My DREAM HOUSE just came on the market... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 06-13-2012, 03:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Would you touch it with a 10 foot pole? DH and I both have architectural backgrounds and have designed and subcontracted many new-construction houses. So not really worried about that part.


This particular house...OMG. It was listed several months ago at $500k+. We went to see it, but didn't go inside. The property is PHENOMENALLY beautiful. I've never seen anything like it. It's almost 10 acres and at the edge of the water. The surrounding houses are gracious and lovely, but it's not anything I'd call a neighborhood.


Came back on the market at $299k. It's a PUD. The house is much larger than I had realized...6 beds, 6 baths, 5,000+ sq ft. Way bigger than anything I want or need. And it needs EVERYTHING redone, from the pictures I've seen. But it's a historic mill, built in 1937. SOOOOOO much character, it makes my heart sing. Maybe we could just close off part of the house and redo the main house?


I don't think it even has a Certificate of Occupancy.


Dream come true or money pit? How do you even figure out whether something like this is feasible?

And how do the CO issue/PUD impact financing?

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#2 of 10 Old 06-13-2012, 03:43 PM
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Well, book an appointment to see the inside.  You don't know if it's dream house yet without seeing it. :) And I assume money is not a problem (including repairs)?  If you guys are handy and hard-working maybe you can eventually turn it into a bed and breakfast place?


For me I would not want such a place.  DH and I are not handy and we can't look after such a big place.

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#3 of 10 Old 06-13-2012, 03:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Money might be a problem :(. I just did a google search and it looks like if there is no CO, then a bank won't finance it, so it has to be a cash deal.


Honestly, we'd be hard pressed to come down with 10%, but it just seems like such a great deal.  You should see the cr*p in the $299k price range around here. DH and I were looking at 250k to 300k and it has been disheartening. 


We'll still go see it.  Maybe my parents could help us out...

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#4 of 10 Old 06-13-2012, 03:50 PM
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Just looking after the grounds might be a part-time job. Would you have time? would you hire it out?


I see you're in New England. Imagine heating that place!

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#5 of 10 Old 06-13-2012, 04:38 PM
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It sounds wonderful. I thInk of you are interested on a project then it must be worth looking into whether you can afford it/ want to take it on. The first place to start would be an inspection as a PP said. Then I would get a project manager with restoration experience to come and look at it with you and give you some idea of the costs involved there. I'm not sure how you work out expenses like heating etc. maybe someone else will know.

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#6 of 10 Old 06-13-2012, 05:25 PM
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I'd consider time as well as money for factors.  How old are your LOs, are you home-centered or do you work and school outside the home, things like that can both impact and be impacted by the upkeep this place would need.


I'll be honest, though.  It sounds absolutely gorgeous!  If it's the kind of thing that could be fun for you and your family, look closer and harder, run your numbers, and post photos!

ETA re the grounds, is livestock an option?  Goats and the like take some care, but they mow the lawn too.

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#7 of 10 Old 06-13-2012, 06:35 PM - Thread Starter
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All good points to consider! We're seeing the house next week, hopefully, and then DH and I will have lots to talk about. The first time we saw it we were both like, "I can't believe they're asking 500k for that.  It needs SO much work.  If it were 250k, then it'd be no-brainer!"  Well, 299k isn't quite 250k (but if it sits on the market for awhile, maybe they'd accept that...), but it's got us both excited. WHich, honestly, is not necessarily a good thing. We tend to make decisions based on emotion, and then we end up in trouble. WHich is why I'm trying to be a little pragmatic. But seriously, building lots sell for close to 200k here, and this is 10 GORGEOUS ACRES with a GORGEOUS (potentially) house!

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#8 of 10 Old 06-13-2012, 11:29 PM
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I'm thinking money pit. 
Remodeling almost *always* costs more than you think and takes longer, especially if there's a budget.  Every time.  Even small things. 
For example, the new wax ring under our master bathroom toilet.  Long story short, that bathroom wasn't usable for 2+ years (okay, granted, my hubby didn't exactly have a fire under his rear), needed new subflooring, flooring, trim, and paint.  Or all the insulation and trim and chipped out concrete we needed to do when we replaced windows and doors.  Ugh. 

So make sure you look at it with a critical eye and not *just* the emotional side.  Emotions are great, but they don't pay the mortgage or HELOC or mow an acre of grass or weed/mow an orchard, you know?  I've seen so many folks end up (IRL) in a really tough spot when they take on more house/remodeling than they can/should.  It's hard.  :(

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#9 of 10 Old 06-21-2012, 01:13 PM
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It sounds like it's intended to be sold as land... :-\ And if you'd already be jumping through hoops for the base price, not counting remodel, it doesn't sound like you'd be ready even if the house was in mint condition.

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#10 of 10 Old 06-22-2012, 12:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Just a quick update. Went to go see it. I'm happy to say I'm not as in love with it as I was afraid I would be, so I'm making decisions with my brain, not my heart.  Phew! It's not meant to be sold just as's part of a PUD, so essentially, there are 10 acres with 5 build able lots (not yet on the market) and this house is assigned a one acre lot...but you wouldn't really own the land.  There is a contingency that the exterior be fixed first, bcs the developers intend to market the lots and put high end homes there.  The house is the closest to the water, so there would be people using the lake, and essentially very close to the house's backyard (there were actually a bunch of teenage boys there when we were seeing the house.  The lake is shared by a condo development on the other side of the lake).


Additionally, the house is ENORMOUS. And there isn't really anyway to only fix up part of it. And the basement is below the water table and VERY wet.  Everthing would need to be, heating, electrical.  There are six bathrooms...


Not to mention what it would take to heat the house, cool the house and keep the house CLEAN. And then the tax base once it were to get reassessed . Yep, not a good fit for us...


So not my dream house quite so much anymore. Thanks for all the input! 

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