Hellaburbia
Hellaburbia
Family Stories in the Island City

Our Hellaburban Home

Drifting Sand. Change within change. It's how we roll. Fall 2017.

Drifting Sand. Change within change. It's how we roll. Fall 2017.

 
 

In 2011... 

P and I bought a ninety-six year-old bungalow, at the drop-dead bottom of the Hellaburban housing market. At the time Young S was in preschool, I was pregnant with Young T and doing some freelance writing, P was employed full time, and hey, how hard could this be?

Let's buy a house, we said. We can fix it up, we said. Sweat equity for the win, we said....

Before moving in, we paid to replace the roof, wiring, plumbing, sewer lateral, and water heater. A seismic engineer came in to inspect our foundation and draft a plan for retrofitting. We went a year without a furnace until we could qualify for a rebate program that would allow us to install a hydronic heating system.

On our own, we have removed blighted trees and several tons of concrete and soil. We've dug three french drains so far, and installed a sump pump. While we have a lot of concrete to remove, and ever more Bermuda grass, We also have begun planting our perennial food garden and keeping chickens for eggs. Our nano-farm contains nine fruit trees, two berry patches, a 4'x12' garden bed, and a small flock of chickens.