First things first…

One of the first things people ask when we show them our future home is “how on earth did you find this place?” Despite being only 1.5 miles from our office building at Eastern Michigan University, the house is down a dead-end dirt road that many locals don’t seem to know exists. Turtle House was a foreclosure, but luckily was listed on several mainstream real estate sites. Being a real estate junkie, I’d been intrigued by it for a while (three acres! on the river!), but I’d been scared off by the foreclosure status and by the fact that it looked to be in such rough shape.

In May 2010, while still living in Columbus, OH, I met up with my mom and sister in Michigan while they hunted for an apartment for Diana in Ann Arbor. I decided to bite the bullet and just drive out to look at that intriguing three-acre listing. I almost chickened out when I reached the end of the dirt road and saw this:

The road appears to crumble to pieces after a hilariously unnecessary stop sign. I steeled my nerves (and downshifted), kept going, and saw perhaps the ugliest house in the world:

It wasn’t exactly love at first sight — until I looked around at my surroundings:

And hey, the river side wasn’t THAT ugly, right? Right?

I met up with my mom and sis babbling about the absolutely beautiful property I’d seen — how it was peaceful and secluded and surrounded by nature, but so close to town! And maaaybe I neglected to mention that the house itself appeared to have been abandoned in the late ’70s… Love is blind, right?

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