What Do You Think About This House?

mimi72November 2, 2008

We have been looking for a house/land with character for quite some time. Of late, I have been attracted to the midcentury modern style, however this very nice farmhouse (see link below) has been on the market for awhile. I just today saw the website with all these pics and I must say I'm intrigued.

For all of you with an eye to the "needs" of older homes does anything stand out as a red flag?

The updates were probably done by the current owner, he owns a small home improvement company. I do not know the age of the roof or if the electrical and plumbing have been updated. It is on a private well and septic with leased LP tank. The house is 2950 sq ft and was built in 1920. I believe it's overpriced for my area. Market value is maybe $300-325k or so, maybe 350 if the condition is pristine.

I just love that old barn, but wonder how structurally sound it is, as many do collapse after years of neglect. I guess I'll be able to get a decent sense of that by looking at it.

I am going to call the Realtor for a tour tomorrow.

http://www.gatewayhouseview.com/viewhome.asp?MLS=2811534

Here is a link that might be useful: Old Farmhouse

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lucy

Looks really nice, if plain (may have been 'staged' by owners themselves to look neutral and uncluttered). The only question I'd have is about the dining room, which looks tiny, but there seems to be a lot of space otherwise.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 6:36PM
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joed

Didn't even look inside. It has a barn, an detached garage/workshop and a large attached garage.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 7:52PM
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bas157

I think it looks very nice and pretty roomy.
I'd love to have either of the out-buildings at my house!

    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 8:02PM
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worthy

What you need to know is what's under all the nice looking new siding, drywall and floors. If the basement (if there is one) is not finished, that's the first place to check.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 8:56PM
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mr_havac

two minutes from the interstate huh? hmmmm, I would definately spend enough time around this property to see/hear if the sound of traffic encroaches on this so called country setting. Especially if that interstate is frequented but a lot of big trucks. And don't forget to visit the area at night when things are usually quieter.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 9:04PM
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mimi72

Good points. I also noticed there's only one bathroom on the lower level, including for the master bedroom. And I don't see a closet in the master BR. I know these are common issues for older homes...but they may be a deal breaker. Unless I could squeeze a master bath/closet addition in the master -- but I don't think it looks big enough.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 9:30PM
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calliope

Well, it looks plain, because farm houses of that era usually were built plain. The ceilings in the downstairs look low(ered), but may be just because the rooms are large. It's pristine, according to the pictures. At least what is visible is. There is little in it to remind me of a vintage house, actually, with the modern styling to all the amenities.

I have lived in old farmhouses (including the one in which we are living now), but the updating may be better than the original, actually. Brickeye may be able to tell you the word I am thinking of, but it's a thin, sort of wooden paneling a lot of old farmhouses of that age had for walls. If those have been downed and replaced by drywall, it's for sure an improvement.

The wood around the downstairs windows also looks newer. The barn roof is in excellent condition, and that's what keeps old barns from collapsing. The outbuilding is nice too.

I see no red flags, and it looks move-in ready. I don't like the way it was modernised, but that's a personal preference. It doesn't look cobbled up.

I'd be inspecting the basement/crawlspace. Ask to see a well test and want a septic inspection. Termite warranty. Check for insulation and ask about fuel costs. That's a large house and it's sitting pretty much out in the open.

I'd want to know if the owner was subdividing the five acres off a private farm acreage. If he/she is then check on your taxes. You may be going from low farm taxes to residential taxes and it could be substantially higher. If the previous owner does hold the land surrounding you, you may want to enquire if it's going to be sold off for further development. What is now an idyllic country setting could be directly next door to an apartment complex down the road, or an industrial park. It happens.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 10:08PM
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allison1888

I would try to squeeze another bathroom on the first floor.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 10:33PM
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jegr

there are a lot of cosmetic improvements, so check not only the basement. but the attic. See if any structural repairs have been done to the out buildings. They seem to have been buttoned up well, a good sign, but have framing problems been addressed? That will give you some indication of the way the main house was approached. You might ask to talk to the plumber of the contractor to discuss that extra bathroom and be able to find out something about the work that you can't see,inside the walls.
I think very little beyond the frame of the original house is there.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2008 at 10:49AM
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kathleenca

A lot of work & remodeling has gone into the house, but if you are serious about buying you will probably want to have it inspected by a professional property/house inspector. Here (in Sou Calif) an inspection costs about $300 & takes about 3 hrs. The inspector gives oral comments & a detailed, written report. Your property is larger than most here, & an inspection could cost more, but it's well worth the cost, as you then know what you would be getting into , & could determine if it would be worthwhile for you.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2008 at 12:30PM
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ron6519

The out buildings will need alot of work. Alot of work!
Ron

    Bookmark   November 3, 2008 at 5:54PM
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calliope

They look pretty darned good to me. Barns are barns. This one isn't leaning, the roof is new and the door frames appear square enough and they have modern doors on them. Aside from red paint, what do you see that I don't?

    Bookmark   November 3, 2008 at 6:05PM
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