7.20.2011

Buyer beware...


When PRH and I started looking for a house over 3 years ago, we were specifically looking for a place that had seen better days. Some houses that we looked at were so bad that PRH would just look at me and laugh. Today, I thought it would be fun to look back at just a few of the houses we've looked at over the last few years.

This house (above and below) was the first one in Buffalo that we ever looked at. It was on a beautiful street, had amazing woodwork, and the layout was fantastic. It also needed major structural work, didn't have a driveway, and the "smoking room" (second image down) was pretty revolting.


This house (below) was in a dodgy neighborhood, had an awful "newly remodeled" kitchen, and needed all new windows. It also had two staircases, amazing woodwork, the layout was great, and the light was incredible. We put in an offer (and counter-offer) that the sellers didn't accept. The house then sat and sat and they finally ended up accepting much less. In the end, I'm glad this one got away.


This was one of the houses we looked at when we first moved back to this area. I really wanted this house (I blame the pregnancy hormones), but everyone advised us against purchasing it. It was enormous and had been completely gutted; it didn't even have a kitchen or bathrooms. At the time, I saw that as a plus because every house we'd looked at up until that point had horribly remodeled kitchens and baths. The woodwork was absolutely amazing...you can't see it in this photo, but the staircase had ferns and other plants carved into it. Loved it!

house
houseI still dream about this house, but will admit that it would've been a chore (especially with a new baby). Check out that paint job...

house
I'll be back tomorrow with 'before' photos of the farmhouse. Prepare yourselves! :) In the meantime, I know you all have good stories about houses you've looked at...do share!

10 comments:

Amy said...

I would have dreams about that staircase alone. I completely understand why you wanted it so. I gaze longingly at houses I'll never have, and renovate, (in my head) the houses I almost bought, the ones that probably would have put me underwater on the mortgage, or buried me in electric wiring repair, or had the roof come off in a hurricane because I passed on the wind-impact windows. I know their reality would have been way too real. But I still dream...

Kim Hambric said...

I enjoy coming across others that appreciate an old house. I cannot ever imagine buying a new one.

My hubby and I got a "good deal" on our two-story frame house 14 years ago. We're still working on it, but the worst is long over. I'll never forget the first week. The previous owner had heating the entire house with a wood stove. We had that taken out immediately. It took several 8-hour days of scrubbing to remove the soot from the walls and ceilings. The furnace had to go immediately as it was considered a hazard (as was the 30-year old wood stove).

The kitchen was a joke. We made plans for a new kitchen immediately. There was only one light in the kitchen. It was an old tool box with four "make up mirror" bulbs sticking out of the sides. It swung way up high on a greasy chain. The only way to turn on the light was go grab a spatula or other kitchen tool to keep it from swinging while trying to turn the rusted switch on the bottom.

So much work during these 14 years. So worth it.

Good luck!!!

Laurendy said...

I looked at 29 houses / condos before I found my house. . . and at one point I was totally in love with a giant condo with lots of DIY potential, I even put an offer in on it. . . and then I found out why it had been empty for so long. . .

the last owner had been murdered in the master bedroom. . . so the broken door wasn't from some crazy party like my sister had guessed, but from it being kicked in. . .

yeah, lucky for me, my offer wasn't accepted.

There were at least three other houses I was in love with before I found my place.

Ren- Lady Of The Arts said...

wow- that paint job is something.

pinkshirtsandcarwrecks said...

When we were house shopping 2+ years ago we looked at so many! My last count stopped at 50, we drove our realtor nuts. There were a few that we really loved but there was always some sort of deal breaker. The one that got away (in my opinion) was a gorgeous craftsman style with beautiful original woodwork. Everything was perfect - except it was $50,000 over our price range and it was next to a little abandoned parking lot along side a busy thoroughfare. My bf didn't want it because of those reasons - namely that the parking lot was sure to be bought and some crazy condo situation would've gone up, leaving us to be neighbors to major construction for years. I still drive by it and can picture ourselves there.

But I do love our own little house (and neighborhood) better than anything and am glad everything ended up the way it did. We've done some major and minor diy renos, and more to come when we've saved up. It has it's quirks, but it's perfect for us!

Leslie said...

Wow, that is SOME paint job! Yeah.

We looked at a few houses in Philly before we found ours, and can I say that popcorn ceilings were all the rage at some point. Glittery ones at that.

The house we ended up with is in Manayunk, about 120 years old and kind of a beast with not many redeeming qualities. But I fell in love with the wall around the front of the property. It's an old stone wall of Wissahickon Schist. Lovely! And the view from the back.

I hope we hear some good news soon about the farmhouse :)

Jen @ RamblingRenovators said...

I can see why you fell in love with each of those houses, especially the one with the staircase.

Eager to see your farmhouse (and to hear that finally things closed and it is fully and completely yours!)

teri said...

I look at all those photos and all i see is : CHARACTER!!!
looking forward to more house pics!
teri@giddy...

Aesthetic Outburst... said...

I knew you'd all have awesome stories! Laurendy, yours is pretty terrifying. Wow!
x,
Abbey

sécia said...

Great photos! Old homes are fantastic. Can't wait to see what you do with yours.

♥ sécia
www.petiteinsanities.blogspot.com

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