Ok, I think maybe it's just time to make a long story short! We have begun work on the cottage and there are so many fun projects and ideas I want to share, so I think I'll just get to the point.
In early 2011, we decided to check on that one bedroom cottage with the out of town owner and foundation issues. We hadn't seen anyone there all winter and began to wonder if the sale we thought had happened fell through. So, we checked the tax records, and low and behold-same owner. We double checked with the county, but they also showed no record of a sale. So we decided to take a chance and write a letter to the owner. It took some time, but eventually we came to the conclusion that the cottage was worth it (the owner wrote back quickly, but his asking price and what we wanted to offer were way different, so at first, we back tracked and decided to keep looking). We did look at several other places in the mean time, which only helped cement our choice. After months of back and forth, lawyer and contract snags, we finally closed on the place in late September. It was a VERY odd transaction. We mowed the lawn and did the landscaping and maintainace on the cottage all summer long, beginning in July. In fact, we received the keys from the owner's brother's ex-wife (figure that one out!) in July as well, so we had access to the inside of the cottage during that time too (although we really just came in to use the fridge which had been left on anyway). We weren't even at the closing! I will probably add some details from this unusual sumemr later, but like I said, I want to get to the fun stuff. I mean, I'm working on cleaning up an old steamer type trunk and making curtains from drop cloths (looks rather like sail cloth) and I'd love to show someone all these fun things!