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Have You Bought A Abandon Or Old Run Down Home?

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by IowaQuackHead, Sep 17, 2011.

  1. IowaQuackHead

    IowaQuackHead In the Brooder

    Sep 17, 2011
    Eastern Iowa
    Im in high school but buying this idea intrest me ALOt and I plan on doin it after college so figured everyone could share their pix if anoyne has done this [​IMG]

  2. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    My son who is in the midst of remodeling an old farmhouse that was built in 1882 would probably tell you to run the other way!
  3. happyhens120

    happyhens120 Songster

    Aug 8, 2011
    Central PA
    We bought our place three years ago, and it was in desperate need of repair. It was a foreclosure, so we got it really cheap. We did all the remodeling ourselves... new roof, insulation, siding, flooring, studding out the walls, drywall, new windows, doors and a new floor in one of the bedrooms because the other was sagging. It was a MESS! I would never, ever do it again. But, if you are young and able and have LOTS of friends/family that are willing to provide some free labor, it might be a good idea. We ended up putting about $30,000 into our house, but it helped that we didn't have to pay anyone for labor. Either way, good luck!
  4. chocolate m'scovy

    chocolate m'scovy Songster

    Jan 14, 2010
    Quote:We could probably second that. We have an old farmhouse that needed to be fixed up when we bought it. Unless you have a lot of time on your hands or are good at remodeling (or will retain the zeal to learn), you might want to think twice.
  5. Frosty

    Frosty Songster

    Mar 30, 2008
    I don't have pictures, but back in 1969 my parents bought an old farm house on 50 acres, they were told that the house wasn't habitable so the price was based on the acreage and location. I think it was around $3500. The house didn't have a bathroom, so we had to use the outhouse for a while. It was a lot of work but they fixed it up really nice. I was about 4 when they bought it, then mom and I did some digging in the courthose records when I was about 17. The earliest we could find records on the house itself was possibly the late 1800s, and that house is extremely solid. I think it was built out of petrified wood. Try driving a nail in and sparks fly. One good thing about old houses, a lot of times they were built out of way better wood than they use today.
  6. WhiteMountainsRanch

    WhiteMountainsRanch Crowing

    Jun 19, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    I don't have any experience first hand per-se but I have heard nothing but horror stories, unless you have A LOT of time, A LOT of friends, A LOT Of contractor skills, A LOT of money, and you LOVE to do this sort of thing I would say don't.
  7. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    The only reason I would ever buy an abandoned or old run down house is if it came with awesome land. I would then plow it out and build a new house. Any house is A LOT of work to maintain, and even new houses or recent ones WILL have things to repair and fix on a regular basis. If you don't have the skills or the support network to build a house... I would not want to fix one in dire need of fixing.

  8. zzGypsy

    zzGypsy Songster

    Aug 8, 2011
    Quote:you can always build another house... hard to build more land!

    this is what my husband does for a living - buy and rebuild places (I help, but I have a day job). so I won't say you shouldn't consider doing this, HOWEVER it is not what you might think, so here are some things to consider...

    I second the idea that the land / lot / location / neighborhood should be a major reason behind chosing the particular house.

    Sometimes tear-down and start over is REALLY the best plan.

    Whatever you think it will cost, it will actually cost at least twice that.

    However long you think it will take, it will actually take at least twice that.

    For everything that you or an inspector identifies that needs fixing, there's another thing you didn't identify.

    You need to be incredibly handy with your construction skills if you're going to do the work yourself. My hubby can work at the Master Craftsman level in most of the construction trades, and is proficient in the rest... he uses all those trades and skills and there's very little he has to hire out.

    If you're not incredibly handy and skilled, you'll need more money because you'll have to pay someone who is.

    If you are looking for results in which everthing looks nice and square and pleasing to the contemporary eye, you'll be disapointed every time. NOTHING in a rundown or old house is square, level, or even... and most of that cannot be fixed without a LOT more money.

    If you're looking for results with character, history, and a sense of satisfaction for a thing of value or utility returned to service, you will find satisfaction and reward.

    You can do a minimal repair on some things and get by with it, but it won't hold up, or will cause on-going problems. if you want things to be really right, plan on effort and time and money.

    In the middle of every thing you fix, you will find yet another thing which must be fixed before the first one can be completed.

    if you're working on an old house, you will run into chanllenging and unusual problems that don't exist in a rundown newer house. Things like dealing with wood that is so old and hard you can't nail or drill into it. Or having to repair decomposing mortar between stones in an unsupported rock wall.

    You will have to deal with issues like windows and doors that cannot be easily made to function because the house has shifted 5 degrees from vertical.

    If you like a challenge, you will find one in doing this work.

    If you like something that will make you work, challenge your skill, and require you to contiuously improve your skills and learn new ones, this will do it.

    And all that said, we love doing this. it can be frustrating and challenging, and it's always slower and more expensive that we are able to predict on initial project inspection, but it is, for us, temendously satisfying to see something that was once beautiful and serviceable become so again.

    Our current project is a house that is 120 / 80 / 60 / 20 and 5 years old. it's a house we are converting for high-end student apartments near a university. we have some of the original walls from 120 years ago still in place. we've had to replace walls, move floors, replace the roof, redo the plumbing and electrical, replace and move windows and doors, add new walls, finish remodeling that was never completed, add support beams to floors, replace asbestos siding, convert a garage to laundry facilities, and take out an entire second floor cantilevered extension off the house and replace it. we still have drywall, ceilings, cabinets, interior finishes, and a yard to reclaim. The house has it's original character intact, and will be really charming on the inside when done... along with maintaining some of it's historical walls and stonework. It's a PROJECT in the biggest sense of the word. when done, we'll have spent about 30% of the end value of the house on materials and labor, not including my husband's and my time. For us, that's a reasonable investment of our time, it will pay us a profit for the work... because we've got the skills to make sweat-equity worthwhile. If we had to hire the work done, it would have been cheaper to knock it down and start over.

    so the question is, not should you do it, but do you really understand what you are undertaking and are you up to the challenge? we love doing this, but it is *really* NOT for everyone.
  9. eggbuster

    eggbuster Songster

    Apr 1, 2010
    mmmmm..... great 100 year old double brick construction fixer upper with good bones.

    new roof and eves troughing, $15,000
    new plumbing, $5-25,000. depending on if the septic is still good.
    Getting rid of nob and tube wiring (new electrical), +/- $10,000.
    Rip out lath and plaster, add insulation/framing for new drywall, about $10.000.
    new cupboards and appliances (old and manky and not usable) $5-15,000. depending upon your taste
    new bath tub/toilet
    ripping out and disposing of asbestos lino ?????
    new floors ?????
    new windows $3-6000.00
    repointing and repairing rotten brick $10,000.
    new furnace or outdoor boiler $15,000.
    Hows the well?

    Could be more if you don't get good contractors. If you do it yourself and have the tools needed could be about 1/3 the cost. Still interested? Got a lot of time on your hands? We have been at it for 3 years with no end in sight and doing it all ourselves including building cabinets. We at least have 153 acreas of very scenic land to look at when we can't bear to look at our work in progress.

    Our neighbors who are in construction and dad is an electrician, spent 3 years on their old home living in a small corner of the basement (5 people) only to find hidden foundation problems costing another $30,000 to fix after everything else was done and that was in addition to having to rebuild the whole second floor itself because a prior owner cut all the floor joists out when they installed the bathroom and then happily covered it up. They said they should have bull dozed it and started over.

    RUN AWAY!!!!! RUN FAR!!! Unless of course you love it, and don't mind camping and being broke for the rest of your life. We are going to have a great house eventually.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2011
  10. zzGypsy

    zzGypsy Songster

    Aug 8, 2011
    Quote:I'll TAKE IT!
    well, that is, if you can move it to SW MO, along with the 153 acres of land....
    ok, and if that land is at least 50% pasture...
    er, wait... how's the fencing? barn?

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