Benders receive Pride of Bremen award
BREMEN — Another Pride of Bremen award was given to a deserving Bremen couple. Jordan and Jessica Bender were acknowledged at a recent town council meeting for work done on their home on south Alexander Street.
“My wife was fortunate and wise and bought it when she was 21,” explained Jordan. “It was her first home. It was a great fixer-upper, and she enjoyed turning it into a home. We married six years ago and have been updating the house ever since.”
The Benders live in the home with their daughter Lola (born Aug. 1, 2010) and will soon welcome another little one to the family (in December).
Bremenite Tom Thompson’s oldest, Jessica has lived in Bremen her entire life. Jordan grew up on a dairy farm in Milford, the son of John Bender.
Of the recently recognized home, Jordan Bender said the couple made it their goal to create a larger living room. “The house is a 1920 model, and it has decent footage, but like most houses that age, the rooms are pretty small,” he explained. “As our family grew, and space became tighter, we tried to sell the house (two years ago). We had about 45 showings, and one offer, but ultimately didn’t sell. So that’s when we decided to ‘blow it up.’”
The Benders worked with First Federal to obtain a home improvement loan and then hired general contractor Nate Kauffman (of Kauffman construction). From there, with the “great work” from their contractor, they continued to enlarge the home and next ended up with a new basement, living room, front room, mud room, and bathroom with Bender and family and friends pitching in when they could. “I did as much as I could throughout the process but tried to stay out of the way,” he said. “All in all it was about 1,400 square feet added. We had never had air conditioning in the house, and there was no insulation in the walls. So they did all of that and updated the plumbing and electric, so we basically have a whole new house. You name it; we replaced it. We are blessed and thankful that it turned out the way it did.”
The refurbishment took about four months beginning last November (and finished in February). “We had to live in our little tiny living room throughout, sometimes without heat during the winter, but we managed, and it was worth it,” Bender explained. “We grew closer as a family through it.”
The Benders’ favorite part of the overhaul remained what started it all.
“Our favorite parts are the living room, and the landscaping around the driveway, but honestly everything is better; we love it all,” he said. “There are a lot of our neighbors who have improved their houses around us, and we are just happy to do our part to keep that up. We love were we live, and we think it’s a great location to live and raise kids. We live a very active lifestyle, I do triathlons, and my wife runs half-marathons, and we love the fact we can run and bike a bunch of different routes right outside our door. We take our daughter a lot of times, and its great to live right by the park.”