Monday, January 30, 2006

I am a Sucker

I love old houses or at least very neglected houses. Ever since I was a kid. Any chance I got to sneak into an empty house I would take it and just dream about what I would do to it and how I could fix it. This is compounded by the fact that I can (or delusional enough to believe I can) fix just about anything that would ever need fixing on a house, except for replacing a furnace, and I could pay my dad to do that for me :)

Unfortunately, old houses can cost a lot to heat, all those dreams cost money, and lastly, do i really want to subject my family to living in a construction zone for who knows how many years...But then again, old houses have character and a lot of neat or weird or interesting details that you would never get in your cookie cutter colonial on a .25 acre lot. You also get the satisfaction of turning something ugly into something beautiful. Plus, I think that being exposed to lead paint and asbestos makes you stronger, contrary to what all those experts say.

So anyway, on Saturday, after the previously mentioned Nate Nut Grabbing Game, err, I mean football game, I decided I wanted to peek into the windows of this house. If you read the description, a lot of the expensive details of renovating a house already been taken care of like a new roof, new siding (i haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaate vinyl siding, but for now if i bought this house its okay), new leachfield and, Oooo, a new furnace. It IS a new furnace too. Brand new. I saw it with me own eyes.

My brothers and I, well Nate and I (Mike stayed in the car, I think he was scared), went to go look in the windows (this house is on Salmon Falls Road right after you cross the bridge back into Somersworth, um, the bridge we used to jump off which now has no jumping signs on it). Nate noticed a door at the back of the garage was open, so of course we went in.

The garage is huge. Its a three car garage with two garage doors basically. Enough room for my wifes van, my project buick regal, and all the 4 wheelers and motorcycles I can get my hands on. My truck has to stay outside, otherwise it will get soft and weak.

Wow, this is a long post...sorry. You probably aren't even reading anymore.

The garage has an unfinished loft above it, big enough for an apartment or whatnot. We then walked into the house, passed through a mudroom and into the kitchen. The kitchen smelled funny and would need to be the first thing remodeled. It was very large though. The house only has 6 rooms but they are all very large. I could fit all three of my kids in one bedroom and just put up some cubicle walls or something.

Next we went up stairs (the house has two staircases, call me a dork but that is cool). At the top of the stairs is a very large master bedroom with its own bath. The bathroom would need work, its got the whole 1970s thing going on.

We exited that bedroom out the door at the other end. Thats where the 2nd staircase is, at the front of the house. The 2nd bedroom is large too. Both bedrooms have fireplaces and the ceiling timbers are exposed.

At this point we went back down the back stairs, oops, first we checked out the unfinished attic space above the kitchen. Big enough to finish off, no doubt, but it was dark and we didn't have a flashlight.

The living room was next. Huge room. It had a fireplace too and the first floor bathroom was off it also. This bathroom was way older than the 1970s but it had a clawfoot tub. Cool.

We exited the living room and passed the front door (brand new and oak) and the front stairs and went into the third bedroom, which also has a fireplace. It couldn't really be a dining room, well, I guess it could, but its a long way from the kitchen.

Where to next? Yep, the basement. Basements are the coolest part of every old house. The basement stairs were underneath the back stairs by the kitchen. Part of the basement is actually ground level, as you can see in the picture. Down there we found another room, with another fireplace. The whole room is in rough shape. I would tear out everything but the fireplace and build it from scratch. A pool table would be perfect in there.

We crossed the room and went down a little hallway, right underneath where the front stairs are and found another room, also in great disrepair, but it had an old wine cellar or something. Very cool.

We left that room and passed back through the pool table room in search of the furnace. We passed through some dark spooky room and into a small doorway, and voila! there was the shiniest newest looking furnace I have ever seen. Excellent. At this point we made our way back upstairs and outside.

I'm sure I missed a few points or described things in the wrong order but you get the point. The thing I love about this house? It hasn't been messed around with by some Bob Vila wannabe who rips out everything good, throws up some sheetrock and wall to wall carpeting and calls it "remodeled". Everything except for the three kitchen cabinets and the 1970s bathroom in this house is original. The plaster walls, the wood work, wide pine floors, the doors, the mantels, etc. All original. I love it. Maybe I'll sneak back in with my digital camera.

Now, if they would just lower the price...


soccerkcs said...

Nice house!! There is nothing like an old home, they have such character not like the cookie cutter houses of today. I remember when you built your bedroom in your parents house years ago! Although that was all sheetrock, I'm sure you could do a great job on this one! You ready to win the lottery??

Rob said...

Just don't get arrested looking in the windows and such... Big A is the only one around to bail you out... and he might forget to answer the phone.

What is Nate doing in NH? A visit or a move back?

gagknee said... lottery necessary. I just need them to go down to 209,000 at the most.

houses are expensive up here. if i can get myself into a 3 bedroom, 1 bath house that isn't contaminated by mold and has a lot bigger than than the square footage of the foundation for less than 199,000, i'll be very lucky.

Roooob, dont even start with me about how expensive NOVA is...:)

gagknee said...

Nate moved back. He missed me.

He borrowed my truck for a week to go back down to Tennessee to get his stuff and I had his Buick Park Avenue. Man. That thing is fast.

aakerberg said...

Did you see that Faith and Damian lowered THEIR price to 208k?

gagknee said...

yeah, i did. unfortunately theres is one of the houses where the lot size is barely bigger than the foundation size. they got another 9 grand to go.

gagknee said...

yeah i misused the word "there". bite me.

i want to create a new word, thare, which will take the place of their, there and they're, and the reader just needs to figure it out by the context of the sentence.

it's not like i dont know how to use there/their/they're. i just start typing away and dont pay attention to what my fingers are doing.

soccerkcs said...

It is sick how expensive houses are. About the only place to get a good deal is to buy in the south or midwest, but beyond that it's getting ridiculous.

In regards to the Buick Regal, is it the same one that you bought years ago?

gagknee said...

no, unfortunately not, that regal died about 9 years ago and at the time i did not have the money to do anything with it.

As soon as I have a house with a garage thare will be a nationwide search for a new Regal.