We are looking pretty closely at a house about 20 minutes from the borough DH’s new job will likely be (we get the final word on that next week). It’s just outside a town of 400. Far as I can tell it’s not zoned at all. The property is about 1.5 acres, 1/4 clear and 3/4 unkept forest. Not a big homestead but about 8x what I have now, should suit us for a while. Low property taxes, low selling price. It’s on a steep slope but the clear part is a gentler slope. There are several nice sheds, a carport, built in garage. Across the street and down the hill to the south is a small river. Up the hill to north and west is more forest owned by a neighbor a ways away then farm fields where it levels out, to the east next door is one house, looks like it’s an older couple and their grown daughter. Just past them is a small church. Half a mile away is a church we might want to attend.
The house was built in 1925, looks pretty updated and not in bad shape, good windows and decent insulation, should suit our needs well after some light cosmetic work (same stuff we did to this house when we got it). The windows are in a great situation for passive solar (big ones to south, few small ones north, etc). I guess we’d inspect it closely ourselves (foundation and roof would be my main inquiries), get an offer in, and get a professional inspection after that. Not sure if that’s in addition to an FHA inspection or what, we had a conventional loan on the house we have now so I haven’t dealt with that.
The listing says well/spring water, need to look into that, make sure the system is working and clean. It’s oil heat, everyone has that there, I’m not familiar with that I do know it’s more costly than gas. I’d love to add a woodstove if it was possible. I can’t even tell who I’d need to get a permit from. If it's installed right my insurance is good with wood heat.
It’s owned by individuals, not a bank. They dropped the price every couple months, it’s been listed since Feb. Our loan guy suggests an FHA. We own our current house, but according to the calculations (and our budget) we can carry both mortgages until ours sells.
For now we just want a place to live, a personal vegetable garden and maybe some berries, 5 chickens, and private space for the kids to play.
How’s the property sound? What should I look out for? How should I go about evaluating a well? Coming from a crowded place where you ignore neighbors besides a quick good morning, how should I build relationships with them there?