Do I want to buy this house for 200K

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Ed Prall
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Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 7:22 pm
Location: Maine

Do I want to buy this house for 200K

Post by Ed Prall »

This property is on a hill about 100 feet downstream of town wastewater treatment facility, (another house is between us) and between the river and the house there is a public boat launch, with parking lot and picnic area. Sorry, no pictures are available, but it looks very pretty. It is a tall, peak roofed, clapboard house, circa 1910, with attached medium sized barn which will need foundation work. House has very straight lines all around, and has fieldstone foundation, a deep dry cellar, (no furnace!} town water and sewer (not far to go!), nice unrestored interior, but hasn't been lived in for probably 15 or 20 years. Someone back in the 70s decided that they wanted to go all-electric, and installed elec. baseboard heaters. The electrical wiring has been divided in to 2 circuits, to allow for an upstairs tenant.
The house sits on 1/2 acre southeast facing hill, has a very nice view of the estuary of a river, is conveniently located for both me and my wife (especially her, since she could walk about 1/4 mile to her job. I'm about 1 mile away. The house will need storm windows, a furnace-boiler and radiators, although the agent tells me there is insulation in the exterior walls, I imagine that more may be needed. The house has been on the market for almost 2 years! The seller has apparently come down from 265 last year to now 210K. What do I offer as a first offer? I was informed that the last interested buyer refused to meet the sellers last price, which was 5K above their final offer. I have concluded that the 210 figure may be the figure that the seller last offered. A final note: the agent also told me that the pollution control facility is going to be moving at some time in the future.
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea,
With sea girls wreathed in seaweed green and brown,
Til human voices wake us, and we drown

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Post by franklyspeaking »

We have a waste treatment plant in our town on the river, and it has a terrible odor problem!! If your town's facility is anything like ours, I think you wouldn't be asking the question. If there are no obvious issues with odors or other problems, the neighborhood is good, and you think it is a good buy in relation to comparables in the area then buy it. You can always offer more, if the seller doesn't take your first off, so start lower than you think they will settle for and go up from there.

The biggest concern that I would have is the fact that it hasn't been lived in 15 years. That's a long time to not have someone watching out for leaks and other things that need attention has a house ages. You should check a house like this over very carefully, as I doubt that the owner knows much about what is wrong with it. The owner can't disclose what he doesn't know about.

Good luck!

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Post by HB »

Go talk to the operator of that sewage treatm,ent plant and tell him what you're thinking of doing, then ask him if the collection system that feeds the plant has a bad I&I problem. (means it takes on a lot more water during rainstorms than it can treat). If it does, ask him how the plant handles the overflow. Some plants will divert flow into holding basins treat it later , after the storm is over, but some plants just let the overflow run into the river. If that's the case, you want to be aware that sometimes you may find nasty things in that river. At any ratem, IO wouldn;t sugest fishing in it that close to the discharge of the plant.

If you have kids, I wouldn't be to keen on letting them play in that water.

As for the plant moving, Be cautious about what the realtor says. Soon may just mean that they're talking about siting the plant at another location but they haven't gottten to the part where they beg for money for the project, design it, and get all the permitting out of the way. This could take 5 + years so you should also ask the operator of the plant about that timeframe.

The operator should be willing to talk about all this stuff cause a.) he/she won't want a new neighbor that's going to cause trouble for the plant, and B.) if a new plant is going to be built, the operator will be excited about the project since it;s like getting a new toy for them.

As far as odors go, $#!+ stinks, and that's just a fact of life.

Good Luck.


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Post by jeepnstein »

One of the locations I do some work at is a treatment plant. We joke about it alot but it really doesn't stink unless something is very wrong with the process. Since I'm not on the Scuba team I spend my time in the lab and not out by the ponds. It really depends on how seriously the plant operator monitors the process. Smaller plants tend to stink less than one plugged into a city of 400 or 500 thousand toilets. This is the kind of thing that is most obvious during the summer.

I'd rather live by a sewage plant than a crack house any day.


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Post by Starr-Point »

If those are my only two choices, I'm moving.

You really need to find out if the "the plant is going to move" is true or just a load of what they're processing today. You can't just whack up a plant anywhere you like; there are detailed permit proceeses, herarings, filings, etc. So it should be a matter of public record. If there is no record, you at least know that any move is years down the road.

I live nowhere near one of these plants, but occasionally drive within a few hundred yards of one. Every time it rains the stink can be smelled for miles.

That, couple with the fact that it's been vacant for 15-20 years, and has been for sale for 2 years gives you all the info you need, at least imho.

I'd offer them $75K cash, close in 30 days.

Mrs. Bloomfield
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Post by Mrs. Bloomfield »

I wouldn't pay $2,000 for a house near a waste-water treatment facility, much less $200,000!!!

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Post by buildsomething »

Let me be the first one to say ignore reality and live your dream!!! Its not always about the numbers...Hehee...

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Post by mhodge44 »

When I took a my waste water treatment class in college we had to go visit a few plants. The strength of the smell varied at the different plants but none of the ones I went to really smelled that bad unless you were close to pools. 100' it wasn't all that bad.

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Post by Crash »

100', that's 33 yards, I'd punt.

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Post by MattStiltner »

I agree with the concept of a lowball offer, and get a good central air system inside it so you don't have to open the windows :D

If its been on the market for 2 years and vacant for that long, the total destruction of the property from being unmaintained could not be far off. I'd pay a few hundred bucks to have an inspector tear it down to size, and basically find all the bad talking points for you, take that with your offer, and push em on it, you might be lucky.

Asking price is not always selling price, sure its L.A., but that don't mean squat in this situation really.
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