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Old 09-29-2012, 10:00 PM   #21
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Is that 10 days or 10 business day? Ten days is plenty of time to get a regular home inspection done. Where it is tight is in the event the inspector turns up some serious problem and you need to get an expert opinion about the cost say for a roof repair, or furnace. (snip)
Unfortunately, it is ten calendar days, not ten business days. There is the possibility of requesting a three-day extension, but with three other offers waiting in the wings I doubt they would give me any more than that. One of my choir mates suggested I talk to another member of the parish who is a retired architect. He is going to suggest a contractor who can both evaluate the building and estimate cost of repairs. I will get a second opinion from that contractor. The guy who did the repairs on my townhouse will also look at the house, but since I think he is expecting to get the job if the sale goes through I am not comfortable relying on his opinion only. IMO that situation creates too much of a temptation for him to low-ball the estimate and then either try to add a bunch of change orders or cut corners on the work. OTOH the architect emailed me back today that he figures $150/sq ft for remodeling which sounds to me like high-end work, which may perhaps be all he did in his career. It's also Seattle-area pricing which is probably higher than Lacey, but if it costs even half that much per sq ft to rehab a house, this project is way over my budget and I'll just have to let it go.
I will keep you all posted.
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Old 09-29-2012, 10:10 PM   #22
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However some of us are just weird enough to like the quirky nature of a small historic cottage and doing repairs "as needed". It's small - it can't cost too much to fix!
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Me too. I really like it. The place just has a good vibe. I also agree with WestLake about checking it out.

Keep us posted.
It does have good "vibrations", doesn't it? Isn't it funny how a house can just look like HOME before you live there--even in a photo? It is sort of like taking a liking to a person the minute you meet them. I wonder what makes that happen (people or houses). I don't think it's nostalgia, at least not only that. Neither this house, nor others I've seen that gave that same impression, look anything like the houses I grew up in.

I hope this will work out, but if it doesn't there are other houses with good vibrations. The "house that got away" in July had a homelike feel similar to this one, although not quite as convenient a location.
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Old 09-30-2012, 09:33 AM   #23
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OTOH the architect emailed me back today that he figures $150/sq ft for remodeling which sounds to me like high-end work, which may perhaps be all he did in his career.
I think you need to talk details with anyone who is giving you prices for future work on the house. A simple $/sq ft figure can only be the most general guess. For instance a kitchen that gets (Option A) a total tearout, new appliances, granite countertops, new cabinets with a new configuration, etc is a lot different from just getting (Option B) new cabinet faces, new Formica countertops, a new sink, and a coat of paint. In a home like this, Option B makes a lot more sense, gives you 95% of the increased functionality of Option A, and saves a lot of money. It's the same thing throughout the house--floor coverings, bathrooms, etc.

You definitely want to be present for any home inspection (the inspectors hate this, but they'll tell you things and explain things that won't make it into the report).

FWIW, I think you've fallen for this house and that can be an expensive infatuation. That happens to me every time, too (just ask my DW). There really are lots of houses out there.
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Old 09-30-2012, 10:35 AM   #24
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you do not have to wait for the contract to do the inspections at least I would not. You are risking the cost of the inspections anyway and I guess you could say that it is slightly more risky now than to wait for the contract.

My main problem was not getting the inspection done in time but it was costing out the list of repairs. The termite and roof report comes with the repair cost but the home inspectors report doesn't. You may have to scramble to get an electrician and plumber out on top of a the contractor you are planning to get.

I found the termite guy that the real estate agent recommended to be reasonable on cost. He gutted and replaced two tile baths for a total of 6 grand. My real estate agent also recommended a handyman that went through a list of fifty items, including painting the whole inside for about 4k.

Bob
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Old 09-30-2012, 10:35 AM   #25
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(snip)You definitely want to be present for any home inspection (the inspectors hate this, but they'll tell you things and explain things that won't make it into the report).

FWIW, I think you've fallen for this house and that can be an expensive infatuation. That happens to me every time, too (just ask my DW). There really are lots of houses out there.
Yeah, I think I probably have. That's why I keep writing here that it aint the only fish in the sea. I need to keep telling myself that, because if the work is too expensive I will have to walk away. So now I will say it again (to reinforce the message): I found two houses I liked enough to offer on in four months and they both had good vibrations. If this one doesn't work financially, I will find another one that does.
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Old 09-30-2012, 10:47 AM   #26
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i took a look back at your photo and now I am wondering if you are on septic?

When i bought my cabin a few years ago the owner had to have a new system installed for 20k before he put it on the market.

The home from the outside looks well cared for.

It is very likely that you can get an extenion on the inspection time, when needed.
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Old 09-30-2012, 12:54 PM   #27
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I think samclem raised a good point. Also with a 70 yr old house there maybe other issues than just repainting and replacing counter tops etc.

You may be looking at knob&tube wiring which would all have to replaced, or aluminum wiring. Lead or galvanized steel pipes are problems, clay sewage/waste pipes. Lead paint which has be removed. asbestos in insulation. Problem is you may not get into of this until the reno/demo starts.
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Old 09-30-2012, 01:03 PM   #28
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FWIW, the house we are in now (built in 1959) had fuses rather than circuit breakers. My insurance company required that we get a new panel before they'd write a policy.

If it's 70 years old there won't be aluminum wiring, but there could be LOTS of other surprises. And, at least in my state (might be a new federal law?) folks who do even minor work (e.g. replace an interior door) in older homes now have to test for lead paint and take all kinds of special steps if (when) they find it. Cha-ching!
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Old 09-30-2012, 01:31 PM   #29
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I know that OP loves this place, but I've done an attempted transformation of an old farmhouse into a modern dwelling. I had some carpentry and concrete skills, and I learned enough wiring and plumbing skills to take it on. (Usually these things you think you will do over time, then one night you wake up with that funny smell of heated up bakelite. Wiring project starts next day! Better find a book!

And the time we came back from a Christmas vacation in Costa Rica. We are sitting in our nice little glass surrounded breakfast nook, watching birds in the feeder outside the window, and we notice a rather alarming slant to the room. Foundation project starts next week! Buy railcar jacks, buy choker chains, learn something about foundations. Then be very carefule not to get buried in rubble while you crawl around with the skunks and rodents, trying to find out just what is down there.

Old fashioned NW country construction. Fell a couple of old growth cedars. Limb and trim them, drag them into place, put your floor joists over them, and start building. They're called mud sills, for reasons that will become clear if you ever see any.

My task- to get those now rotting cedars ( 40 years on) out of there, without pulling down the house. Unbelievably risky, and tremendous fun too- but more for a 30 yo former hillbilly Mother Earth News reader (me at the time) than a middle aged, middle class person. I then excavated a crawl space lying on my back with a shovel, putting the dirt on a skid I made from sheet metal, and my 4 yo son and wife pulled it out with a rope and dumped it on a sheet of plywood. Think we didn't have good appetites at supper? Later a welder friend built me a nice mild steel skid, with a sled like bevel in front, and low sides to limit spills.

Next learn a lot about concrete and forms and piers and home construction of laminated beams, and wind and earthquake tiedowns, on and on.

Then later- hornet infestations which I also solved country style, and various other things requiring inventive plans and a certain strange and non-standard personality.

Is something like what OP is planning a good idea? Almost never. But it is very appealing to some people. For my part, it's like marriage. Give it a try if you must, but once out from under it you will likely never consider it again.

As an aside, the city of Seattle has possibly the worst housing stock selling for the most money that could be found. Most of the middle quality SFHs in the city are really horrible. Hard for someone from another part of the country to accept. In effect, much of the city is bungalow teardowns waiting for a parcel to be put together to allow some form of multi-family to be built. This is particualry true north of the ship canal to the city limits, excepting the premier neighborhoods along the sound and the lake.

Sometimes a particlarly nice view site, large enough for a luxury home and in an unquestionably safe neighborhood will get a $1mm+ quality sfh built. But if owner never needs to sell, he had better hope for some meaningful inflation, since he paid dearly for that nice lot.

Ha
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Old 09-30-2012, 04:14 PM   #30
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i took a look back at your photo and now I am wondering if you are on septic?

When i bought my cabin a few years ago the owner had to have a new system installed for 20k before he put it on the market.
I checked that with the city before making an offer. They told me over the phone it's connected to the sewer but I think I will request it in writing. Also the inspector should be able to verify whether it is on sewer or not. The "House that got away" was just beyond the end of the existing sewer system but I would have had enough money left after purchase to extend the sewer, and that house didn't need as much repair as this one.

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The home from the outside looks well cared for.
Looks can be deceiving. The inside is a mess. I think the house must have been rented out for quite some time, and there is a notice in the window from when the last tenants were evicted.


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It is very likely that you can get an extenion on the inspection time, when needed.
I hope so, because I think I'm going to need to!
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Old 09-30-2012, 04:26 PM   #31
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I know that OP loves this place, but I've done an attempted transformation of an old farmhouse into a modern dwelling. I had some carpentry and concrete skills, and I learned enough wiring and plumbing skills to take it on. (Usually these things you think you will do over time, then one night you wake up with that funny smell of heated up bakelite. Wiring project starts next day! Better find a book!

And the time we came back from a Christmas vacation in Costa Rica. We are sitting in our nice little glass surrounded breakfast nook, watching birds in the feeder outside the window, and we notice a rather alarming slant to the room. Foundation project starts next week! Buy railcar jacks, buy choker chains, learn something about foundations. Then be very carefule not to get buried in rubble while you crawl around with the skunks and rodents, trying to find out just what is down there.

Old fashioned NW country construction. Fell a couple of old growth cedars. Limb and trim them, drag them into place, put your floor joists over them, and start building. They're called mud sills, for reasons that will become clear if you ever see any.

My task- to get those now rotting cedars ( 40 years on) out of there, without pulling down the house. Unbelievably risky, and tremendous fun too- but more for a 30 yo former hillbilly Mother Earth News reader (me at the time) than a middle aged, middle class person. I then excavated a crawl space lying on my back with a shovel, putting the dirt on a skid I made from sheet metal, and my 4 yo son and wife pulled it out with a rope and dumped it on a sheet of plywood. Think we didn't have good appetites at supper? Later a welder friend built me a nice mild steel skid, with a sled like bevel in front, and low sides to limit spills.

Next learn a lot about concrete and forms and piers and home construction of laminated beams, and wind and earthquake tiedowns, on and on.

Then later- hornet infestations which I also solved country style, and various other things requiring inventive plans and a certain strange and non-standard personality.
I have heard about those houses built sitting on a couple of cedar (or in California, redwood) logs laid on the bare earth. This house may have started out that way, but it has a concrete block foundation now and the floors are still level--I checked that before I made the offer. As to what other work it may need in the way of wiring, plumbing, etc, that is why the offer is subject to inspection. It was too good a location and too cute a house to let it go by without even checking feasibility. But if I can't afford to have the repairs done I will just have to keep looking.

Quote:
Is something like what OP is planning a good idea? Almost never. But it is very appealing to some people. For my part, it's like marriage. Give it a try if you must, but once out from under it you will likely never consider it again.

As an aside, the city of Seattle has possibly the worst housing stock selling for the most money that could be found. Most of the middle quality SFHs in the city are really horrible. Hard for someone from another part of the country to accept. In effect, much of the city is bungalow teardowns waiting for a parcel to be put together to allow some form of multi-family to be built. This is particualry true north of the ship canal to the city limits, excepting the premier neighborhoods along the sound and the lake.(snip)
Ha
Why do you think I'm house-hunting two counties away?

I was really surprised to see on the MLS that there were any houses at all in the city of Seattle in my price range. There are, but the only one so far that looked at all attractive has had a driveby shooting on the same block, and assault w/ a deadly weapon around the corner, both in the last 12 months. Never mind about that one.
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Old 09-30-2012, 04:46 PM   #32
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I was really surprised to see on the MLS that there were any houses at all in the city of Seattle in my price range. There are, but the only one so far that looked at all attractive has had a driveby shooting on the same block, and assault w/ a deadly weapon around the corner, both in the last 12 months. Never mind about that one.
Very wise decision to pass on that one! That foundation is a biggie, so good to have that done correctly.

Best of luck to you. I know that house hunting on a budget is a stressful, difficult task.

Ha
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Old 09-30-2012, 06:01 PM   #33
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Best of luck to you. I know that house hunting on a budget is a stressful, difficult task.

Ha
It's an awful, stressful chore no matter what, and you have so much else to contend with at the same time. Here is a prayer for you

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Old 09-30-2012, 07:59 PM   #34
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awww, thanks!

Being able to check out houses online has made house-hunting so much easier. Between the MLS, public websites like the Assessor for the relevant county, GIS sites that show crime statistics and environmental information like contours and wetlands, plus Google maps with the aerial photo and Street View, it's often possible to winnow down the available properties to ones that are of real interest. I kind of enjoy it, actually, although (if this house doesn't work out) I need to be careful not to wear myself out visiting properties like I did the other week. I went and saw three houses (agent drove) then drove from the agent's office up to the north end of town to sign some papers for the sale of my townhouse, then back down to my mom's in the south end. I was so tired I slept for most of the next three days. It really surprised me to be so worn out, as I had driven myself and my mom down to Lacey and back the Sunday ten days before, and was fine the next day. The only reason I can figure for the difference is that the day I saw the three houses was the day after my chemo treatment. Note to self: don't schedule anything strenuous the day after treatments!
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:06 PM   #35
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Take care of yourself and hope you find that perfect nest soon.

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Old 10-08-2012, 08:50 AM   #36
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Inspection today!
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:19 AM   #37
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Inspection today!
Good luck!!! Can't wait to hear how it comes out.
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:18 PM   #38
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Alas and alack! The architect I asked beforehand, plus the contractor and inspector today all concur, it doesn't just need more repair than will fit in my budget, the needed repairs and even phase 1 of my desired remodel exceed the budget by a factor of 2 or 3. So I must regretfully pass on this one. A slight consolation is that when I went down today with the inspectors I discovered the grocery store across the street is closing. (But there is a Safeway only a block further away, so it is only a very slight consolation.) I will ask my agent to keep an eye peeled on it, but unless the three non-occupiers all similarly decide against it, I won't have any opportunity to make a (drastically) lower offer on it. I kind of doubt it will still be in my price range after developer tears down the existing house and rebuilds it and anyway they would be most unlikely to replace it with an equally small house.

Where are us retired spinsters supposed to live if all the cute little housies are torn down and replaced with McMansions?
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:43 PM   #39
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I am so sorry! How disappointing. Guess it just wasn't to be.

I am sure that if you keep looking you will find a better house eventually.
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:03 PM   #40
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Maybe a better house, but I have great difficulty in imagining a better location. >>sigh<<
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