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How do you FIX this?

Questions and answers relating to houses built in the 1800s and before.

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How do you FIX this?

Postby identicalsnow » Fri Jul 29, 2011 12:12 pm

Hello OHW,

I've been a follower for quite a bit as a visitor and decided to register because I had a question for you all. We're looking to be first time home buyers searching for a cheap fixer upper. There's only two of us and he's very well skilled in the works of a home. However, I'm worried of the possible house purchases. Being female you know how finicky we are when it comes to exterior and interior design.

This is a home we are looking at to buy. The problem is the mind numbing angles of it that just kibosh any attractive qualities. We can't afford a contractor, which is why I'm asking here because it seems OHW has a pelthora of good information and suggestions. Would it even be worth the hassle?

Front and Back of possible home respectively
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Image
Last edited by identicalsnow on Sat Jul 30, 2011 11:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
Seeking a place to call my own.
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Re: How do you FIX this?

Postby KristenS » Fri Jul 29, 2011 12:34 pm

I adore those angles! My house is nothing but weird angles and gables. Every way you look at it, it's got a different roof line.

What part of the angles are you not liking? And what do you think needs to be fixed?

My own two cents: The back of the house seems to lack enough windows. And is that siding on the house? If so, there may be old window openings hiding behind that homogeneous siding. The house just seems somewhat bland and choked from the back. But if anything, that's from the LACK of angles!


(PS: I'm jealous that you'd have an external entrance to your basement. We don't, and I keep wishing we did.)
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c. 1907 Shingle Victorian/Craftsman
House history still being researched!
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Re: How do you FIX this?

Postby Lynners » Fri Jul 29, 2011 12:40 pm

Our house originally had an external entrance into the basement. We didn't know until we tore down the shack. The opening is filled with a ton of field stones, and you can see the curved brick work that would have been over the doorway peeking out.

I thought the wall in the basement had just been patched, but turns out it's a doorway filled in.
The Carson Farmhouse, 1899
Minesing, Ontario, Canada
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Re: How do you FIX this?

Postby cs » Fri Jul 29, 2011 12:46 pm

identicalsnow wrote:The problem is the mind numbing angles of it that just kibosh any attractive qualities.


The angles are not a problem - in fact, it's what makes old houses interesting! Nothing is more boring than a plain beige box, with a garage door as the most prominent architectural feature. I think your perspective place could be a show stopper!

That said, in my opinion, it does have some visual issues that could be changed for the better. There is the mish-mash of siding on the front, for example, The picture is small, but to me it looks like you have some vinyl, some fake stone or brick (or "brick-face"), and maybe some (fake?) shingles. My guess would be that it was all clapboard originally, and would look great like that again. Not an impossible thing. The little oval window on the front seems out of place. I would bet there was a more substantial double hung there originally, and it's return would help. As Kristen says, you may find the ghosts of the missing window(s) under the siding.

Looks like a great place!

Chris
http://www.saracenihouse.com
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Re: How do you FIX this?

Postby identicalsnow » Fri Jul 29, 2011 1:15 pm

Thank you so much you guys for the opinions they really help boost my confidence in the place should we get it. I agree that the exterior would need a re-working and fixing the outside entrance to the basement would probably be a 2 weekends project for both him and I. I also agree that there are more than likely ghost windows involved. That mini octogon on the front I want to stuff over someone's head asking what were they thinking ?!

If we do get the place I will continuiously keep you guys updated and posted with what we have to work and deal with. I have yet to see the inside of it but would LOVE it if you wanted to share some exterior visual images with me of colors, yard fronts, porches and back exteriors. Just to give me an idea of what I should be looking for. I'm very good with interior and landscaping, has a degree in flowering soil, I just haven't 100% grasped exterior design. :( But I try I really do.
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Re: How do you FIX this?

Postby lisascenic » Fri Jul 29, 2011 3:27 pm

If you think the house lacks attractive qualities, are you buying it because it's cheap? Do you plan to flip this house?

I don't consider this house's variety of angles a problem that needs FIXING. I'm just wondering why you're considering buying it, if you feel this way.
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Re: How do you FIX this?

Postby identicalsnow » Fri Jul 29, 2011 4:33 pm

lisascenic wrote:If you think the house lacks attractive qualities, are you buying it because it's cheap? Do you plan to flip this house?

I don't consider this house's variety of angles a problem that needs FIXING. I'm just wondering why you're considering buying it, if you feel this way.


It's both actually. We're currently housed in a townhouse that costs us 600$ a month to rent with no utilities. So approx 1000 dollars a month for existance. We've been doing this for nearly seven years because we didn't have the money then to get a home. Now we have enough for the purchase. A fix and flip is what we would probably do. However, should the homes interior be do able, meaning not covered in mold, like the last one. ( :shock: still has nightmares over it) We would end up getting it. I just wanted to see if maybe it was just ME having a visual issue. I'm housed out, as each prospective home we've come across I've started to doodle up ideas and fixings only to have them bought up by someone else who has more money to spend just to do a paint over and "cover up" before selling it for twice the price. We're not like that. We do things right, we want this house to become a very nice home and are not opposed to purchase and living in it till retirement or a few years prior before selling as we build our own home to our own specs. :) So when I saw this one I nearly skipped over it before moving back for a double take. I needed some outside opinions on if the issue was ME and not the home. It was me. :oops:

So we're going to look at it next week on Tues at 6. Specs of the home are as listed.

•Approximately 0.13 acre(s)
•1 total full bath
•1 total half bath
•6 total rooms
•2 stories
•Master Bedroom is 15 X 14.3,Carpet
•Living room is 15.5 X 15,Carpet,Ceiling Fans
•Dining room is 15.11 X 15.5,Formal Dining,Carpet
•Kitchen is 15.3 X 14.3,Laminate Floor (was told that kitchen needed redone)
•Basement is Full Basement,Walk Out
•Basement level is 255 sq. ft.
•2 fireplaces
•1 car garage
•Forced air heat
•Cooling features: Cooling
•Approximate lot is 67 X 85
•Lot size is less than 1/2 acre
•Utilities present: City Water,City Sewer
•Swimming pool(s) (above ground mess that is attached to the deck)
•Basement
•Dining room
•Parking features: Detached,Rear Entry
Laundry Basement Level, Bedroom 2 is 15.1 X 15, Bedroom 3 is 14.10 X 7.10, Master Bathroom is 11.7 X 8.2, Half Bathroom is 5 X 4.2, Utility Room in Basement
Block foundation and vinyl siding
Seeking a place to call my own.
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Re: How do you FIX this?

Postby Fanner » Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:03 pm

Sounds and looks very promising to me! I agree that there is a lot "going on" visually with the outside ~ and I'm sure it can be made a bit more aesthetically pleasing by changing the siding and (rock?) combinations. This chica is 100% dysfunctional in the interior or exterior decoration department, but I totally think that *something* can be done to return the home to it's original splendor. :mrgreen:
1904 Victorian :)
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Re: How do you FIX this?

Postby KristenS » Fri Jul 29, 2011 7:30 pm

I have to admit, I can't quite figure out where you are on this house hunting quest, identicalsnow. You mentioned wanting to own instead of rent, but your rent figures seem very, very low to me. (I'm in a different part of the country-- so I can't tell if you're saying $1000 a month for two people is very high or very low!) Then you say you want to fix and flip. But you might stay there until retirement, which doesn't sound like a flip. Unless you're two years from retirement. And your signature is "seeking a place to call my own." Which is a sentiment I empathize with. But then you're also considering buying a house before you've even seen the inside of it...which I can't empathize with at all!

So, I'm just kind of confused!
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c. 1907 Shingle Victorian/Craftsman
House history still being researched!
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Re: How do you FIX this?

Postby identicalsnow » Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:15 pm

You can call me Snow if you'd like.

I understand Kristen, I apologize for any confusion on it. My location on house hunting is "currently looking" there are NO final decisions yet. This home is a possible yes, and I was having my doubts at seeing the beauty of it after my prior house viewing fiascos.

I'm completely new to this house looking and ownership business so I apologize for being green about it. I was worried that I was jumping on the dismisal wagon too soon for this place, thus I posted my question as a "what if". I am excited about breaking into home owning, but I'm not excited over the disappointments after expectations run high.

Rent does seem low because I'm just slightly west of the east coast and in a very low income area. Average income for medium household is 40-50k. 600$ is high end here and a major drain on the pocket book per month on a place you can't do anything with or to because of being under contract. Thus the life of a renter.

The fix and flip or stay is merely a what if analysis nothing fully decided on. As stated before, we don't know if we're going to fall through with the home yet because, like you stated we haven't seen it. That will be this coming Tues at 6. The Mister had gotten home from work and I told him I posted my question on here to see what others opinions were on it. If it was worth our time from just face value. Most say yes and I have begun looking at homes with similar angles to see what we can play with.

I hope this rectifies the confusion for you Kristen.

And thank you all for answering me and having me look at the home in a new victorian stick style light and not a dreaded angle nightmare.
Seeking a place to call my own.
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