Anyone Have A Love/Hate Relationship with their Old House?
Having the old house blues. I purchased this circa 1911 house in Rhode Island back in July and unaware of the costs and emergency repairs, have invested every last cent I have into this money pit. The house and the land on it are very historical. This is the 3rd house on the original late 1600's field stone foundation. It sits on 5 acres of rolling meadows that is a nature lovers dream. Has floor to floor hardwoods. But despite all of that, it is literally tearing apart every part of my life.
I really just want to sell it and be done with it. I can't imagine trying to keep up with it. It is my very first house. I'm 37 and saved all my life for my dream old home. But, very ignorant to all the costs involved. Home inspection report was obviously a joke. Seller was untruthful on Seller's Disclosure, and now I'm stuck with all of the previous owner's problems.
I love old homes, and I think you all here are heros to go through major sacrifices to revive an old home and keep it living on. I always saw myself restoring a house, little by little, as time and money allowed. But, when you have big costly surprises thrown at you all at once, what do you do?
I'm not even talking about decorating or cosmetics. Just things like updating the wiring since it was discovered a month after I bought the house that it still has alot of K&T.
All the windows (21) of them need replacement because they are so leaky. No insulation makes this house very cold. But I knew that before I signed on the dotted line. However, with all the emergency repairs I can't afford even a woodstove to keep warm. Luckily the cost of oil was good this winter.
I've done as many "little things" DIY projects myself to make this place look pretty. Have stripped all the 1970's wallpaper, scrubbed and patched walls, and put fresh coat of paint on walls. My BF, who lives with me, have even taken down a ceiling in one of the bedrooms (ceiling tiles) and sheet-rocked and plastered it ourselves. We've retiled the kitchen floor and counters ourselves. I've even taken down the old cupboard doors and sanded and repainted them. We've also cleared out massive brush on the land and revived some old stone walls. These little projects do feel good when completed, and have kept our motivation up a little because they didn't cost us that much money, only our time and labor, plus a bit of supplies. But, we stand back and have to put out big fires now that needing attention.
The big things I've had to do was emergency plumbing on the 2nd floor bathroom that leaked like crazy and caved in our hallway ceiling underneath a week after we moved in. Had to rip out the entire hallway ceiling, have new plumbing put in, and then have it sealed up again. Two chimneys needed UL liners even though it was stated on Disclosure that chimney's were relined in 2001.
Now, my BF and I are broke. We didn't expect to spend our 6 months of emergency savings in 2 months. We didn't expect I would be laid off a few months ago. After I got shocked today from the old knob and tube switches when I removed the switch plate to paint, that was it. The frayed cloth around the K&T was fried. And, so was I. This was a very rude awakening. I immediately called an electrician that specializes in "old house rewiring" and he told me the house would cost $7,000 to rewire.
By the way, I didn't get this house for a bargain either. I paid $335K for what I thought was an old house that was at least updated electrically, plumbing wise, and had safe chimneys.
I knew all the cosmetics involved - they were all visible. I knew the detached garage was falling down. I knew that the above ground pool outside leaked and would have to be removed. I knew that the long dirt driveway would be a mudpit in the snowy and wet weather. I knew the overgrown trees hitting the roof would have to be cut back.
It is the things that I couldn't see, and didn't anticipate, and it was also the blind faith I had that a Seller's disclosure would be truthful, that gave me the courage to buy this place. And it was the true ignorance I had about old houses. Friends and family can't believe what a complete lemon I bought. It truly is my worst nightmare come true.
My relationship is on the rocks because we have no money to fix things and bicker constantly about how to pay bills. I just want to throw in the towel.
Anyone here every in the same predicament, and what did you do about it? I could use some sage advise. I know I was ignorant to all the things that could possibly be wrong with an old house, but, this was way out of what I ever anticipated.
Please, any advice or comments would help. Thank you.