The Herald Bulletin

June 2, 2013

A home that's a true vocation

By Emma Bowen Meyer
For The Herald Bulletin

ANDERSON, Ind. — While couples often fall in love with a home and pursue ownership (even when the treasure is not on the market), not many people become laser-focused on an abandoned, overgrown mess. But when Dave and Tamara Price saw the empty, foreclosed and vandalized home near Pendleton, they knew they were home.

“We knew from the first time we drove past,” said Tamara, who works in a doctor’s office. “We didn’t want a big house or a lot of ground – and there was only a three-mile radius of Pendleton that we wanted to live in. Dave and I could see past the damage and overgrown lawn and we knew we could make it what we were looking for.”

Since the couple had renovated other homes, they were confident in their abilities and could factor necessary costs. They watched the empty home for seven months before it was placed on the sheriff’s sale. Hoping to snatch it up, they were disappointed to find the bidding began at a “ridiculous” price.

Securing the attention of realtor Dan Bragg after the sale, the Prices learned about the process and that an agent would later be randomly selected to sell the property. Months later, he happened to get the listing and the couple bought it in a matter of days.

In the meantime, the Prices had sold their condo and were living in a small apartment, hoping to land the home of their dreams.

“If we didn’t get this house, we didn’t have a back-up plan,” she said. “We didn’t know where we would go. We really had all our eggs in one basket. This just seemed like the place we were supposed to be. We prayed about it and it all worked out.”

Feel of luxury

Once inside, the couple wasted no time. Almost every wall featured spray paint and ragged holes left by vandals. The kitchen sported cabinets with the doors ripped off. At the time, Dave was working half days as the auto body repair teacher at the vocational school. Also working half days was his friend, Rich Garringer, the teacher of building trades at the same school.

“I can’t say enough good things about Rich,” said Tamara. “If it were not for him, we would have doubled our time and we were anxious to get in here. There are very few people you can let loose in your house and not worry about whether the job will be done right.”

Rich may have been a great deal of help, but Dave (now employed at Riley and Sons Collision Repair) pulled his share of the weight.

“Dave can do almost anything,” she added. “He’s an all around handyman. I come up with ideas and he implements them.”

While the house may not be large, the finishes are high end and feel luxurious. The kitchen sports a stunning backsplash, a spacious eat-in island, beautiful countertops and stainless steel appliances. Hardwood floors stretch through the joined kitchen, eating area and living room.

Tamara’s chic taste is evident in every room. Balance of color, print and textures create interest as well as comfort in the living room. Bright colors and appealing shapes appear around the room in the form of lamps, accent pieces and knick knacks.

Soft shades and satin sheets in the bedroom spark a romantic feel, as does the small crystal chandelier overhead.

“It was a lot of hard work, but it is rewarding to see it come together,” said Tamara. “It’s fulfilling to take something that is such a mess and make it look like a home. We said this is the last one and I think it is. We do really love it here.”

Each week, Emma Bowen Meyer features a Madison County home. If you know of a home that should be showcased, send an e-mail to