Was it the grand foyer, the stained glass, all of the originals hiding under years of paint and veneer, or maybe the vision of what you knew your house would be? What was it that made you buy your home and love it, when so many others probably ran away screaming?
Nice looking. Even in the old picture, though, the front porch had been butchered where it used to wrap around and was walled up with the white siding.
Yeah Phil, it's been through the wringers for sure. I remember walking in and seeing the HUGE rooms and all the stained glass. I would have loved to have made a great house out of it but it was such a wreck. Had I bought it I wouldn't have had the money to repair it.
Lorraine, I agree. I lived in Pittsburgh for about 5 years. There's some great houses down there (a few of which my friends own) but I like the quiet most of the time. Freeport is pretty ideal. 30 mins to Pittsburgh and still nice and quiet. Apollo has some phenominal houses. It's a shame many havent been upkept better.
When we started looking at houses in late 2004, we wanted to be in one of Boston's neighborhoods. We quickly realized that we could afford to be renters there, but not owners. We ended up about 20 miles west of Boston in a town that some friends had already bought in. We looked at about 15 houses in this town. We found this long unloved 1867 Colonial Farmhouse style house. It was in such rough shape that the realtor didn't want to show it to us. On our first visit their was a Harley parked on the front lawn, a mattress on the front porch and a large collection of Jack Daniels bottle on the porch floor. We found a poorly mounted kitchen sink (with a negative drain), a leaking master bath shower and an old oil tank that was still partially filled. And this guy was supposedly a plumber. Along with many, many cosmetic issues. The weird shaped rooms, dormers, the old brick patio and many other things stuck in our heads.
We continued looking at other places in the same neighborhood, but whenever we went to another house, we always found ourselves driving by this old Colonial. Something about it kept bringing us back. We finally were down to two houses and the old girl was one of them. We finally decided we wanted it.
Wow! Great job! Funny what a little bit of work can do to a place! Congrats on finding a house you like!
Thanks Will. I also added the lattice work under the porch and pressure washed the whole thing. So, it's got that little country cottage look to it. We are considering taking the vinyl siding off the wrap around porch. I know the clapboards are still under there, but, we're not sure what condition they are in. If the claps are in real rough shape, it won't cost a fortune to replace just the porch. Plus, it will give us good lower level practice on working with the clap before taking on the whole body of the house. It was a real crappy siding job anyway, so it won't be missed.
Well I think it's smart that you're starting on a smaller scale to get a feel for it. My house has the old cement shingles. We're not replacing them, as it's still nostalgic and they look good not to mention they don't burn (and if you look at my house pics you'll see how close my neighbors are) so I'm more then fine with them!
I was trying to find a 2 family home to buy so my friend could run a family daycare in one of the units. Most of the houses I looked at were rotten, had all the good old woodwork replaced with ugly, plain trim and 70's paneling. The mechanicals were bad and the structures unsound. In 1997in southern Maine, these not good enough houses were 110 - 129k. The house I eventually bought had mistakenly been listed in MLS as 2 one bedroom apartments. Ooops! It is a huge 1817 post and beam, Georgian colonial; and although not updated, had been nicely maintained. I purchased the house for 99k. 3 years later, prices had tripled. I was blessed.
The daycare lasted less than 2 years. I ended up with a nice home and rental income. My friend needing a daycare space, helped me.
Some day I will scan the pics my dad took for the conditional use permit.
Our house, built in 1942, was originally a one-story 20'x20', with cedar Dutch lap cove siding, and then a one-story 15'x30' addition, with cedar bevel siding, was added in 1944.
After that, the two subsequent owners mish-mashed it with a 1996 addition and vinyl windows (with the obligatory fake shutters) and vinyl siding along with sub-par, DIY "fixes" and a reconfiguration of the interior which lacked logic or comfort. The house was constrained in vinyl and PVC, rotting from the inside-out, and as mediocre as most Long Island residential architecture.
My wife saw it first and was excited but couldn't tell me why. When I arrived with her the next day I knew we were going to buy this house even before stepping inside. I don't know why. I never noticed the sagging floor or the musty smell in the basement (impossible for me). Now, two years later, I firmly believe the house chose us to rescue it and "bewitched" me into overlooking it's flaws and only see it's potential.
I later learned an older couple built it as a Summer cottage and for retirement later on. The house was built on 10 acres which all but 0.5 acre was sold to a developer in the 1960's with the caveat that the main street of the new neighbourhood would be named after them; according to my neighbours, most of whom fondly remember the couple, it's a fitting tribute.
My wife and I wanted to buy a Victorian but they are rare on Long Island and rarer still within the areas we wanted to live or at a price we could afford. So, we decided to find an old home which had "lost it's way" from remuddling and in need of rescuing. This one had an addition that pre-empted restoration so we felt justified in giving it a rebirth, worthy of it's historical place in the development of our neighbourhood, and a fitting tribute to the couple who's spirit welcomed us.