I mean you, of course. Welcome to Savannah Bungalow! This is a blog about life in a 1920 bungalow in Savannah, GA. I’m a recovering Brooklynite (originally from Pittsburgh, yinz) and live here now with my husband and our one-eyed basset hound, Tilly. Given that our house is almost a hundred years old, it has required a good deal of work since we moved here in September of 2015. It still needs a lot of work — most notably a kitchen as we are, at present, living with an empty, scary room where the kitchen used to be. More on that to come…
(A photo from our first five minutes of homeownership!)
Rather than comment on why I’m standing so strangely here, I’ll just tell you the story behind how we came to Savannah. It started when my parents moved here from Pittsburgh a few years ago. My mom, who’s super cute and bears a striking resemblance to Suzanne Somers, had decided well before — not ever having been to Savannah at that point in her life — that she needed to live here. Then, over the course of something like fifteen years, through sheer force of will, she convinced my stepdad he too wanted to retire here and made it happen. Fast forward, and they are happily settled into Southern life. I started coming down to visit them and fell in love with the place myself. I then proceeded to do what, apparently, the women in my family do. I convinced my husband through devious mind-control techniques and sheer force of will that he also wanted to live here. Viola!
Sort of, anyway. Our wedding was on Skidaway Island, near Savannah, last May, when we were still living in Brooklyn. That’s us in the photo below. Shortly thereafter my husband was offered a really exciting job. We decided to take the plunge and, upping the ante, buy our first home. Coming from NYC, this was especially exciting.
Full disclosure: I had been itching to get out of NYC for all sorts of reasons. It was never really my scene. I say that knowing, as an art historian, it’s blasphemy. (I mean, they have SO MUCH ART!) But I longed to be somewhere a little less hectic, where it didn’t seem like everyone was competing for the same finite pool of resources.
About the house: When Manny and I arrived in Savannah together, we met with our real estate agent our first day in town. We were #serious about finding a place.
(A photo from the move. We wanted Tilly to drive, but she didn’t seem keen.)
And then it happened! That thing people tell you about when you say you’re buying a house: “You’ll know.” The bungalow was the second house we walked into that day. Upon entering, my husband looked at me and said, “THIS is it.” He had seen no more than the front porch and the living room. But within a month we were inside for the long haul. The rest is history.
Except that the house needed a lot of work. As I said above, it’s old. But we were (still are!) newlyweds and were SO FREAKING EXCITED to have keys to our very own house that we might have overlooked a few details. Like the holes in the walls. Like the fact that half of the lights didn’t work. Like that plaid rug in the sunroom that stank of age-old dog pee. Looking back, of course we didn’t really notice these things on our walk-throughs. Our house had character, y’all!
There she is, in the photo above: The Plaza. That image is taken from the 1916 ad by Aladdin, a made-to-order kit-house catalogue company like Sears-Roebuck. The Plaza was listed for $1,499.10. Houses are affordable in Savannah to this day, but they don’t come that cheap anymore. Granted, even back then, when one bought a house from Aladdin or Sears, you needed to have the land to put it on. Still.
I’ll get to a few of the rooms we’ve renovated so far and add updates about our major kitchen reno and the landscaping and other fun stuff down the road. For now, I’ll just mention that the house has pretty much the same footprint — no major structural additions — but for the fact that the wrap around porch you can see in the ad above has been closed in. I know, I know. WHY? But it’s now the sunroom and that’s pretty great too. We still have small front and back porches and the closed-in sunroom gives us extra living space. Plus, our neighbor, Mr. Wilson (yes, his real name), has the exact same house as us but without the closed-porch, so we can check out his side porch whenever we’re feeling cheated.
That’s all for now, I guess. I’m excited to share more pictures and probably a few horror stories in posts to come. Thanks for stopping by!