Living Lofty Downtown

By Matt Porter

September 22, 2012 Updated Sep 23, 2012 at 9:49 AM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) When Sylvia Kerber got talked into building a loft downtown by her husband Wayne, she thought she was trading down from her family home in Vestal.

"We thought, let's do something, let's downsize.," laughed Kerber, "So we found this building, and we started out project."

At $45,000, the Court Street building was a steal, but in rough shape.

"This building was in extremely bad shape, it was run down, it was full of garbage," she said, "[My husband] saw it completely finished, designed it, and put it on paper for me and I went okay, I can see it."

Three years and $250,000 later, the house was transformed.

Kerber wasn't always sure her husband's dream would come true.

"When he took out the floors between three and four, that scared me to death because I didn't undestand the concept," said Kerber pointing to the ceiling, "I thought the building would collapse."

For visitors to the more than 150 year-old house, they were shocked.

"You couldn't pay me to live in a loft because of what I thought it would be," said Sharon Fellows who came from the Town of Apalachin, "And then I walked in here and said 'Oh my gosh, this is amazing!'"

Kerber said much of her new home remains from the original building.

The Kerbers don't know the value of their new home, they've never had it appraised.

But the pair said they know its true value.

"We know what it's worth to us, and we're very happy here. And we'll be here for a long time I hope," said Kerber.

Taking one city's trash, and turning it into treasure.