The Devil Queen

How my wife and I sold our souls to the Queen Anne Victorian we tried to save.

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Location: Crow Mountain, Arkansas, United States

Synopsis: This is a cautionary tale. A seriously disturbed couple find the charming, old ruin of a Queen Anne Victorian in Russellville, Arkansas, and buy it for $1.00. They tore the roof off, cut it in half, and had it moved to some land they owned sixteen miles away because they didn't know any better. Since then, they have hired and fired contractors, had all of their tools stolen, re-wired, re-plumbed, insulated, and essentially rebuilt the entire house. Their only problem is that after four years it still isn't finished. Now they are tired, broke, and wonder what in the hell it is they've done to themselves. And, it's haunted.
(Last updated on April 3, 2008)

Press: Russellville Courier Article - December 2003, HGTV website article, AP story - October 2006, and Victorian Homes Magazine - February 2008 (link coming soon).
Art: From time to time, I receive requests for my art. If you would like to look at more of my art, go to The Failed Artist. If you would like to buy my art, email me. I am more than happy to answer any questions you might have. Thanks!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Finances In Pictures

Here is the short version (in pictures) of why we're dumping the Devil Queen after this torrid romance of ours.

First, our finances before the Devil Queen:

While not exactly a lush jungle of vegetation, there are signs of life in the landscape. In the year leading up to the Devil Queen, I'd started a new, better-paying job, we'd refinanced our starter house, and were on our way to paying off all our debits. We'd invested in some land and started a retirement fund. Things were looking good.

And, here is how our finances are now:

No obvious signs of life. Just despair and the rats who gnaw upon it.

Here is a figure to consider. Admittedly, this is an approximation, but over the years we've spent an average of $3,750 a month on this house. And, we weren't working on it for the entire time we've had it. We burned through over $30,000 just getting it moved and set up on the mountain. I can't remember the exact time scale, but there was a $20,000 week in there somewhere.

Anyhow, a more detailed explanation of our decision soon will follow if you have the stomach for it.

Really though, what the fuck were we thinking?


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9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm reading through all your post archives. Sometimes I'm appalled on your account, sometimes I cheer! But always I'm amazed at what you and your family have accomplished, and deeply appreciative of your love of old houses. I hope that somehow you end up keeping the Queen. It seems terrible to have to walk away now! - Cathy

7:38 PM  
Blogger John said...

Thank you for the well wishes Cathy, I appreciate them.

8:14 AM  
Anonymous Molly said...

Mother of a toddler, wife of a musician here, starting our 2nd year in a 1920-ish stucco Tudor in need of lots of work. Not Devil Queen level of work, but enough. Thus I found DQ, Petch, etc.

I'm frightened for you, but I also know that after this chapter is complete, everything in your life will be gravy, EVERYTHING.

cannium I'll be in touch about a house portrait; did this post suggest what I fear it did, that you've sunk close to 400K in this adventure?

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