Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Well, I hope nobody steals my undiscovered treasure houses - but here's a little information about them. There are two on the same street (four blocks from a church I like). They were both built in 1907 (I assume by the same builder, since they share an architectural feature or two). They're both two-and-a-half story Victorians, and they each have a two-story octagonal room with a quasi-turret feature on top. One is probably a little larger (4BR 1ba; smaller is 3BR 2ba; I would give the square footage, but different websites have different numbers. I would say the first one is around 1800-2200, and the smaller around 1500-2000, just from my own observation).

Now, here's some features they have in common that can't be explained by having the same builder. They've both been sorely neglected for years. One is missing most of its paint, such that the wood shingles have nearly come off in a few places. The other had asbestos shingle (which I don't like, but can be replaced) put on at some point, so paint isn't as necessary, but the roof is in terrible shape. Also interesting - both of them have been on the market for well over a year. The smaller one has been on the market nearly two years.

Zero effort appears to have been expended to market either of them - the smaller one is full almost to the ceiling with unsorted junk. The other one hasn't (as mentioned) even been painted. Each of them is or was accompanied by adjacent lots, partitioned off a perfectly normal-sized yard and sold as large enough separately for another new-built house. So the homeowners (who are elderly in both cases - and in neither case has the house been bought or sold in the last forty years) are apparently hoping to drive up their profits, but can't be bothered to pay someone to paint or clean. Don't know quite what to make of that. Oh, another thing they didn't do to market them is take any interior photos. There's exactly one photo available of each.

I do, however, think that all of this will accrue to my benefit in negotiating for a decent price - which I'm going to need, if these places need as much repair as it's looking like. Right now, I'd like to pay 60% of what they're asking - depending on repair costs. (I haven't gotten pre-qualified yet.)

Here's a picture of the prettier of the two:

I haven't seen the inside of either of them (even by peeking - I tried). So the next step in my zany little sojourn would be calling a realtor and asking for a visit, but I'm balking. Partly because I don't want to make the sellers think there's interest before I have to. Partly because right now I'm able to feed my obsession without taking that next step, so I should probably wait until I get antsy. Partly because realtors just bother me (I know, realtors don't like lawyers, either. But I hate when people try to SELL me things). Partly because the darling husband is still looking for his next job, so we don't know where the optimal location will be, yet. Partly because I'm afraid that if I become too attached to the house, it will be more materialism of which I need to be mortified, and I won't get to have it. Or, worse, I will get to have it, and it will be a financial disaster.

But, given the flexibility I think (hope!) exists in the price in view of its time on the market, and its location (commutable to my work and in a great community), and its general loveliness, and the impossibility of finding affordable property out here (let alone historic property!), and the fact that there would be room for several babies once I finished the renovations...well, I think it would be a good idea for me to have it.

So here's my plan. I get to keep shopping for the house, because shopping is a hobby. But in order for me to HAVE the house...well, God will have to be in charge of that. He will find me a decent mortgage rate and a good selling price and work locations in the right area, if I'm going to have the house. Oh, and the babies. Of course, I'll put myself in the way of finding all of these things. But he's going to have to help.

P.S. Prayers happily accepted for the husband's big exam, the job he's hoping to get - and, if you have any spare, the house. Don't pray for the IF yet. Don't know yet what I want to pray for.


  1. Best wishes on all of that. House hunting can be fun especially if you're not feeling the pressure to buy. Good luck to your DH on his exam! Hope it goes well. :-)

  2. Wow, the possibilities in the places! Two-story octagonal rooms! Amazing.

    I understand your reluctance: I get very attached to old, decrepit houses. Though sometimes a tour of the inside is the perfect cure (i.e. when you see repairs in every single corner and can hear that sucking sound of your money going down the drain).

    I'll be praying for both your house and your husband's success on his new professional path.