Wow! What a week!

Wow.  Well…

I don’t really know where to begin!

We accepted an offer from the guy who came for the second showing, and the roof is now fixed.  We signed the papers accepting his offer last Monday, around 2pm, and took off for Nashville immediately afterwards.  That’s where we’ve been all week, and I have to say, I haven’t had a moment to breathe.  I think I lost a whole week – how could it be Friday already? LOL

We went with one house in mind.  One.  We wanted a low, low payment, so we were looking in the $110,000 and below.  In fact, our hand was forced anyway, because only my business income could be counted towards our prequalification for the loan, since my husband doesn’t have a job waiting for him.  We have great credit and low debt, and this is our fourth home purchase, and let me tell you – when you hear that mortgages are harder to get – they are harder to get.

So we went to Nashville with this 1923 “beauty” in mind:

Our new house?

Our new house?

The problem is, it’s a bank-owned property.  Generally, this means the previous owners trashed the house on the way out.  In this case, after talking to the neighbors, it appears it was years of neglect (or as the neighbor said “[the husband] was just there for the free rent”) followed by a renovation that really didn’t improve on the house (unless you consider sheet linoleum an improvement…)

So we’ve made an offer, and we’ll see what happens.  Comparables in a mile radius or so are going for over $200,000, and we offered $80,000 on this, $6,000 less than the bank was asking.  It will take an estimated $40,000-$60,000 in contracted work to bring it back to beauty.

It works out, because we’ve done renovations on a 1912 before, and my husband worked both in contract renovations and in HVAC.  We’ve dug deep, and it appears a strong mildew/mold smell in the kitchen and the fact the electrical and plumbing are off is scaring a lot of people away (this is where it helped to talk to the neighbor, because he was able to tell us that this was all working when the previous owner lived there.)  I did some looking, and found quite a bit of mildew in the floor of the island cupboard, but it hadn’t penetrated the wood, and we aren’t sure we’d keep that particular island anyway.

So enough talking.  On to the pictures!  (They hold a lot of shock value!)

The offending kitchen island

The offending kitchen island

Living Room Fireplace

Living Room Fireplace

Hallway/Stairway (and our realtor)

Hallway/Stairway (and our realtor)

Okay, looks okay so far, right?  See that door in the very back?  It leads to this:

Public Bathroom and Laundry

Public Bathroom and Laundry

I took that picture from the kitchen.  You may want to wait until we get some walls up before you visit. 😛  It looks like the intent was to create a bigger room, although I’m not sure that the bathroom isn’t completely new to the house.

The upstairs is completely unliveable, but we already have plans in place to add a second bathroom directly above the one pictured above, as well as expand one bedroom, turn a storage room into another bedroom, and an office or open landing/family room.  Now, granted, we haven’t gotten a contractor out there to see if it will work, and we’re basing this only on our own limited experience, but if we can’t do it, it will not affect our ability to live in the house – it really would turn a 3 bed, 2 bath into a 4 bed, 2.5 bath and raise the value of the house (as well as make the upstairs ideal for families.)

So, here’s the upstairs:

Upstairs Landing - Check out the old wallpaper and lathing!

Upstairs Landing - Check out the old wallpaper and lathing!

You can see where the PO (Previous Owner) started to drywall over the old walls.  I wonder if he insulated first?

The "Storage Room"

The "Storage Room"

We are calling this “the Storage Room” because, well…that’s pretty much all it’s good for right now.  Old sheet linoleum, and I can’t figure out how the multiple layers of wallpaper are even staying on the wall like that.  They are as dry and crisp as an old leaf!  That pillar in the foreground is the chimney for the bedroom fireplaces – if that can be removed, it will be, as this room is three times bigger than you can see and would make an excellent bedroom if not for the 3 foot wide chimney running through it.

I’ll leave it at that for now.  There’s a lot more carnage, but this post is long enough!  Suffice it to say, that even if we put double the amount of money estimated by the listing agent for repairs, we still would not have tapped all the equity in this house. My hope is to be as green as possible in renovating – everything from insulation and new windows and doors (our first step when we get in) to recycling, to choosing energy efficient and natural material products.

It’s funny, but I’m not emotionally involved like I normally get.  Just as strange, though – I can hardly see the house as it is through the potential.  My husband and I have been drawn to this house, almost like a craving, but at the same time, we’ve been ready to jump at a moment’s notice to find something else.  We haven’t been able to find anything else that satisfies that craving, though – it’s like God has intended for us to move into this house very specifically.  A bit frightening, to be sure!  We’ll be busy!  More later. 🙂


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Jen on September 4, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    oops, commented on the wrong thread 🙂 are your parents going to nashville to see you then?

    that house actually looks like a lot of fun to fix up!!!


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