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House Hunting--Sort Of

April 27th, 2016 at 07:10 pm

We looked at a couple of houses today, both old farmhouses. One we really liked the property, but the house, while good in overall square footage, was not so good in the usability of the footage. The one downstairs bedroom was too small to hold both our bed and dresser and the closet was pretty makeshift.

And one side of the upstairs was a foot higher than the other end, so a very noticeable slope. It also had two cracked windows, some bad siding (holes, or half missing pieces), what looked like a giant rust stain, and a roof that was only partially new and the rest looked bad. The shop smelled like mold.

It had cherry trees, apple trees, plum trees, and walnut trees, plus blackberries, and plenty of cleared land, really just what I want in land. Just that house was a major no-go. Doesn't matter how perfect the land is if the house is not good. There's always a reason why a house sits on the market that long.

The second house we looked at needs a new roof, new paint, has no hood for the gas stove in the kitchen, and I think the wood stove was installed without a permit, since there is no tile or heat shield under it or behind it. It is up on legs, but I think it still has to have the tile and heat shield. Which would be easy enough to do. Otherwise we really like the house. It was a craftsman and was spacious, the stairway to the second floor was wide and had a good banister on one side and a hand rail on the other. The downstairs bathroom had a handicap accessible shower and had an extra long bathtub with jets.

The land was really nice and next to the river. While it is legally in the flood zone, it hasn't flooded in that area in 150 years. It will flood half a mile away, so we might not be able to get out once in a while, but it doesn't get to the property. So if we did decide on it, we would have to still carry flood insurance. Two of the outbuildings are falling down and would have to come down eventually. The paddock and horse shelter is overgrown with blackberry brambles and would require a machete to be cleared and then who knows what it would take to get the roots out.

But there is a lot of cleared land. 3 acres of it are rented for another year and in potatoes. Unfortunately they use pesticide. Plenty of it is not in use, though, and not been sprayed. It's 6.9 acres, so we could work around it.

Still, there are a lot of other houses to look at. And we are only getting a jump at looking, since the contract announcement isn't made until the end of the week. But if we did find something that was actually perfect, we'd be able to jump on it if the contract goes to DH's company. Or it could be a couple months of looking. Who knows? I won't pick something I don't think we can handle.

6 Responses to “House Hunting--Sort Of”

  1. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    How fun!

    Our house has a wood stove in the basement that doesn't have a heat shield (pointed out by the inspector) - so, it probably didn't have a permit either to be installed.

  2. LuckyRobin Says:

    Probably not, but your state might not require it. WA has the toughest wood stove regulations in the country and no bank or credit union would allow a loan until it was permitted and brought up to code. A permit after the fact is $500.

  3. Frugaltexan75 Says:

    Oh wow. Our inspector mentioned it should be done, but didn't say it could derail the loan. That would seriously stink.

  4. klarose Says:

    I picked an old falling down farmhouse solely for the land, and I don't regret it one bit.

  5. CB in the City Says:

    You had me on the second house with "craftsman." Smile

  6. PatientSaver Says:

    Hmm.... Well, to me a new roof and paint are very straightforward, uncomplicated fixes. The slope in the floor in the other one would be a deal breaker for me. Foundation issues.

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