Not every dream home features a belfry, but ours did

Our story so far: We found the home of our dreams, only it was a 126-year-old Methodist church that needed a lot of work, so much work, in fact, our friends thought we had bats in our belfry.

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Chapter 3

The belfry had the potential to be our first money pit.

A belfry is the part of a bell tower or steeple in which bells are housed.

Ask not for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee.

Bells toll. Pay the toll. Bad things take a toll. Was there a message here?

Originally, the seller wanted the bell excluded from the sale of the church building. But with a little bit of research on eBay, my husband convinced the congregation that removing the bell would probably cost more than it was worth. So when they accepted our offer, which included the bell, we were thrilled to become its new owners. But it was going to exact a toll.

Our “rooted” belfry was in visibly poor condition, especially the roof just beneath the octagonal bell tower.

Without any inspection, we knew the belfry had problems. The seller had disclosed it was “rooted.” We hoped it was “rooted,” actually. My husband, ever the insurance agent, had visions the tower would fall down and we’d be liable for killing someone. Being solidly rooted is what we wanted in a good belfry.

But the roof of the belfry was indeed problematic, which was obvious even from 25 feet away on the ground. Shingles were curling all around the edges, and a piece of flashing was tearing away.

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Tomorrow: A closer inspection is in order. Click here to read.

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