Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Another House With Issues

But of course, what can you expect when you are working with a low price range, at least for the size house we need? So here is the report on yesterday's house:

The property was perfect. 2 acres, some open, some meadow-like, a stream in one corner, a small barn with room to put both the car and the van inside (no doors, but at least I wouldn't have to clean snow off in winter) and also the riding mower. Pretty views, not too close to the road, and I can't even tell you how excited Grandpa was at the thought of his boys being so close by. There is an in ground pool which has been kept up, so we could use it (not sure what insurance and upkeep would run on that per year, though); and they are leaving behind a nice wooden swingset.

The downstairs of the house was also pretty nice and roomy. A living room, a smaller room for a family room or office/den, a dining room big enough to fit my table in with all the leaves in, plus a kitchen that was a decent size. There were two sets of stairs, the main set in the front of the house, and another small "servants' stairs" by the kitchen. I have always liked the idea of 2 sets of stairs in a house. Perhaps in reality that would be annoying. I can see the boys racing around the house in a big circle, LOL.

Unfortunately, the upstairs has major problems with organization of rooms. The two front bedrooms are nice and roomy, no problem there, but what should be the third bedroom has to be a walk through to get to the bathroom at the back of the house. There is really no way to put up a wall to enclose it without cutting the room right in half. As I said, the bathroom is at the back of the house, and it was pretty gross. It only had a shower, no tub, which is a problem for at least 3 of my boys. It was pretty mildewy, too; no ventilation. It would have to be redone. Next to the bathroom was a tiny room that really is only big enough for a sewing room or a huge walk in closet. Troyer would probably be willing to have a tiny space like that just for the chance to have his own room, lol. So essentially, there are really only two true bedrooms.

Another big problem was the roof. I walked around the outside of the house and could see at least two huge holes in the soffit under the roof. It is a metal roof, and needs to be replaced. I'm not sure how much is leaking in but holes are not good, lol. Also the windows are a mixture of new replacements, old replacements, and original (and keep in mind this house is over 100 years old!). I think 2 rooms have new vinyl replacements. I didn't count, but there are a lot of windows, and most need to be replaced. Finally, the cellar under the house, accessible only from the outside by a set of very steep steps, is unfinished stone, and it does get water in a hard rain. I have no idea if it requires repair or how to divert the water so it does not leak again.

I asked about heating costs, and they are very high. I think windows would go a long way toward remedying that, but we couldn't afford to do much with the windows after taking care of the roof and foundation, and the bathroom. It would be a few years before we could get all the windows done.
That said, it would be a great investment, if we were willing to fix it up right. But is it a money pit? What kind of problems would we find while trying to fix the obvious ones? Can the house be repaired or would it be a case of needing to take it down to studs and starting over? Would I *want* to live in a house under constant construction? (in other words, do I look crazy??? lol)
I am really really hoping that the perfect house for us just hasn't come on the market yet, and that when it does we will be in there first with an offer. I keep in mind that our house was only on the market 5 days. So maybe the perfect house for us will be a similar story; on the market and sold (to us!) in less than a week. It just isn't out there for us to see yet. Let's hope, lol.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When the time comes, the right house will present itself. I sold my house on a Monday, and by Tuesday afternoon, I had made an offer on a house that had gone on the market just three hours earlier. I have been in the house now since 1996, and I love it.
Buying and selling homes has a way of working itself out, but you WILL find the perfect house for you and your family.