Moved house- nightmare or treasure?

franksmom_2010July 13, 2014

First, I know almost nothing about the house, just what is in the RE listing. Looks like a 1920-30's house. House had been moved to it's current location. From the photos, it looks to be on a ?temporary foundation that looks like cement blocks.

No septic setup, no electric, plumbing, etc.

On the one hand, the price for the land and house seems reasonable, the location is good for us, but how much of a logistical and financial nighmare is it to finish the foundation and set up utilities, assuming the house itself is salvageable?

I'm guessing that the house *could* be salvageable, or else they wouldn't have moved it. We're very tempted to go and have a closer look, but I'd like to have an idea of how much of a mess this could be before I start swooning over it.

Since the house is already there, is it pretty straightforward to get permits for everything? The house is in a very small town in Texas.

We'd appreciate any thoughts or suggestions. Thanks!

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can you post the listing?

houses are moved quite often here in La.
where I live.

at minimum you'd need septic system,
electrical pole & more than likely elec
evaluation & possibly work. there city water available?
a well is expensive & mine was a pleasure
to get rid of.
how will it be heated & cooled?
natural gas an option on the lot?
I've not seen houses on concrete blocks..but
rather on concrete piers, but without seeing it
it is all a wag.

go take a look, the house has to have been well
built enough to survive a move. even if it isn't
the house for you...looking only takes your time.
take some pics & post.

best of luck.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 7:19PM
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Who's the seller and what's the business?

As often as not, the lot owner, who may be a contractor may have set this up as a project.

Find a contractor who has experience setting moved homes, gain access and permission to inspect.

House movers work with and will have some referrals for you.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 10:20PM
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I talked to the RE agent yesterday, and he knows almost nothing about the house. It is on a permanent foundation, but hasn't had any utilities set up. He thinks it's got 3 bedrooms and a bath, hardwood floors. We plan to take a closer look this weekend. I'm not a historian, but I think it's a Craftsman style?

Our enthusiasm for the project will depend on the condition and contents of the interior. If it's been gutted to the studs I'm not so interested, if it has any old/original/salvageable features left, I'm in.

This would not be our primary home, but a weekend place. I'd like to hear from others that have restored a house in similar condition. How long did it take to make it habitable? If you had it to do over, would you? Diamond in the rough or money pit?

Although there's going to be considerable expense for starting at this stage of the restoration, there's also the opportunity to make sure everything is done right, and make any alterations as we go.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 9:37AM
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Pay a visit to the local bldg. dept. with a whole list of questions.

Who, what, why, when and where?

With realtors, feigned ignorance, is bliss.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 12:27PM
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I totally agree about the realtors and feigned ignorance=bliss. I can't help you with the question of whether to buy a moved house, but I will say that at least with a moved house you will get something otherwise nearly unattainable--- a brand new foundation under an old house! That would be SO wonderful (my husband and I keep saying "if only we could just move our house onto a new foundation").

My husband and I bought an old house that, to our naive eyes, looked to be in much better condition than the house you're considering (which I think is so beautiful and has so much potential, btw!), but our house has turned into the money pit from hell. We wouldn't mind so much if we weren't going to be moving in a few years (when we bought it we thought we'd be here a long time).

So, if you're planning to have the house for a long time (15, 20+ years), and if there are no tremendous problems, and if you have a TON of cash/credit (all new electric, plumbing, HVAC, septic, is extremely expensive!), then go for it!

If you can take pictures of the inside I would love to see them!! I bet a lot of it is original on the inside (fingers crossed for you!).

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 11:18PM
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We're looking for an old house on a decent sized piece of land. There are a lot of doublewides on 20 acres, old houses on 5 acres, new and souless houses on 10+ acres, or shacks. We live in the semi-country already, and we're surrounded by farmland, so you would think it would be easier.

Yes, I think either the realtor is either 1)playing dumb, 2)treating the house as though it were an outbuilding, due to condition, and hadn't considered even asking more questions from the seller, or 3)really is that clueless. From our brief conversation, I'm actually leaning more towards #3. Of course, if we decide to make an offer, we'd do all of our due diligence with inspections and such.

We'll go take a look before I make any more calls about all of the rest of it, and I promise to take pictures.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 11:10AM
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It is really very cute, and a lot more salvagable looking than some of the places shown elsewhere on this site. You really should have carte blanche with checking that house out due to the fact the realtor is clueless. I think the realtor doesn't see much of a commission coming in this place, but that is his/ her predjudice and problem. There is a whole area in Round Top, Tx. that is composed of moved houses like these that have been renovated and used as a retreat center.

You should be able to get some professional opinions on the condition of the bones of the house. Whatever you do though, it is going to cost fairly big bucks to bring it back, but I imagine if you can work through it emotionally and financially- and do it right, it would be much nicer than buying a house without a soul:)

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 11:24AM
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