2.18.2011

Let the debate begin...

farm
We went to look at a farmhouse yesterday. This is actually the second time we've looked at it; PRH and I looked at it last year and he fell in love with the gardens, the creek that rambles along the property border, the pastures, beautiful mature trees, the big red barn, the outdoor fireplace, the circular driveway (?!), and the rows of hydrangeas in front. What's not to love? Well, this city mouse decidedly did not love the smell of cow crap from the giant farm next door, the 4 mile drive from the middle of town (I know, it's only 4 miles, but...), the muddy driveway, the giant lawn (who's going to mow that beast?!), the unrealistic list price, and almost everything about the interior of the house...

farm
Mirrored tiles + faux brick + wood paneling...everywhere! At least the mirrored tiles had veins of gold running through each one. Yuck.

farm
What the house does have is amazing light...almost every room was sunshiny and that says a lot on a grey, upstate New York weekday. It's also in an excellent school district and I truly do see potential...really. I'm not sure why I'm even debating this here. For you, would the gardens, creek, pastures, mature trees, barn, outdoor fireplace, and rows of hydrangeas (did I mention all of the lilac bushes) outweigh the smell of cow crap, the 4 mile drive, and the renovation? Hey, Country Living, want to come document the renovation of an old farmhouse in upstate New York? I was voted 'friendliest' my senior year.

40 comments:

April said...

I'm drooling at just the thought of all that yard, flowers, trees, nature...maybe not the cow crap, but I think I could adjust. And my husband and I dream of one day owning a home we can fix up.

one vote for the farm house.

Erin Lang Norris said...

Do it. We moved 31 miles away from my work to have a yard and while the drive wears thin on me some days (okay, most days) it's usually worth it.

As for the mowing- we have just under 2 acres, which is probably nothing compared to what you are after, but we've thought about turning part of it into a meadow so we could get away with less mowing. :) Could be an option!

And PS- you get used to the cow crap and you will actually smile once you realize that it reminds you of home (new home, i mean...not the city mouse home, haha). :)

Amy Walters said...

i adore this place! i'd love to live somewhere like that. a barn!? amazing. a ride on mover would be fun!

A Bicycle Built For Two said...

A farmhouse with good bones, a great lot and fantastic light!? Done. And done.

Lisa said...

When I saw this post my jaw dropped. This is my ideal home.
But that's MY ideal, not yours.
I sometimes think places like this don't exist anymore or that the ones that do will never be for sale.
You do what's right for you guys, I just wanted to express by intense awe of this place.

Linen and Tulle said...

You can change the decor and make it your own. Totally do it!

gail said...

Too big to heat in the coming years!

Abigail Shaw said...

Do it! I'd love to slowly watch the renovations take place on your blog.

design Jessica said...

Oh yes please! I like that house and apprently it takes about 5mins to get used to a smell and then you don't notice it... saying that I used to work for a home made soap shop (Lush, not sure if you have it in the US?) and I used to stink of it constantly, used to get funny looks on the bus, it was mortfying! Not as bad a cow pats I imagine?

Jx

Erin said...

Ooh, I love it. But can you afford to renovate it? For me, it would be worth it, but it would be a LOT of work.

Design Fixation said...

That IS a tough question... I just ran across these pictures that might inspire you to take the country living plunge: http://style-files.com/2011/02/18/a-renovated-barn/

Chrysalis said...

If you don't buy this house, I will- sight unseen. I guarantee you- the whole cow poop thing will be something you laugh about after only a few months. "Remember when I thought it smelled cow-ish here?" Jump girl, jump.

Roseanna said...

Love it...but it is screaming money pit!

Holly said...

4 miles to town is NOTHING. The house and barn and all are so lovely. Renovations--well, they can be done, the question is if you are up for it with two small kids...we have often contemplated moving to a farm house in the middle of nowhere but for me it is the middle of nowhere part that does not work since I have a an only child who is VERY social...but only 4 miles to town sounds really good. Really good.

Joetta M. said...

i feel confident any house you get your hands on would become a gem.

Jen Craun said...

sometimes our dreams lead us to the most absurdly marked entry to a path, and if we get brave enough to get on that trail, take that first step towards something just because our heart is pulling towards it -- the experience often changes our perception of that entry, when we look back, from on the path...best of luck -- big life decisions are always so tricky.

Sara Dankert said...

I am with Phil - I have been slowly trying to psych Ben up for the idea that I would love to have a house and lot like this someday. And four miles is definitely reasonable. However, I do agree with a lot of the practical issues that others have brought up - like, would it be winter-ready (new windows, etc.) by next winter? And what kind of pace of renovation could you reasonably afford - fast enough for you to avoid banging your head against the gold-laced mirror-wall? It's a hard choice, but I would have a hard time saying no to that lot ...

Rachael, Pistachio Press said...

If only it were located in Rochester, then I'd say go for it!

Wolfie and the Sneak said...

gardens and a creek sound like heaven!
I don't think the renovations would necessarily suck the money out of your wallet, you guys are pretty industrious folks. I think what it boils down to is what you feel in your heart. You need to have an inner hippie pow wow and decide if that's how you see the near future playing out.

Patti B said...

we are in the middle of doing just what you (might) be doing soon. we are having sooo much fun. it's really hard and this was the coldest winter ever, but it will be so worth it. good luck!

sue said...

I am right downtown in a big city and we often think of taking the plunge and moving to the country. The things that hold us back are lack of great schools, and the fact that we won't be able to walk somewhere to get a good latte, LOL. Sounds like this place has the school thing covered for you!

What a big lifestyle decision. The place looks beautiful and I wish you luck and peace in making your big decision.

Emma at The Marion House Book said...

I'm pretty confident you'd have this place looking knock- your -socks off amazing in no time but you have to go with what your gut tells you! What is your gut saying?

Tulaloo said...

Oh yes! What a beautiful, potential filled home! Another very enthusiastic vote for the farm house!

Laurie in georgia said...

Emma's right...gotta go with your gut!

If you do decide to go for it, check out Amanda Soule's blog...soulemama.com...you probably already read it? Anyway, she and her husband are redoing a great old farmhouse...maybe that'll inspire you. Good luck!

The Stapelia Company said...

Well, you're not gonna get sensical advice from this girl. I live in an old renovated mill condo in Maine that's totally impractical; it has 16' ceilings, is a bear to heat and has miles of dusty brick everywhere. And I love it. What can I say? I'm a sucker for history. That house looks great and at the same time, totally impractical. I'd probably totally buy it. :D

ladaisi said...

I very much liked this post although I don't know you at all. . . I think it must be my strange fetish for that TV show in which realtors show prospective buyers different properties and they discuss what they like/don't like. I could watch that show for hours. Have, in fact.

That being said. . . I think it could be a perfect challenge to re-do this entire place. . . if there's money. We had a perfect little fixer-upper for awhile and let me tell you - not enough money, too many things broken, could never get it to reach its full potential. . . but they do say now is the time to buy.

I wish you the best of luck. I hope if you buy this place Country Living does find you. I love those articles too.

Ladaisi Blog

Shannon Gillman Orr said...

Oh so much to think about. Rennovation is no picnic, we've been looking ourselves. I have the same trouble though...too rural? too much work?? But perhaps you can use these as bargining chips against the price...and invest in good candles and plant LARGE lilac bushes outside the doors and windows...best of luck to you!

Knotted Nest said...

What an amazing property! I would definitely go for it. A lot of work for sure, but it has so much potential.

And oddly enough, I just bought a house 2 weeks ago and it has a giant diamond in the livingroom made of those exact mirrored tiles!!! They're the first thing we're tearing down :)

Juli said...

If you don't want it, can I have it?

Maile (My-lee) Ann said...

After awhile, you get used to the cow crap smell. Plus, my dad has always told me exposure to manure boosts your immunity. (He oughta know...he got his start with a manure spreading business...no kidding!).

Everything else about the home sounds wonderful. Sounds like HEAVEN to me.

Kate said...

If it's within your budget and doable with your lifestyle, AND there's a way you can limit the smell (I'd suggest surrounding the edge of the garden and the edge of the house with a huge amount of strongly scented flowers & trees) then do it. Otherwise, the smell is something you have to live with, which you'll probably get used to, but guests might not. Again, stress the scented garden! All of this said, that house is a dream! Interiors can change, and in the meantime, you can make do with a few simple and cheap adjustments. (see if you can get the house cheaper because of the amount of work you'll have to do inside)

Handbags*N*Pigtails said...

Oh that sounds amazing(the lilacs, the surroundings, the DIY projects.) not so much the cow crap. Im so with you on that one. But if the house is "right" for you guys and you can handle the time & $$$ the renovations will require, go for it! It sounds amazing:) Id even come help you clean it up!
XO,
Sarah

mixette said...

There are *much* worse smells than cow poo, and: free fertilizer for your garden!

Riding mower for the lawn, and you'll be fighting over who gets to do it.

And, from the tech. side there are so many smart new innovations and technologies for heating and cooling that you guys can investigate. Rebates, tax credits, etc.

Hope you do it and hope you get a sponsor for some part of it!

Katie said...

While I love the idea of a fixer-upper farmhouse, if you don't like the trappings of the country, maybe you should consider a different kind of house? I mean this in the nicest way possible. It's one thing to think they're pretty and romantic. It's another, though, actually to live in one.

Jane Flanagan said...

For me, country living is a dream. But I grew up in the country and I know its up and downside. I guess I wouldn't be put off by the things you can change (decor etc.) but if the very essence of country living (distance, country smells etc) put you off, maybe that's a deal-breaker?

Adriana said...

House sounds perfect. About the cow crap, don't know anything about farming, but I think farmers only spread manure on their fields occasionally, maybe it won't be a constant thing? We have farms just north of where I live and maybe twice a year we get that smell, it lasts a few days, then its gone.

a said...

Hey Abbey!

I grew up across the street from a cow field and honestly, when you live so close you rarely ever smell it. You just get used to it. Only on the worst days, two to three times a year, when they spread manure directly next to your property line do you remember, oh yeah, this shit smells bad. However, guests will most likely come over and ask you how you put up with the smell, and the sound of the creek at night and you will be like, What smell? what noises? I don't hear/smell a thing.

Me said...

By it,Blog it.
Nice post bravo.

Robin and Mould said...

Oh my lordy! It gorgeous. Places like this do not exist here (UK) and boy am I jealous. I'd go for it. Cow poo, schmow poo and a goat for the lawn!

Monica said...

just do it!!!

what an adventure...

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