No one can accuse Linda and Jerry Bryant of not having vision. When the couple first saw their 3,900-square-foot Town Creek house last year, it resembled something out of a scary science fiction novel.


          “The swimming pool was black and green, and the rest of the house matched it,” Linda says, laughing and adding: “And my demolition men would not touch the microwave because of the grease stalactites on it!”


          It was, she adds for measure, “filthy, filthy, filthy.” And as if that weren’t enough, the house was also quite outdated.


          “It still had harvest gold poured marble countertops with shell-shaped sinks. It had that popcorn stuff on the ceiling with a little glitter in it. There was linoleum in the kitchen and filthy Wedgwood blue carpeting throughout the rest of it.”


          If you’re getting the impression that this house had some issues, you’re right. But, seven dump truck loads and a ton of work and patience later, the house is virtually issue-free.


          The transformation started when the Bryants moved into the four-bedroom, five-bath house last July.


          “The first morning I woke up here, I realized that we had about 15 men working on the roof. Two weeks before we moved in, they’d taken out all the bathrooms except one that we were using upstairs,” Linda says. “I suddenly realized I was going to have to share that bathroom with 15 men.”


          Within a short time, Linda had a Portapotty delivered to the site. But having a bathroom to herself was one of her only luxuries for about four months.


          “We were camping out until about Halloween,” she says. “But that, I mean we had a bed, a microwave, a 15-inch refrigerator and a bar sink. And we had lots of workman and lots of sawdust.”


          While the Bryants made due with the basics, those workmen got to work, putting in new tile showers and tile floors in all the bathrooms. They put in two new bathtubs, all new toilets, and replaced the harvest gold with marble and granite countertops in the bathrooms.


          Elsewhere in the house they added new carpet, new hardwoods and new crown molding. They took the glittery popcorn off the ceilings and also added a new roof, gutters and replaced some windows.


          The kitchen, Linda says, was completely gutted, save for a few original cabinets.


“We have new countertops, a new backsplash, a new sink and all new appliances,” she says. “And we added new lighting everywhere in the house.”


          So with all the livable houses for sale in our neighborhood, why did the couple choose what a friend of theirs called “a dog of a house,” one that would require so much work?


          “Because we’re just really particular about things,” Linda says. “If we had bought a house that was in good shape, but that had gold carpeting in one bedroom and green in the living room, and perfectly wonderful tile that didn’t go with any of our stuff, we would have done just as much to it, but we would have felt bad about it.


“This one needed us,” she says.


The house is also two blocks from their son and daughter-in-law and six blocks from their daughter and son-in-law, who between them have four children.


“It’s so close to the kids, it’s great,” Linda says. “Now we can run and pick up a seven-year-old from school if the two-year-old is still asleep.”


Of the house itself, Linda says: “We love it. It is really wonderful. But we are glad that it’s over and we don’t have to do it again.” 


And, though this is the third Lake Highlands home they’ve owned, she swears it is their last.


          “We’re here till they take us to the home,” she says with a laugh.