Family is home again after incredible series of events

Credit: Eric Turner / KTVB

The Gallups are happy to be home again.

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by Bonnie Shelton

Bio | Email | Follow: @BonnieKTVB

KTVB.COM

Posted on February 14, 2014 at 5:44 PM

BOISE -- Sometimes we lose things that are important to us. But if it's meant to be, life has a way of returning those things when we least expect it.

That's why one Boise family is home again.

"We would have races down the hallway. It was just a loving home and my grandparents are such loving people. It showed," said Emily Gallup of Boise.

Her grandparents, Dale and Myrtle, bought the modest Boise home at 3009 Sunset Avenue in the 1950s. Emily's grandfather spent his life working on it.

"He built on all the rest of it so it's not just a home it's grandpa's home, grandma and grandpa's home," added Gallup.

When Emily and her husband Josh first married, they lived in the attached apartment her grandfather built.

But after decades of memories, Emily's grandparents and the home at 3009 Sunset Avenue started showing signs of age.

LOSING THE HOME

Two years ago, Emily and her family made the tough decision to move her grandparents into an assisted living center.

"They were diagnosed with Alzheimer's. My grandpa first and then my grandma," said Gallup.

"As the house was deteriorating, they were deteriorating," added Emily's husband, Josh Gallup.

The home was in such disrepair, a bank wouldn't even finance a loan for Emily and her husband to buy it.

"We just were devastated," said Emily.

NEW LIFE

That's where Ryan Farr comes in.

The Salt Lake City investor often flips bank owned homes. When he purchased the property at 3009 Sunset Avenue last year, he had no intention of fixing it up.

The home was so rundown, he thought it should be bulldozed. But after stepping inside, he says something changed his mind.

"Just the overwhelming feeling that it was a home of love and that I was to restore it so that it could be a home of love again," said Farr.

Over the next five months, Farr worked on the house. He removed mold, restored windows and floors, all with the feeling that he was doing it for a family.

He just didn't know which family, until he got a letter in the mail.

THE LETTER

"Dear Mr. and Mrs. Seller," Emily Gallup wrote. "Please accept my most sincere gratitude for the work that you have done on the house at 3009 Sunset."

Emily had written the letter to an unknown seller who had fixed up her beloved family home. Her mother had driven down Sunset Avenue in Boise on a whim and couldn't believe what she saw.

"My first question to my mom was, 'do the floors still creak?' because grandpa put all of these floors in and Josh and I love the creaky floors," Emily Gallup said with tears in her eyes.

The creaky floors are still there and that's not all Ryan Farr left as he found it. Personal details including family hand prints in the concrete in the backyard, were spruced up and put on display.

Plus, bay windows Emily's grandfather installed in the kitchen and hand stenciling in the garage. The list goes on and on.

"I just felt it was important to keep as much as I could," said Farr.

MAKING AN OFFER

In the letter, Emily mentioned she and her husband had made an offer on the house, although it was much lower than the asking price. It's all they could afford.

Farr's response shocked them.

"There's more to life than making money," said Farr.

"When he knew it was these people he said you know what, I don't want to consider another offer," added Agents with a Smile Realtor Barb Dopp.

Farr accepted the lower bid. It was just enough to break even.

The Agents with a Smile team also absorbed thousands in closing costs so the Gallups could move home again.

HOME AGAIN

"It gives me the feel of my grandparents," said Emily Gallup after unpacking boxes in the family home.

The timing of the move proved that maybe some things really are meant to be.

"Through this round (of trying to purchase the home) we found out we're pregnant again with twins and it is nothing but God's hand," said Emily Gallup.

Emily and her husband can't wait to raise their children on Sunset Avenue. She says when she told her grandparents that their home belonged to family again, they were overwhelmed with happiness.

Unfortunately, while we were putting this story together, we learned that Emily's grandfather, Dale Christensen, had passed away. He was 85 years old.

The Gallups say his legacy of love will live on through the family home he helped build.

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