Whoops We Bought Another House

John Scalzi

What?!? How could this have happened?!?

Well, actually, because the house we bought is directly next door to The Old Church (see said church in the right of this photo), and when it came up on the market, we decided that it would be really useful to have that land for some things that would be beneficial to have at the church, like, as just one example, off-street parking. So we bought it.

The house itself, as well as its detached garage, is, to put it euphemistically, in not-great shape; we are going have it taken down reasonably soon. In its place, aside from the parking in the rear of the property, is likely to be a garden and/or outdoor area for the church, something that will add to the aesthetics of the community, and be both useful and pleasant. If we go the garden route I would like to do something that incorporates local plants and encourages local pollinators and other fauna, but I want to strongly stress that we are right now in very very very very early stages of thinking about this. Please do not hold us to anything just yet.

With the acquisition of this house and its land we now own three adjacent properties in the center of Bradford: This house, The Old Church, and the former parsonage of the church, which was originally going to be sold separately from the church building, and which we acquired to keep the land it was on, and to reduce headaches for making improvements on the church site. We have no ambitions to buy anymore of our little village at this point, and in any event, nothing around this new compound of properties is currently up for sale.

Besides, we will have enough on our hands with what we now already have. We want to make it pretty great. It’s a good project.

— JS

45 Comments on “Whoops We Bought Another House”

  1. So what you’re REALLY saying is there’s a place for us all to sleep when Eclipse 2024 rolls right over your town?

  2. John, do you have a formal name for the community you are building? Something like The Church of the Blasphemous Burrito appeared in my brain… which now is chasing rabbits through parallels to the Astounding Tales bullpen legend of “make it a religion, so you won’t have to pay taxes” tales of yore.

  3. We know the truth. After re-reading “The man who sold the moon” you are building your own rocket ship in an under ground silo.

  4. Hmmm. Low priced house removal? A wine bottle full of gas with a rag stuffed in the top is cheap… 😆

  5. You need to zone for high-density residential, make sure there is enough water and electricity and possibly even put in a subway line. That or expand the surface roads to handle the increase in traffic. Sim City Scalzi should be a hit!

  6. “when is Bradford being renamed Scalziville”

    Roughly about the same timeframe that Bedford Falls will be renamed Pottersville?

  7. I think a bee and butterfly friendly garden with nicely spaced areas for folks to sit and relax sounds fabulous and a wonderful way to encourage your neighbors to be happy you’re there.

  8. Hi John! When you do look for landscape architects, consider Virginia Burt. She’s done beautiful residential and commercial, specializing in healing gardens (like at University Hospitals Cancer a center), often with labyrinths. She’s done quite a bit of work in Cleveland and is wonderful to work with. Disclaimer: she’s a friend, this isn’t some out of nowhere pitch. -Jim

  9. Mark Fletcher: If you look at the map, the Bradford Ohio Railway museum (open April 1st through December 15th, 10AM to 1PM Saturdays and 1PM to 4PM Sundays, season pass $10) is about a quarter mile north of The Scalzi Church Complex.

    So yeah, Where’s Lyle Lanley?

  10. Nice!

    Not sure what the history of that house is, but after it’s gone you might want to test the soil/dirt/whatever is left underneath before you plant anything. Even if you bring in enough good soil to fill the space, you’ll want to know what you’re dumping it on top of.

  11. Hope you recycle as much of that old house as you can. Probably lots of nice hardwood and wainscoting and vintage fixtures.

  12. congratulations! Always nice to have extra room for world/town domination plans to play out. When it comes time to bring it down – I wonder if there are any deconstruction specialists around. If the house is old there could be some valuable old growth dimensional lumber in the framing & roof joists that you can keep out of the landfill.

  13. I see I’m not the first to comment about salvage opportunities in the deconstructed house. I do hope you’ll consider trying to find someone willing to pull out and salvage reusable materials from the old structure. Not only may there be architectural features worth saving, there’s probably some good, old and sturdy framing material and solid woodwork. Perhaps a local carpenter or woodworker or refinisher would like to get their hands on some of it by doing the demo, or you may find opportunities to sell or donate such as to Habitat for Humanity. A carpenter I worked for long ago built most of his new house out of salvaged materials.

  14. As an avid gardener, I’m very much in favor of using the land for a garden. Just in case you need another suggestion for a designer, I’d like to recommend Austin Eischeid. He’s a proponent of naturalistic garden design, based in the Midwest, you can find his website here: https://austineischeid.com/

  15. for those unfamiliar… consider… “The Emerald Burrito of Oz” by John Skipp

    my personal concern is their evil plan is to play out a real life version of Monopoly using actual buildings and torment innocent villagers with ever increasing rents… how’s that for a nightmare version of LARPing?

  16. My garden design urges make grabby fingers at the potential there, but you are way outside of my zone. I hope you find a great garden design partner for the project. The possibilities! Noms.

  17. Get Kameron Hurley to consult with the Church Garden. She has been doing amazing things with her own gardening work. Plus she’s an Ohioan as well!

  18. Did you tell us you had bought the parsonage? My remembery is notoriously suspect, but it’s possible you are not sharing enough of your personal business. Also, yes, slumlord! Wait, I mean affordable housing!

  19. The demesne of the Scalzi dynasty grows! Don’t worry – you should still have plenty of time to research your way out of gavelkind ;-)

  20. I have 1 thought about the house after looking at the interior pics on Zillow, there is definitely a dead cat somewhere in that hoard. I feel like taking a hot shower with special bedbug shampoo just looking at the interior :-)

  21. I took a look at the google street view and the sign in front of the church is very funny! Haha!

  22. I assume you have pretty well formed ideas for what you’re going to do with the church. But if you haven’t, you should check out:


    It used to be a garage in a local town of Lake Orion in Michigan, but an acoustical engineer bought it, refurbished it and it’s not a small concert venue that seats about 100 and it brings a ton of people and some surprisingly well-known acts, local and national, into the town.

  23. Congratulations on your purchase!

    If you’re thinking of a native plant and pollinator garden, I’d simply like to suggest that you can garden for fireflies, just as you can for birds, bees, and monarch butterflies.

    On the birds note, you might find Doug Tallamy’s work on growing bird-friendly habitat to be worth looking up. He’s all over YouTube and the web. He’s more about trees than herbs, but if you’ve got space, you can do a lot of good for your Other neighbors.

  24. The “whoops” makes it sound like this was an accidental purchase??

    I’m picturing the scene:
    JS: Krissy, I’m going to buy you a hose for the garden.
    … later….
    JS: Whoops, the “you” migrated inside the middle of the hose. [U + hose -> house]

  25. I think once the house is demolished you’re going to use the extra space so that you can launch small cows over the battlements of the church.

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