...so after a lifetime of living in Northern California I decided to move to the Desert in 2007 just before I turned 50.
After looking and looking at different Palm Springs properties in April, 2007 a friend suggested I look in Rancho Mirage. Just up from a home I fell in love with 2 years prior I found 70610 Sunny Lane.
Although the home had had no deferred maintenance done since it was built in the 1970s, doors were kicked in, closet doors missing, pool equipment lacking, etc., I thought "this is the home I want to bring good energy to and give it love"
There was one of this, one of that, broken irrigation, missing irrigation. The lawn looked horrible. There was a huge spoon cactus that I had some guys repurpose--fire ants galore.
I set out installing the irrigation myself then had a gardener lower the left side of the front so it matched the right side better. I love mesquite--I planted it myself. I love horse tail...so I had a contractor remove the T 1-11 siding to the left of the garage and stucco the front of the home for consistency. I hand planted and set up irrigation for the Mexican pencil cactus along the front wall for a consistent look. I repurposed all the cactus in the front to neighbors for free.
Because walking over them was treacherous. I handpainted the whole home an earth tone, removing the blue/yellow/pink/white colors the gardener had painted it. There was a Winnie the Pooh, 500 pound, fountain in the corner of the yard--I repurposed it on Craigslist. It took 4 men to remove it. I removed the cypress trees and evaporative cooler that was rotted in the garage window, myself, and had a contractor seal and stucco the wall after. I laid cement tile and irrigation and had gorgeous horsetail along the wall.
Ivy, cypress, rotting wood, dead evaporative cooler...nothing had been done since the home was built it seemed
Living room when I bought the home
The stove didn't work, the dishwasher didn't work, the sink was a cast iron white/leaking monstrosity. The refrigerator temperature was questionable. Everything needed to go
It took weeks to get the acoustic ceilings clean and smooth, removal wall paper in most of the rooms. One room, a craft room off the dining area, was painted yellow/navy blue/bright green. I handpainted the inside of the home myself--it took 3 coats of paint just to cover the garish, bright colored walls. The bedroom at the end of the hall--bright lime green!! The room next to that had deep periwinkle with winnie the pooh drawings all over the walls.
Meeting the "neighbors" and the beginning of NIMBY