The Goat Spot Forum banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
979 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay...this will be a long post. I'm looking for people who have done a lot of work to houses or even had them torn down to give feedback...

Hubby and I found a really great slice of 5 acres IN the city we live in, ideally located (10 minutes to my work;) ). It has 2 houses on it and a barn and half is open, half is woods. I LOVE the property...has wells/septic, but city utilities are right there. I could "see" myself sitting and enjoying so many places out there...it felt like a vacation just taking it in. Most of the properties around here that have acreage are completely open and may have nice houses...but don't have privacy and do have close neighbors (deep narrow 2 acre lots).

The houses...they "sit up straight", and have aluminum siding in good shape. Roofs "look" good, but insides are musty. One isn't that bad...it doesn't smell, but paint is peeling a bit off plaster (been shut up through 2 Indiana summers too...hard to tell)...we found one water leak at a roof seam that was recently fixed. Floors are solid, flooring is in pretty good shape and there's remodeled bathrooms. (windows busted & boarded up)...but would have need replaced anyhow. I like the layout andf the kitchen is really nice.... Both houses are plaster and lath....not drywall.

house number two...looks better from the outside & has its windows. It's only 800 sq. feet and "would" become the milk house / cheese house / soap making house / nursery / office...but....yikes. It's power mildew smelling in there. The thin wood flooring is popped up in several places...subfloor feels solid. ...but some of the ceiling plaster has fallen down....

Barn is in amazing condition and just right for goats with large hayloft...

Price is very cheap (well under $100,000) and they sound flexible. There are 3 other outbuildings (garage / shed/ coop all in good shape).

Here's my position....My husband fixes old amplifiers/organs/keyboards...etc. He will pay a couple hundred dollars for something that "doesn't work, won't turn on" because he knows it's a 2 hour fix on a $1500 piece of equipment. Most folk would balk at that price and be terrified to pay for an old electronic instrument that doesn't even turn on when plugged in ....

With these houses...I am in the position of "their broke". I'm thinkign of asking the owners to have several contractors come meet us out there to give estimates on water/mold remediation, roofing, windows...because I know nothing. I would then decide if it were wothwhile to pay for a home inspection to make sure we weren't missing anything...wells tested, etc. only then would I even consider making an offer....

The idea would be...we could be mortgage free with this place. I'd have about a $1500/month fix it up budget too... and then I could SAVE that money.... What I'm looking for here are those of you who have torn down homes, dealt with these kinds of issues etc. to give cost (for house demo & repair) type feedback before I even take step one of getting contractors involved. I am a real estate attorney...and I'm really cautious...so I know all the steps I'd take before I'd buy, including multiple inspections & etc. right now I'm just looking for personal experience feedback from those of you who are fixer-uppers...something more informative than "run" or "just do it" etc ;)...thanks....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,787 Posts
I don't really have any advice because I have never remodeled a home. I do have a few thoughts on it, first of all finding land you want is really more important than finding the perfect already built home. Homes can be remodeled or replaces, God isn't making any more land. Finding land that is in the location you want with the features on it you want is a big plus. From your description it sounds like one of the houses is very doable as a fixer upper and if the other is only needed for a milkroom/office it sounds doable as well. My only leeriness is the mold. If that house has black mold inside the walls or floors you would have to pull all the effected material out. Black mold is very dangerous. That might turn into a major renovation. I am sure with your position as a real estate attorney you have already thought of these things but just some things to think about. Also, with the houses in the shape they are in it creates a lot of bargaining room.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
979 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
not to mention I'm allergic to mold & mildew ;) lol...

I'm pretty certain both houses would be a gut & redo set up....I'm trying to gather the cost on that... so far it *looks like $3500-7900 to gut them alone...but this is just from online searches...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,604 Posts
You need an expert out there to see just how bad the mold/mildew is. A straight up gut and remodel, where you can do a lot of the grunt work shouldn't be too pricey but if the mold is serious then it's got a lot more work there. It's hard to tell how deep the mildew mold goes just by looking.
 

·
Junior Member
Joined
·
558 Posts
I don't have experience with mold, but as far as hiring a contractor, make sure you put an extra 20% or more idealy aside for contingencies. When we fixed up our current home I don't think there was a single contractor that came in on budget. We had set aside 10% but ended up having to borrow money and use credit cards to make up the rest. REAL hard on our finances! Most of them I think gave us the price we wanted to hear to get the job.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
58,905 Posts
I am on my phone so won't type a long message. My husband and I bought a forecosure home. The house sat empty for at least 2 years. We had mold in the basement and family room that was formerly a garage. Luckily the mold was just surface mold. It cost us about 6k to have the mold done. That included removing all paneling and drop ceiling in the basement along with the carpet. It also included carpet removal in the garage family room. Also included spraying everything. We really did get a lot for our money and we didn't have to rip all that stuff out.

There are plenty of hidden costs that come up. We had to replace our furnace which passed a home inspection. Something cracked and was leaking carbon monoxide. The HVAC guy who relaced it said that the cracking tends to happen when a furnace is not in use for a long time and then is put in use. There is moisture in there and that is what causes the crack.

Those are just a couple of things. I can guarantee you that you will find more problems beyond the inspections and expect the money to just keep going out of your hands.

I'm not saying that it isn't worth it. We are doing the same thing and all repairs are cash. So we will eventually be in a better place. But it is one hell of a lot more work than you think.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,944 Posts
I'm thinkign of asking the owners to have several contractors come meet us out there to give estimates on water/mold remediation, roofing, windows...because I know nothing.
Right there is your first mistake. If the owner hires the contractor the contractor works for the owner and you will not get an honest assessment. You need to hire your own contractors.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,737 Posts
I would get some contractors to give you an estimate on the fix up and get some experts to look at the mold.

My current house sounds similar to this one you mentioned. It had been shut up for a while after the old owners got to old to care for the property. The house was in ruff shape along with the barns and buildings and needed updating but it had the most acreage we had found. We decided to fix the house up ourselves (we have a LOT of power tools and experience) to save some money. It took almost a year and the out buildings are still a work in progress, but it has been worth it.

I would say if your willing to spend the time and the cost isn't insanely high. Go for it! But, really go through the place with a fine tooth comb. You don't want a future headache. I know with ours we had to replace the furnace, the drywall in almost every part, switch out all the appliances, and move the old owners junk. It's still even on our own chewed up a lot of time and money.
 

·
Member
Joined
·
8,177 Posts
You said it is in a city? Are you permitted to have goats within the city limits? Sometimes that can be a problem.
 

·
Goat Girl
Joined
·
2,018 Posts
How old is the house? If the house is old enough I would be concerned about possible asbestos or lead paint that could be in the house. The cost to repair buildings made with asbestos can be pretty steep. With mold it would be best to have a contractor or even a house inspector check the house first and see if they can check the support and make sure that there isn't a ton of structural damage possibly due to too much moisture or any other problems.

I don't think you would be out of line to have a contractor come out and look at the house and give an estimate on what repairs will cost and if there is any major structural damage. Definitely have all appliances checked out as they can also be pretty costly to replace.
 

·
Junior Member
Joined
·
45 Posts
This doesn't sound like a good deal to me. Keep looking for a better property that suits your needs. Do you really want to buy the property with 2 houses that needs more work than you can do yourself. The aggravation may drive you up the wall. A lot of houses have hidden problems that will require more money to repair than they are worth. You made a statement about properties having a house on 2 acres. Will 2 houses on 5 acres be any different? Their is 1 real good thing about this and that is it is your money and sweat and I won't be there. I shouldn't have said anything but you did want opinions didn't you?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30,619 Posts
I agree get a contractor out...really dig up issues..as if you will be paid for every one they find lol.....better to know all the bad and the ugly before jumping in...BUT If the place is your slice of heaven...then houses can be replaced or rebuilt. if you are comfortable with the cost and head aches lol...and LOVE the location, are able to freely keep farm animals along with the life you desire...then proceed..
 

·
Boer Lover 4 Life!
Joined
·
2,991 Posts
You said it is in a city? Are you permitted to have goats within the city limits? Sometimes that can be a problem.
Sometimes you can be 10 mins. out of a city and not be in city limits, but still have an Indianapolis address. That's like with me, I live in Eminence, IN in Morgan County, but have a Martinsville address, Hendricks County Power, and Putnam County Phone and Internet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,787 Posts
I just figure given that she is a real estate attorney she has probably thought of things like codes and zoning for animals or not as the case may be. I think if the land is a good price in a good location even if you had to bulldoze the houses and start from scratch you are still coming out ahead. It is really hard to change land features. It isn't really all that hard to change buildings.
 

·
Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
Joined
·
4,956 Posts
I have been in the trades for many many years, with experience in all of em. I remodeled my moms old place and did all of the exterior work on this new house we had built (site excavation and leveling, septic system/drain field, water from well to house, electrical from meter to house including the 2, 200 amp disconnects, landscaping and built my barn 100% (concrete floor, electrical, plumbing, insulated and drain field).

I can tell you this, if you dont have experience in remodel, this job would be WAY beyond you to undertake. SO with that being said, great idea on getting some contractors out there BUT first you want to lock in with the seller. You being the attorney, you would know more then i on how to see it up but I think if you handed over 1000.00 to go forward with some inspections, it would be good so the place isnt sold to someone else while you are taking the right steps to see what exactly you will be looking at. Cause that place sounds amazing. The only thing missing is a creek :)

So if you can do that, the next step would be an inspector which you will have to pay outta pocket. You want a younger inspector cause the older ones dont care to much for going into the tough spaces. You want him to check foundations, plumbing, electrical, framing most of all. Have your well water tested (this will also give insight into how bad the plumbing will be). THOUGH I can pretty much tell you know if it has plaster, the electrical and plumbing are most likely old enough to have replaced. But as long as the foundation and framing is sound, you have a good base to start from. Id suggest to go ahead and tap into the city sewage. Though if you choice you can have your septic inspected as well but again, if its that old, you will most likely have to have it redone and thats minimum of 10k.

With the knowledge you get from the inspector, you can then get some contractors out there. Shop around heavily for a good contractor. Do everything you can to get a feeling for them. As for references, look em up on the BBB to see if they have complaints. Put an ad in craigslist for opinions from people who have used them. Angie's list em. Do whatever but make sure you fine a good one. Paying extra is worth it if they have the right tools and man power to stay on time and do it right. You might also when you had the inspector out, as him who is the inspector that is the toughest on contractors to get things done right. Which reminds me, ask the inspector for names of contractors who he has heard good things or know good things about.

Here is my guess on the house(s): They will need to be gutted for the most part down to the frame work. If you do end up having to replace some major things like the electrical and plumbing, you can expect around 10-20k extra on each of those. But if you want to live as comfortable inside as you say the outside is, it would be worth it to do the extra. But regardless of how things play out, you can then take what you learn back to the seller and broker a better deal.

There is one more option. To go super cheap, buy a used double wide mobile home and have it set up there for a total around 50k for a decent home and the setup.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
979 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for all the wonderful input. We already have goats in the city of Indianapolis in our yard;)...it's legal. I have out of town "overflow" space at a friend's house too. The asbestos thing may be the killer. Going over the photos with a friend we're pretty sure it's all asbestos insulated with a pretty high remediation cost to get that outta there. It also limits the deconstruction we would otherwise do ourselves as it is in the walls...ah the asbestos that breaks the camels back...
 

·
Goatless goat momma
Joined
·
7,887 Posts
asbestos is scary stuff. are there any pre-fab houses that are cheap? if the land is what you want and the foundations are sound, you can see if you can find a reasonably priced pre-fab and just put that up. also, if there is asbestos, I would go back to the seller and let them know, and amend your offer accordingly...

good luck. house/land hunting is never easy....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,787 Posts
yeah asbestos might be a deal breaker. I never thought about that being used. That would make demolition expensive. If I were you I would still get estimates on it and just see what yhe damage would be.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,737 Posts
Asbestos is such a pain. :/ I would definitely approach the seller about that and see if you can get them lower on the price just because of the threat the house could pose now and additional costs. They have to understand that you can't live there and it will be expensive to level it.

Even at 100,000 though, with the problems it has, I think that's entirely "a no deal". I don't know what it's like in your area but in mine at that price that plot would be GONE! Properties with a decent or rough looking house go for 200-300k. Sometimes if the land is nice enough and the price is right its worth the investment. But every situation is different and I would see how much a new house would cost and the demolishing would cost before you act. Good luck :)
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top