The previous owner of the House of 42 Doors, who is an American, is married to an Australian, and after many, many years of living in the U.S., they moved to Australia. Similar to our situation when we moved to Ireland, they chose to keep their house in the U.S. and rent it out. In retrospect, I understand why. A house is something that people really get attached to and just giving it up to go somewhere completely different is a lot of change. Having the house to potentially go back to is comforting.
At least until you get renters into the house. Our first tenant was not a success. He didn't pay rent for about five months, broke the lease and then skipped the state. He didn't do any permanent damage, but he did some things that we did not like. I won't enumerate, since this blog is about the House of 42 Doors and not our last house.
From what we have seen and heard from neighbors, the renters in the House of 42 Doors were not a success either. Their kids wrote on the fireplace brick with chalk. The kids used markers to write on the newel posts of the stairs. They installed a satellite dish on the garage and ran cable into the house by drilling directly through the bricks of the second story. Not content with those holes, they then drilled another one through the solid, red oak, wood floor to run the cable up from the basement. They had a cat and the closet they kept the litter box in still smells a bit musty. One neighbor said that when she visited there was cat pee standing on the wood floor. It makes me almost faint thinking about it.
The very fact that Midwesterners would even hint that the people living here were inept implies they must have been real knuckleheads. Say what you will about Midwesterners, but they do cling tightly to the "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all" philosophy.
My impression is that there was a short conversation about them buying the House of 42 Doors until they saw the winter heating bills and lived in the house for awhile. Then at the end of the year they moved out and it went on the market, where it sat and sat and sat for two years.
Like us, the previous owner did not move everything over to Australia and what better place to store the leftovers then at the house? So he built a storeroom in the attic and kept a few things there. The funny thing about keeping stuff in storage is that after awhile you forget what you set aside, and you realize it really wasn't important anyway.
The upshot of all of this is that we got a lot of stuff with the House of 42 Doors. Some it is cool and some of it is junk. I'm going to try and post more pictures for awhile and show some of the stuff we inherited. The first is a real gem. It looks a bit like a satellite dish.
It is actually an old space heater. The plug had been cut off from it, so I wired on a new one and plugged it in. It still works. Of course it is a huge fire hazard, especially with kids around, but I like that it is functional AND pretty. There's some nice detailing around the base of the space heater, and of course, the copper is gorgeous.
I'm not really sure what I'm going to do with it now. Maybe I can put it in storage up in the attic...