We went to look at the fixer-upper house today with the realtor and even though I had made up my mind that I did not want to move previously, I was still kind of interested to see the inside.
We met the realtor there with my parents and the baby in tow and toured the property. The outbuildings and barns were in pretty good shape and there was lots of room for just about anything you would want to do - tractor storage, goats, chickens, cows, workshops. And we liked the pond - behind the house and hidden behind a hedgerow - a nice, totally quiet spot and I could picture myself sitting there on the little wooden bench (that I hoped was included in the purchase price).
I was getting excited about this opportunity again. The house didn't look too bad from the outside today in the nice bright sunshine. I had tried to downplay it in my mind on the ride home from our first drive-by but I could see the possibilities and potential that was there. I was ready to see the inside.
First, let me say, that if we did not have a 14 month old and responsibilities and if we didn’t mind living in a pop-up camper or tent for about 6 months, then I would have made an offer today.
This is the kind of challenge I love. It looks horrible but I can see what it could look like and I am not afraid of doing the work. The current owners had decided to remodel the old house but after doing most of the tare-out, they changed their minds and went for using their money to build a new house. I wise choice, according to my Dad. About 90% of the plaster had been ripped out. The electric was there but old - it would need new electric, new plumbing, insulation, drywall, new windows, probably a new roof within two years, and the foundation needed to be "jacked up" in at least two places.
We walked around and I noticed how much I liked the layout of the rooms and that I would have an entranceway and a front staircase. The beams were all hand cut and old - pre 1890. All the features I wanted - a mudroom, first floor laundry hookup, a formal dining area. I could picture it all - finished and painted and decorated with antiques and pieces salvaged and repurposed from the barns.
But that was as far as it got. Reality sunk in. It was expensive. The basement was dirt and had water in it. The floors were not level, it did not have a heating system, and there was no way we could afford the purchase price and all the repairs. Even if we did most of them ourselves, it would still be out of our range. And, how could I hang drywall with Connor toddling around? He finds ways to get into things he is not supposed to even when I am standing right next to him!
As you can see from the pictures, it is pretty much a blank slate. And, like I mentioned before, if it were a different time and we had the cash, we would be sleeping in a tent tonight planning our electrical installation strategies.
But it was not meant to be.
And that is ok.
I am very happy where we are. I love it here and I really did not want to move. I like having an almost finished house with lights and walls and a toilet. We have a wonderful home here and I am sure that I can find plenty of challenges.