and I attempted to go to the front door, the porch had brick laid on the outer walls, but the center was hollow (except for trash and on old bicycle) with a piece of lumber laid across the opening leading to the front door. The path did not look safe so we retracted to the side deck.
David opened the sliding glass door that lead to the side deck. We came into the house, an overwhelming smell of kerosine filled the air. Apparently the heat was not functioning and they were heating with a kerosene heater and a wood stove that was attached to the fireplace.
James and I looked around the living room, a large room that went all the way across the house, and stepped up into the kitchen. All of the areas were open, which was unexpected in 1988. The entire house will covered in old, shag yellow carpeting. There were windows that were broken out and David and Karen had about 8 cats that would climb in through the broken window in the hall bathroom and could not figure out how to get out of the house. The cats did not have a litter box and would use the corners of each room as a litter box.
James and I went into the kitchen, a large eat in room with solid wooden cabinets and a formica countertop. There were containers and pots full of food in all areas of the kitchen. Debra opened the stove, to have a look and found a nest with a dead mouse in the nest.
James and I went down the hall, saw a washer/dryer hook up in the closet in the hall and a full bathroom in the hall. Since the bathroom window was opened, there was water damage to the wall and flooring in the hall bathroom. James and Debra then ventured into the bedroom on the left, it was filled with paneling that had large holes in the walls. David and Karen’s sons used the bedroom as a wrestling room and they would intentionally hit the walls and knock holes in the paneling.
James and I then went into the bedroom on the right, it had sheetrock on the walls, also with some holes in the sheetrock. There was also a broken window in this bedroom, there was water damage on the wall and flooring that went into the closet. Then we went to the master bedroom, also a large room that went all the way across the end of the house. There was a small room off of the master that contained a small bathroom and a closet.
James and Debra made an offer on the house that was about 1/3 of the value, due to all of the work that was needed on the house. The offer was accepted and we began renovations on the house in November 1988. At the time that we began renovations, David was still living in the house and was asked to get his belongings and move so that we could continue to renovations. After a week of requests, David moved up the street to his parents house. David left all of his belongings in the house, including dishes full of food, furniture and clothes. Granny and Grandpa assisted with the move and we all loaded the items in the back of grandpas truck and left it in Karens driveway in Moore.
James and Debra painted the entire inside of the house, repainted and re-blew the ceilings, and corrected all of the outside soffet and facia issues. we replaced all of the carpet, the sub-flooring that was damaged and replaced the broken windows. We also replaced all of the carpeting in the entire house and cleaned the outside of the house. James and Debra also replaced all of the flooring in both bathrooms and the kitchen.
The renovations also included refinishing the kitchen cabinets. James and Debra worked every night until after midnight on the house and continued to work their full time jobs. After 3 weeks of renovations, James and Debra got married in the house on December 3, 1988.