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Old 06-21-2008, 02:46 PM  
mockinbird
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Default A girl and an old house

Hi there. I am a newbie and here is my introduction.

I have an old house that was built in the 1950's. It is less than 1000 sq feet. The house is in need of major repair. It is paid for and sits on just under and acre of land. In the near future, I will either have to move into this house or rent it out so I have to do something to make it better. I have had a building contractor and an appraiser look at it. The building contractor said it would be better to tear it down and start from scratch due to the many problems. The cost of repairing everything would exceed the value of the house but I can't afford to build a new house. The appraiser said that he would make a few structural repairs first and then do cosmetic stuff and it should be fine. Other people have said, "Oh it can be a cute house with a little work" and others say, "I wouldn't put a dime into it." So.....I am torn as to what I should do. I don't expect you guys to make up my mind but I am looking for information to guide me as to what I should and shouldn't do.

I have browsed the forums and have already found a wealth of information. I hope to utilize this information as I go through the journey of remodeling (or not)....alone.

So there you have it, an introduction from a girl with an old house. Thanks!!



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Old 06-21-2008, 03:46 PM  
inspectorD
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Default Welcome

Get some more contractors opinions out there.
Sometimes it will be less expensive to tear down, but recycle as much as you can. And then there are times when things just take a longer time to fix it, take smaller steps. I would think on it another week, just to settle myself down and make a good choice.
Good luck and post some pics if you want better advice.
Ever think of a trailer or smaller home to start?



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Old 06-21-2008, 09:57 PM  
mockinbird
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Thanks for the welcome inspectorD. As time permits, I will post in the appropriate forum where each of the problems are and see what advise I get.

I agree with you on getting the second opinion. Thanks!!

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Old 06-21-2008, 11:34 PM  
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Welcome Mokingbird:
If the house is built a couple of feet above the ground, has straight and good framing and roof structure, without any sign of termites; then you have something you can work with.
If you had to start over the first 30% of the house would be: foundation, framing and drying in. If you already have that much of a house there is no need to try to start over.
We have several professionals on here, like InspectorD and many others to help you with every step of the way. I look forward to sharing my limited expertise with you too.
Glenn

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Old 06-23-2008, 12:34 PM  
JulieC
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I have to agree, you have to figure out whether the structure is sound first. I don't think you have had the right type of person look at it yet, you need a home inspector. Generally, people pay a home inspector to check out a house they have offered to buy with a conditional clause in case something major is found. Since you already own it, you can't back out, but you need that information to make a sound decision. Be forewarned, a good house inspector (get a recommendation) will point out 5 bazillion things wrong, many of them very minor. Just be prepared for that, it's a little scary to have every single thing pointed out. That said, not everything has to be fixed today, next year, or even in the next 5 years.

Are you planning to do any of the work yourself? Tackling what you can yourself a good way to make the dollars go farther.

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Old 07-27-2008, 10:47 PM  
mockinbird
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Hi all, it has been over a month since my first post about this old house.

The structure is not sound and would take a lot of work to fit it. I have been told that it could collapse in during the process of trying to fix it. The front side of the house is within a couple of inches of sitting on the ground and has old termite damage and water damage. The boards that make up the outside wall (underneath asbestos siding) from the ground to about a foot or two up pretty much crumble in your hands. The roof has separated about 6 inches on one side where the peak is, the timbers holding up the roof have sagged and are not supported properly, the windows are rotten and floors will need to be completely replaced in three rooms. Even if all of that gets done, it will still need thousands of dollars worth of work on it to make it look half way decent.

So, with that being said, I have decided to tear it down and put a double wide there. The double wide will be a repo that will need some work but the structure will be sound. I will be able to do a lot of the remodeling by myself hopefully. I hope that I am not making a mistake with my choice.

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Old 07-28-2008, 07:28 AM  
inspectorD
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Default Hmmm

Only time will tell.
Sounds like an awful lot of work, and if you need professionals, it will cost.
I always write it all down and then compare notes...and prices.

Good luck.



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