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Fear is hitting me hard.

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by Tiffrz-N-Kidz, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. Tiffrz-N-Kidz

    Tiffrz-N-Kidz Songster

    Jul 29, 2010
    Aledo, TX
    I know this is a little off topic, but since my decision to move out of the city was made predominately to raise my own food (meat chickens especially), and knowing there are others here who have already made such a move, I am posting this here hoping to get feedback from people who understand.

    I have found a property. It's 2.5 acres close to work and in a FANTASTIC school system with breathtaking views of the countryside. It's out of the city limits so no holds barred on raising livestock.

    So, why the fear? The house is barely habitable. It was hand built by the gentleman who had lived there since the 60's. He did all his own work, and nothing is to code. There's an electrical outlet right next to the shower... SERIOUSLY!!! I am looking at totally gutting this place. The barn is huge, but the roof leaks. I know I can get it cleared out enough to build a stall for the horse, but I am NOT getting up on that roof.

    Now, when I was in my late 20s, I bought a fixer-upper and fixed it up. I gutted. I drywalled, plumbed, tiled, etc... (I hired out the roofing and siding, I am not stupid.) :) Lots of blood sweat and tears went into the house but the satisfaction of renovating it, and the profit I made selling it, were worth it.

    But I am 45 now. I am not nearly as fit as I was then. I have 2 kids in tow, (DS 9 and DD 12). The remoteness of the property would have them walking nearly a mile home from the bus stop. We'd be camping out in one room while renovating the others. They say they are up for it, but the Mommy in me is feeling some guilt over it.

    The property is also landlocked and the easement passes through the domain of the Wicked Witch of the West. An easement is a legal right to use the road, but there's a bridge on the easement over a creek that WWW says I would be responsible for maintaining even though she uses the bridge, too, to access her back 40. WWW also said the well water is toxic. She may just be trying to scare me off, but what if anything can be done about well water?

    If you made it this far, thank you. I appreciate any stories you have, good or bad.

  2. Thomas423

    Thomas423 Songster

    Mar 21, 2009
    Port Deposit, MD
    I only have a minute to post, but what jumped out at me were:
    1. WWW may not like kids. That can make it very unpleasant to be neighbors.
    2. What kind of heat is in the house? Oil heat is the best, but can be costly, especially if the house is older.
    3. The bridge's weight limit? Could make it difficult to get deliveries, like heating oil/propane.
    4. 45 is NOT TOO OLD!!
    5. Working on a house with your kids is priceless. I bought a fixer-upper years back and being a single mom at the time, my boys were a big help.

    You're smart to weigh the pros and cons before just jumping in.
    I'm sure you're make the right decision for you and your family.
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2011
  3. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Songster

    Oct 1, 2008
    Yorkshire, Ohio
    Did you enjoy fixing up the previous house? Is this place priced as if it is almost uninhabital? Are there many other opportuities in your area to buy a property that will allow you to raise your own animals that doesn't need gutted?

    Sorry for all the questions, but I need full disclosure before giving you my opinion.
  4. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I have just purchased a foreclosed house on just under two thirds of an acre, 52 miles from my work site. The house has been vacant over a year. It IS habitable, but most everything is NOT to code. And there is some work that needs to be done, one of two bedrooms has some broken floor joists, so that room will need the floor taken up to repair that.... There's a well, but the pump is "too tired" to work, and the water flow is less than a gallon a minute. I have to have the well drilled deeper and the pump replaced. The roof is okay, with one leak, but may need to be replaced in a few years. Power to the detached garage is ...... a joke..... the romex was draped overhead and the UV rays totally destroyed the exterior casing, which is peeling and hanging off the wire .... I need to have that changed to conduit underground.

    The propane lines are plugged and not to code; those all have to be replaced to code before the tank can be delivered and set up/filled. Luckily, no need for heat right now, but the stove is gas, not electric. No biggie for ME, as I do not cook much. (Microwave ovens, crock pots, hot pots, etc. are fine enough in the interim.)

    I am very excited about my new home, but I am going to be 58 in August, plus I have fibromyalgia. Not much labor coming out of this old gal, unfortunately.

    But I do think you can do it. It won't be pleasant, but boy it will be a labor of love and you will SO appreciate it when you can live in all of your house. Nothing great comes without sacrifice. Or so they say!

  5. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    I was rooting you on, do it do it do it . . . until you got to the wicked witch part. A bad neighbor can make your life hell, especially if you are at work and your kids are at home, and ESPECIALLY if there is an easement issue. Have the well tested first thing BEFORE you buy.
  6. Southernbelle

    Southernbelle Gone Broody

    Mar 17, 2008
    Finding good land in a great school system is priceless, so I'd always consider a property for those reasons even if the house isn't exactly what I wanted. If you can afford to fix the house up, then I wouldn't let age stop me, especially if your kids are willing to help.

    Rotten neighbors can make any place miserable, even if the property was impeccable. If you're getting evil vibes from her already, you may reconsider just because there are so many things they can do to make your life difficult and you'd be living next to this woman for years. I find it very suspect that she expects you to maintain the bridge. Better see if that stipulation in is the legal documents because if it's technically her property, then it should be her bridge to maintain. Of course, if she refuses to maintain it, it makes it impossible for you to access your property safely.
  7. rarely bored

    rarely bored Songster

    Jan 22, 2011
    Central California
    If you consider the property without the WWW being part of the picture, would you easily say yes?? If so, you may want to wait for the next nice piece of property to come available. Bad neighbors can sure cause a lot of internal strife and create problems you never saw coming, and since WWW is all ready laying down the 'law', I'd be concerned too.

    Since you are considering everything, I'm sure you will make a good decision!

  8. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

    Mar 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    If the neighbor is as bad as you say, I would probably reconsider purchasing this house. A bad neighbor can make life Heck! We are currently worrying over who will move into the house adjacent (well actually more like in the middle) of our property. We've had wonderful neighbors so far, but anyone could move in. It's very scary indeed!

    As for the fixer upper part, I would probably want to buy something liveable, but that is just me. I'm 22 and I've gone through two major house constructions. The first was an addition to what used to be a summer home (Parents lived there until we needed more space!). The second time was basically the gutting, fixing, and addition of our current house. Both times were tough, but mostly for my parents. Fixing stuff is expensive and if you are doing it by yourself (which is pretty much what my dad did) it can take YEARS. We've been living in this house for 12 years and JUST finished the inside. When we moved to this house, my parents first concentrated on the kitchen and a bathroom, then the bedrooms. We added on a bathroom and three more bedrooms as an upstairs. Then we finished the basement, the upstairs bedrooms, and finally, 12 yrs later, we finished the upstairs bathroom. My dad saved a lot of money doing things himself, but as I said, it took longer.

    I think in the long run, this may be do-able for you but be prepared for a LOT of work! Don't worry about your age. My dad was about the same age when he started with this house and is now 54. He still does just as much, if not more around the house. However, I would very carefully weigh the costs of this house/property plus the repairs vs. the cost of a nicer house with land. At this time, there really is no shortage of houses to buy and many of them are at very good prices. My family has never had the luxury of just moving to a new house and unpacking/decorating without having to do a ton of construction. It's nice to finish a room and know you did it yourself, but it can be tiring too, especially if you are working full time!
  9. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I once passed up a beautiful property solely because of a similar easement situation. No regrets; it would have been a mistake.
  10. Tiffrz-N-Kidz

    Tiffrz-N-Kidz Songster

    Jul 29, 2010
    Aledo, TX
    Thanks everyone for the great input.

    WWW has 3 kids of her own that she homeschools, and they live in an immaculate mansion on the adjoining 30-some-odd acres that are exceptionally well and expensively fenced. They have goats, but just for fun. They have several high-dollar horses also. I didn't really get 'evil' vibes from her, more like 'look down the nose snobbish I am better than all that homebuilt trash' vibes. Of course that may be my co-dependant side showing. I am going to look into the legalities of the easement though. As long as everything is in black and white, I am happy to stick to my end of the legal bargain. I do think that if she uses the bridge, she should have to pay for part of the upkeep.

    I really loved fixing up my old house. It was incredibly satisfying to take the neglected ramshackle structure and make it pretty again. But where that house had good bones and character, this one is very plain comparitively speaking. I think adding a couple of dormers would make it more eye-pleasing, but I have never taken on that kind of remodeling. It is currently priced OK for the amount of land and the school district, but I am offering way below what they are asking based on the condition. I think my offer is fair considering the work involved, and the amount I am offering would leave me enough to get some of the major work done so we can move in. (Roof, dormers, redo the well if needed, etc.) We'll see what they say.

    And no, everything in this area will be a fixer-upper if it is in my price range. The Plan B property has less desirable land in a neighborhood of 2-4 acre homes, but the house just needs refinishing touches like tile and carpet. Down side of Plan B is neighbors to one side that run a fixit shop and on the other side they raise Dobermans. WOOF WOOF WOOF!!! The seclusion of Plan A house is it's main draw, WWW or no.

    Oh, and the bridge has a 10 ton limit I think? or maybe she said 10,000 lbs?
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2011

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