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View Full Version : Farm Shopping Fatigue...the Seller came back to us



TrotTrotPumpkn
Jul. 19, 2012, 05:16 PM
I got an email today that the place we had offered on this spring has made us a reverse offer. Basically it is to sell us the farm for our last offer that the seller (at that time) rejected. So I should be overjoyed...

Except that my husband and I had mentally resigned ourselves to buying a house in town. And the farm house needs a lot of work (siding, windows, garage door, new roof on detached garage, and all interior rooms need new flooring, paint, etc. and no barn). However it has the 100% IDEAL location. 9 acres with a lovely view...on blacktop....close to town....and the house is big enough.

AND my husband has since fallen in love with a showstopper in town (amazing wood work, high ceilings, etc.) that is completely fixed up/move in ready and on the national historic register--so basically it is 100% the opposite of the outdated and tired 1970's split level house the farm has. Of course they are about the same price since the historic home doesn't have land and is a hard sell in a little town.

I'm almost annoyed about it! AUGH! I was over all this angst. I have brain fatigue.

This is really just a huge vent. We have 24 hours to respond.

HPFarmette
Jul. 19, 2012, 05:23 PM
Gawd, what a hassle. Sorry! Good luck, sorry I don't have any words of wisdom....

password
Jul. 19, 2012, 05:27 PM
Would you and your husband enjoy the "fixer upper" aspect of the first house or would it just be another chore? Good luck in your decision!

ellebeaux
Jul. 19, 2012, 05:30 PM
I sympathize. I've been in similar situations with jobs. You figure one place is THE PERFECT ONLY ACCEPTABLE ONE and you are crushed when it doesn't work out. Then you find another place that is THE PERFECT ONLY ACCEPTABLE ONE and you think you are all settled then something like this happens :)

I guess the good part is that you have options, and that's a blessing.

What does your gut say?

Samotis
Jul. 19, 2012, 05:46 PM
Both sound great, but you would have more money into the older house to fix it up.

Which can be fun, but could be a nightmare.

So it boils down to land or no land.

Do you want your horses at your house or do you want to board?

That would be the kicker for me.

It is a lot of work to have horses at your house, but I love looking out my window and seeing my little herd of 4!

But I only have an acre and would llooooove 9 acres!

Again, this equals more work, but can be worth it!

Good luck!

Bluey
Jul. 19, 2012, 06:14 PM
Think down the years.

Will the old house in town have much value then, or be hard to sell, like you say it is today in a small town.
Then, how long down the road to the time you will want to move to town anyway, age, health, just wanting time for other than taking care of acreage?

Will the rural acres be more or less down the years to resell?
Will they also be a hard resell, as the seller had to come back to you, so it is not selling.
How much work will you have to put into it, will your husband, if he really likes the town house, be happy with the run down rural one, or be eternally grumpy about it.

That is a hard choice to make, good luck!

hosspuller
Jul. 19, 2012, 06:26 PM
I grew up in the big city (mid-town Manhattan, NYC). Now we have acreage. When we boarded, we rode more but the horses were 15 miles away. we spend a lot of time and effort keeping up the farm, mowing, fences, water, pasture rotation, hay, etc.

I wouldn't trade back for a subdivision house in town. Maybe when the health & age forces the change. But not til then.

I like to whistle from the back door and the horses come galloping to me.

halo
Jul. 19, 2012, 06:41 PM
Why not counter with a lesser offer? Obviously yours was the only offer they had. Tell them you are about to offer on another house, that theirs needs a lot of work and money and time, and that you will consider it for x amount of money. Who knows, they might take it.

Catsdorule-sigh
Jul. 19, 2012, 06:44 PM
As you have said and others have pointed out, the house in town may be a hard sell down the road.

Have done the fixer-upper route, and it's a lot of work. On the other hand, you can do some things that are your style and not something that cannot be touched because it is historic. Check out the rules if it is on the historic register, because that has stopped more than one sale of such places.

I would have an inspection done on the place with acreage, including wiring, plumbing, structure, foundation, well, and septic. Make an acceptance pending on what is found.

No barn is a bummer, maybe the detached garage could be put into use for a bit?

As has been said, there are pros and cons to having a place you can have your horses at home. Sounds like that was the initial plan.

Ambitious Kate
Jul. 19, 2012, 07:39 PM
Cost-wise, you may save enough money by not boarding your horses to fix up the house in the country. Use a one year savings cost analysis. One year of fix up vs. one year of board. However, you don't really know what it will take to fix up until you do an inspection. You might be surprised - either way!

Do an inspection on the house with more land, and come back with an offer. Then make your choice, based on all the above considerations. I think until you do an inspection and have a realistic idea of what it will take to make the 9 acres work for you, you can't make a decision.

Good luck! At least now you have choices!!

Zu Zu
Jul. 19, 2012, 08:21 PM
Wonderful to have choices and even better when you have a second chance IF you want it ~

I would not hesitate to tell them immediately that 24 hours is not enough time.....

That while you are intrigued by their 'come-back' offer you two need the weekend to re-evaluate your needs as this is Such a surprise ~

The ball is in your court ~ consider your options and make a decision and
PLAY TO WIN !

Good Luck ~

walknsound
Jul. 19, 2012, 08:38 PM
Why not counter with a lesser offer? Obviously yours was the only offer they had. Tell them you are about to offer on another house, that theirs needs a lot of work and money and time, and that you will consider it for x amount of money. Who knows, they might take it.

That's what I'd do.

JanM
Jul. 19, 2012, 09:00 PM
I agree with a lower counter for the farm place. You never know what there is wrong inside until you rip into the walls.

The reason I wouldn't go with the house in town is that since you already know it's a hard sell, then in the future it could be impossible to sell. You already know it's a limited pool of buyers, then in the future it will be the same. I don't know about historic covenants or districts or if there are any limitations on changing the house in town, but even if there aren't today, that might change in the future. Where I live there are a couple of historic districts, and they have very restrictive rules that they didn't have even two years ago, so just because your area doesn't have a problem with this now, it might in the future.

Price out how much building a barn that would suit you for a long time, with all of the amenities you need, and combine that with the house remodel prices, and then really consider the land. As someone else has said, they aren't making more land and if you want to sell and move in town a long time from now I bet you'll have a good market for the country property.

If your heart is telling you that you want to have your horses at home, and redo the country property, then go for it. If you can get the right price then why not? That property when redone will have a good market probably, and I bet it would be an easier sale than the city property.

And for flooring-click bamboo is a very cheap alternative to regular hardwoods, is durable, and adds value; and if you are considering laminate then don't-it adds no value to the house and you want to maximize your return on investment with whatever you do to the house in case you want to resell and move in town someday. If you are planning to move into town someday, then definitely pick everything to appeal to the most people, and neutral and classic everything.

TheJenners
Jul. 20, 2012, 07:11 AM
There's a reason it hasn't sold. Unless you or an immediate family member is super handy, all those fixes will be either time consuming or fund draining. Or both.

DH and I are looking at buying in the next few years. Unless the land and existing barn were nice enough that we could save on boarding three (current) horses by keeping them there while doing everything, I'm ixnaying anything with a house that needs ANY sort of maintenance or major updates. Honestly I'd rather buy a turn-key house and build a barn, but I do not handle chaos at all. Updating/renovating/major repairs = chaos.

AKB
Jul. 20, 2012, 07:20 AM
Counter offer at a slightly lower price for the farm. Plan on using that extra money to have a contractor do whatever fixer upper project you dread the most. Your contract should be contingent on your approval of the results of a good home inspection so you know what is involved in fixing it up.

TrotTrotPumpkn
Jul. 20, 2012, 10:40 AM
We are going to look at the houses on Sat. I can't do the deadline she gave. I am also calling to see if any of our contractors (between my family members and my friends who are contractors I can say "our") can come along to look it over and give a rough bid.

The farm house was built in 1977 by quasi-relatives of mine. The current owner is the second owner and has not replaced anything. Hence my comment about the house being "tired." The house had an addition in the 1990's. The addition windows are shot (must have been cheap) and all of the siding on the house is bad. The deck is rotten (which I would get rid of anyway). I know this is scaring people off--plus the asking price is overpriced (we are NOT buying it for asking). Also, it does not show well with the 1980's pink and teal carpet.

I know we will be doing windows and siding and trim work & that it needs a new garage door. But otherwise I think the original house was very well-built. The foundation looks great, no water issues, etc. I will, of course, pay for a home inspection and make the sale contingent on that!

The historic house in town has been completely restored and had energy efficient HVAC installed, etc. So it really is move-in ready.

I would not pay asking for either, but would pay a price that reflects the work needed and the market value of the property currently and what it will be with work. This would be our home for decades.

The third house is a (nicer, larger, and cheaper) 70's ranch and has an acre in town (there are 3 house contenders) which also appeals. I have and train dogs, and I know my dog club would be pretty pumped about a permanent training field between this house and the acreage. :) The lack of yard with the historic house is a huge issue for me. Not so much for my husband...

Bluey
Jul. 20, 2012, 10:50 AM
Don't always count on others like a dog club.
I built my house and big yard with our dog club agility in mind, to train and have matches, as the old location seemed to be questionable because of the owner's death.
Guess what, after I had all done here, the family decided to keep renting to the club after all, gas prices went thru the roof, so they decided to stay where they were.
That was the right decision for the club, but left my facilities empty, that I then changed.

Be sure that you will have a needy dog club down the years, don't count on that being a given.

Sounds like you have some serious decisions ahead.
Let us know how it goes.

TrotTrotPumpkn
Jul. 20, 2012, 10:59 AM
Oh no! I would NEVER buy something just for them! I would still get to use it! LOL. I know people's priorities change.

Currently the main fields are rented out for hay and I think I would continue to do that for the time being.

2ndyrgal
Jul. 20, 2012, 11:31 AM
We just found The Perfect House in FL. Everything we wanted.

The day before we were to send in the final offer (short sale) the lovely farm next door to ours became available.

We had to buy it, but my husband has been longing for a Florida house forever.

That one will have to wait a while.

Bacchus
Jul. 20, 2012, 11:41 AM
Strange to me that you are having a problem deciding between nine acres with a view and a home in town with no acreage, especially because you plan to be there for so long. They are so different. What do you want? Where do you want to be? What are your plans for your home and future?

Personally, I'd never live in town unless I absolutely had to (can't imagine why I would have to, but things happen). But that's me. I know why. What do you guys want?

Guin
Jul. 20, 2012, 11:51 AM
Strange to me that you are having a problem deciding between nine acres with a view and a home in town with no acreage, especially because you plan to be there for so long. They are so different. What do you want? Where do you want to be? What are your plans for your home and future?

What do you guys want?

This is an excellent question.

TrotTrotPumpkn
Jul. 20, 2012, 11:53 AM
That's the rub. We have different priorities, but are both willing to compromise. We've been talkng about it for years. It is just a 180 from what we thought we were going to buy this weekend!! Also I see potential and my husband sees teal and pink carpet and popcorn ceiling to scrape...not everyone can see the "after" or likes a project.

A big part of the issue that caused the acreage search the last few years has been resolved because a boarding barn (that was a breed barn) opened its doors to outside horses, and I moved mine there in June and am happy there. What started the whole acreage-thing was concerns about boarding and also concerns about retiring competition horses when they are older. However the barn is also 35 miles away--which is an issue for all 3 properties if you don't have horses "at home." It is also not a "retirement" price, it is a full service (heated) barn with an indoor and 2 outdoors. At least the farm has the potential to have horses home.

That said barns go out of business. The owner is in her low 20's. Lots can change for people. I have no idea what barns will be around 10 years from now! People retire, urban sprawl, etc. The barn I am boarding at now is 100 acres of what could easily be prime development real estate--2 blocks from a growing town with interstate access less than a mile. They just happen to have a horse business...

Most people around here keep horses at home, and I could still board a competition horse or two instead of building an indoor, but know I have a place for unsound horses or retirees that won't need full facilities. Or if nothing else a gigantic garden and a days worth of mowing (although not in the current drought).

We have lots to discuss!

Valentina_32926
Jul. 20, 2012, 12:13 PM
Why not counter with a lesser offer? Obviously yours was the only offer they had. Tell them you are about to offer on another house, that theirs needs a lot of work and money and time, and that you will consider it for x amount of money. Who knows, they might take it.

This^ BUT I before I re-offer I would need to go out to see what, if any, changes have occurred since the last offer. Are things more broken down? Have they fixed anything, more erosion in spots? Drought causing additional issues (like contaminated well)?? Don't worry about the time "limit" they have artifically imposed on you - that can change. They're just trying to use that as a pressure point.

Take you time after you go back to re-evaluate and take a clipboard, noting everything wrong with the place. Then make an offer based on what you CURRENTLY see.

Let us know what you decide.

EquusMagnificus
Jul. 20, 2012, 12:23 PM
They're just trying to use that as a pressure point.


Absolutely, but it is standard procedure. Nothing nefarious going on. :)

TrotTrotPumpkn
Jul. 20, 2012, 12:34 PM
Yup! We are going back through it.


The well is disconnected (and was nasty hard & shallow when in use back in the day). The property is currently hooked up to rural water. At least I don't have to worry about the well!

showidaho
Jul. 20, 2012, 12:34 PM
That's the rub. We have different priorities, but are both willing to compromise. We've been talkng about it for years. It is just a 180 from what we thought we were going to buy this weekend!! Also I see potential and my husband sees teal and pink carpet and popcorn ceiling to scrape...not everyone can see the "after" or likes a project.

A big part of the issue that caused the acreage search the last few years has been resolved because a boarding barn (that was a breed barn) opened its doors to outside horses, and I moved mine there in June and am happy there. What started the whole acreage-thing was concerns about boarding and also concerns about retiring competition horses when they are older. However the barn is also 35 miles away--which is an issue for all 3 properties if you don't have horses "at home." It is also not a "retirement" price, it is a full service (heated) barn with an indoor and 2 outdoors. At least the farm has the potential to have horses home.

That said barns go out of business. The owner is in her low 20's. Lots can change for people. I have no idea what barns will be around 10 years from now! People retire, urban sprawl, etc. The barn I am boarding at now is 100 acres of what could easily be prime development real estate--2 blocks from a growing town with interstate access less than a mile. They just happen to have a horse business...

Most people around here keep horses at home, and I could still board a competition horse or two instead of building an indoor, but know I have a place for unsound horses or retirees that won't need full facilities. Or if nothing else a gigantic garden and a days worth of mowing (although not in the current drought).

We have lots to discuss!

We had this same dilemma when my husband's job moved us from the land-a-plenty and cheap west to the midwest and then, more recently, to the east coast. We really struggled with what to do, but a week of boarding horses sold us on an acreage. That said, it's a LIFESTYLE. Your entire life will become totally entangled in your place. You now have to plan for someone to come when you want to be away. Your daily schedule will revolve around feeding, cleaning, mowing, etc. It will also include, nuzzling, riding when you want, and a lot of happy (hopefully) bonding time with your horse(s). There is a lot to think about, each side has pros and cons. Be very honest with yourselves about how much money and work it will be to have your own place and how comfortable you are with relying on boarding horses. Good luck to you!!!

EquusMagnificus
Jul. 20, 2012, 01:38 PM
I think if you can afford it... Buy the acreage to keep the retirees/youngsters/pets and board the riding horses.

That's what I'd do rather than have the whole thing to manage and upkeep. Alas, that's not po$$ible for me.

Alagirl
Jul. 20, 2012, 01:56 PM
I am thinking the town house has reached it's limit in terms of worth. It already is renovated, has strings attached through being deemed historical, etc...

the farm can only improve, with horses or without, and down the road you can bulldoze the house and build something nice....

judybigredpony
Jul. 20, 2012, 02:18 PM
it's a LIFESTYLE. Your entire life will become totally entangled in your place. You now have to plan for someone to come when you want to be away. Your daily schedule will revolve around feeding, cleaning, mowing, etc.
Priorties like Mowers, diseal fuel, mowing, buying hay n feed, paying help, finding help to cover when you absolutely have to get away, take priority OVER carpet, decks, recreational rides, and hanging out.
Upside doing what you want when you want with your horses even if its to or not to pick a stall or bring in/turn-out....

Sit down and REALLY decide if you both can/ want/ will be willing to have a less flexible life style ...me I don't even like to leave to buy groceries...hubby likes to be social...we compromise I go when I have to...and yup we do get flak from people/family about how much time the farm/horses take up... Green Acres theme song comes to mind..:)

brightskyfarm
Jul. 20, 2012, 02:31 PM
You've been given some really good advice here.

Me? It would be the farm, hands down, but you arent me.

First............. extend your time limits, get that pressure off you ---
Ask the farm owners if you and your DH can spend an afternoon/ or evening -- just visiting *the farm*. ..take chairs along ... sit ..its 9ac's....... watch the sun set.... or the moon rise... take a picnic lunch or dinner........ walk..... look..... and *feel* the farm, listen to what it says to you.

With a dilemma like this, you've done all the thinking you can, you'll have to look inside your hearts for the next answer.

TrotTrotPumpkn
Jul. 20, 2012, 02:35 PM
I am thinking the town house has reached it's limit in terms of worth. It already is renovated, has strings attached through being deemed historical, etc...

the farm can only improve, with horses or without, and down the road you can bulldoze the house and build something nice....

I think you are on to something.

Also, I absolutely think things happen for a reason. Like the Seller reaching out to us months later when we were going to make an offer on one of the places in town this Saturday...

Finally, I'm down to one horse right now. She's only 2. She can continue boarding while we fix up the house this year. I'm not going to settle on fencing, outbuildings, water, etc. so that means she may stay at the other barn for awhile. I want to do it right the first time, so I'm not patching something non-stop. House HAS to be the priority for marital happiness. :-) That was the deal we worked out the first time we offered on it.

Plus then I can live there and see how it is when it rains, snows, etc.

The problem with hanging out anywhere right now is EVERY SINGLE DAY is a heat advisory with indexes over 100. Sat. is the same. We should be in the 80's. It is absolute hell here right now when you add in the humidity. We have already had the second hottest summer on record and if it keeps going this will be the hottest year in recorded history. Blah!

JanM
Jul. 20, 2012, 02:39 PM
Make sure that when you go to inspect, that whoever looks checks how the deck is attached to the house. That can be a big problem, and make a huge difference in price, between changing out deck boards/railings/steps or removing and rebuilding from scratch. Plus, if the deck wasn't attached and sealed correctly water infiltration can cause major wall problems too. Watching Mike Holmes a lot really makes me worry about decks.

If you intend to stay in this house for a long time, then make really smart choices that might cost a little more, such as Trex or other artificial and impervious to weather deck surfaces, over something like conventional wood that might cost less now, but need to be replaced several times while you own it.

And if there are chimneys make sure someone who really knows inspects for soundness, and structural integrity. Relining a chimney really costs, and an unsound one costs a lot to remove or rebuild properly.

TrotTrotPumpkn
Jul. 20, 2012, 02:45 PM
Make sure that when you go to inspect, that whoever looks checks how the deck is attached to the house. That can be a big problem, and make a huge difference in price, between changing out deck boards/railings/steps or removing and rebuilding from scratch. Plus, if the deck wasn't attached and sealed correctly water infiltration can cause major wall problems too. Watching Mike Holmes a lot really makes me worry about decks.

If you intend to stay in this house for a long time, then make really smart choices that might cost a little more, such as Trex or other artificial and impervious to weather deck surfaces, over something like conventional wood that might cost less now, but need to be replaced several times while you own it.

And if there are chimneys make sure someone who really knows inspects for soundness, and structural integrity. Relining a chimney really costs, and an unsound one costs a lot to remove or rebuild properly.

It is a ground level patio deck. We are going to put in a flagstone patio or paver patio regardless. But I will ask about water issues there! There are gutters and the roof is newer and the grading looks ok.

I already told our realtor regardless of the house we choose I want the hard-core inspector (he has two good ones he recommends). This guy scares people away from houses, but I want to know EVERYTHING that is wrong! lol. Our friend used him last year on a year-old house and was amazed at what he turned up.

Tiki
Jul. 20, 2012, 03:00 PM
I have horses at home and I NEVER want to board again. I went with a large run-in shed. For 2 horses, it's 32 feet long and 12 feet deep. That basically gives me 2 12 x 12 stalls, one on each end, and an 8 x 12 middle section. I put down some pallets I got for free from WalMart or Lowe's or someplace like that to protect the hay, put a round bale feeder on top of that and I have a 115 gallon water trough. The horses just love it. They walk and walk and walk and walk. They can go into the shed in bad weather if they want and still have dry hay to eat, they can lounge in the sun or in the shade of trees and they walk and walk and walk and are happy and healthy.

IronwoodFarm
Jul. 20, 2012, 04:17 PM
I would NOT be bothered by the 24 hour deadline. I would just let the seller know that you will look at the house again and get back to the seller on a timely basis. This house is not going to disappear in 24 hours, so no point in trying to rush anything.

When we bought our farm 14 years ago, we made an offer only to be outbid by someone else. We felt our offer was fair for the market, so we moved on. Needless to say, the party that outbid us didn't understand the financing involved with a farm property. They couldn't qualify for a loan. Meanwhile we found another farm we liked.

The sellers (this was an estate) contacted us again about our interest. We basically said, take our original offer and added a few other minor requirements. The farm house is a 1923 model and we knew is would need updating. However we are glad that the sellers didn't bother replacing carpet or painting because the house didn't show well. It probably made a 10% or greater difference in the sales price. Anyway, we bought the house, made improvements over time and have been delighted with the property. It's value has increased 4 fold since buying it even in the current market. It was one of the best investments we ever made.

Like many of the others, I vote for more land if you can get it. As Tiki points out, run-in sheds are simple to build and work well. All of my horses are out 24/7 with run-ins. The barn holds hay, equipment, has a few stalls for emergencies, a feed room and a tack room.

There IS something attractive about a turnkey property, but if you are willing to put in some sweat equity and have the funds to make improvements, the 9 acres sure sounds promising. Good luck this weekend!

SharonA
Jul. 20, 2012, 04:58 PM
I think it might be helpful to think about what lifestyle you want in 5 years, 10, 15, etc. and buy the property that matches that lifestyle. I would love to live in a historic home (assuming it was a beautiful, non-drafty one).

Especially if you're at one horse now, you might want to make sure you and DH have similar views about how many horses each of you might be thinking of for the future - ie, one member of the family might be thinking that the numbers would go up; the other member might be thinking, "Well, s/he's already down to one; in a few years, there might be none and we can get on with what I want to do on weekends," etc. :-)

halo
Jul. 20, 2012, 05:09 PM
Boarding is a lot different from having horses at home, in so many ways. Im a homebody, I never, and I mean NEVER travel, so it works out fine for me. But if you and hubby do any sort of traveling at all, having your own place where your horses are can really put a crimp in your lifestyle. Be sure and consider that.

EquusMagnificus
Jul. 20, 2012, 05:17 PM
A historic home holds its charm from lack of knowledge. ;) Ask me how I know.

The thing is lovely, but even if it has been renovated, it needs constant love.... and expensive love if you want it to look really good.

PeteyPie
Jul. 20, 2012, 06:24 PM
A historic home holds its charm from lack of knowledge. ;) Ask me how I know.

The thing is lovely, but even if it has been renovated, it needs constant love.... and expensive love if you want it to look really good.

EquusMagnificus makes a good point. Everyone is pointing out the real and considerable demands on your time that will result from the newer home on acreage, but an older home has its own requirements. I wish I had some good advice, but I'm in the same camp as you: we bought land which we will develop, but I love having my horses boarded nearby. I can see them every day -- or not, because they are fed by someone else. I can go on vacations and not worry. I love that.

I am planning on having live-in help when we develop our property, because I am so spoiled by the freedom of boarding.

As to future value, I would not assume that the larger acreage property will increase in value more than the in-town property. It's all about location in real estate and usually the properties which are closer to town or downtown maintain their values and weather downturns better. There will always be a bigger market of buyers for the house in town than the house 35 miles out of town (I think that's what you said it was). Of course, if the house is in an area that is downgrading or becoming bad, that's a factor, and if development goes toward the out-of-town area, it's value could skyrocket, it just depends. I would ask your realtor about future value, and keep in mind that it is an opinion.

PeteyPie
Jul. 20, 2012, 06:40 PM
Another thing:

It's always good to check with your local government for future development plans. I found out with one property I bought on a dirt road at the edge of town that a developer was talking about putting in a 200-home development and if he did they would build a middle school. That school was built, the road was paved, another development went in above me and that developer paid the assessment all along the route to bring in city water, sewer, and natural gas. You can imagine how that positively affected the value of my property (especially not having to pay the assessments!).

Ask the county/borough for information on the ten-year development plan. Find out what year you are in in that plan, because if you are six year in to the ten-year plan, the new ten-year plan may be ready to come out.

Find out about highway improvements, widening, paving, new freeways scheduled to be built, etc. The county/borough will probably be very helpful, once you get through to the right person in the planning office.

Check on the water district's (and other utilities') current and future development -- I guess you said the acreage house is already on public water, but check anyway. You might find out interesting things about new development down the road or get clues to property values in surrounding areas.

Investigate school expansions. Knowledge is power, and all of this stuff is just a few phone calls.

JanM
Jul. 20, 2012, 07:27 PM
One potential problem with a redone, historic property is that even though a renovation seems to be quality work, it might not be where you can't see. For example, a house with 'updated' done to code wiring, in some (very few as far as I've heard) rare cases might have older bad wiring inside walls or other inaccessible places.

A factor for me is the commute and the availability of services for whatever you might need at the fixer property on the farm. Do workmen charge extra for housecalls? Are service providers even willing to come out where the farm is? Don't ask me how I found out about it either. Yes, I live about 15 miles from the main town, and I have to pay extra for service calls, and in some cases can't even find a landscaper willing to do a small job this far out.

Have you checked zoning, and other regulations with the county? Are there any wetlands or other protected areas on the property? Are there any easements? Does anyone have a lease agreement, hunting rights, or any other claim to the property? Is any of the land at risk for flooding or other water problems? What do neighboring properties look like? Are they well-kept or ratty looking? Have you asked the sheriff's office about crime? Can you get all of the internet, phone, etc, and upgraded electric service? Because you'll probably be taking down most drywall then rewiring to current needs would be a good idea. Including 2 phone/cable hookups in the room that will be an office area or in the living room so you can hook up cable modems and phone at the same place. Will you be able to update the baths and plumbing or will you have to replace that also? Much easier to do it all at once.

China Doll
Jul. 20, 2012, 09:41 PM
Why not counter with a lesser offer? Obviously yours was the only offer they had. Tell them you are about to offer on another house, that theirs needs a lot of work and money and time, and that you will consider it for x amount of money. Who knows, they might take it.
This 100% if it hasn't sold and yours was the best offer maybe you over paid. Also values have dropped in the last year.

Catsdorule-sigh
Jul. 20, 2012, 10:33 PM
You want to train dogs and the historic house has no yard?

I used to love antiques. I began collecting a few, modest pieces. Then I had a kid. Being too practical, anything else that came in the house was not a real antique. Maybe a copy, but not something that I'd have problems with if my kid colored it differently or anything else kids can do. Just wouldn't go there with that potential. I got solid oak tops that I can refinish someday- but you know what? Some of those two-year old squiggles are kind of precious.

If you ever plan to have kids, (And I don't know and it's not my business any way) then you also probably need a yard, another strike against the historic house.

Beware of falling in love with architecture. Down the road, will you get as much pleasure from just having it?

Get a septic inspection. Really, really, important along with everything else. You may have the water issue solved but if it's on a regular septic system, at that age, better have a very, very good look at it.

Can the acreage be divided? That could increase it's value down the road. And if it can be divided, and you ever want to down scale, make sure your buildings are with your half.

As much as I adore older homes, I don't think I'd adore living in them. I like the bigger kitchens, bathrooms, etc., that newer ones have. And with the fixer-upper, you have the latitude to bump out some walls, (With structural considerations, of course) and reconfigure it a bit. A lot of work, yes. But I'd tackle it in phases. And honestly, I wouldn't touch the carpet until I'd gotten a lot of the messiest stuff done.

If you are the kind of folks that get bored, you'll have entertainment for years to come on the acreage. But as others have said, if you like to travel and be away from home a lot, then boarding might be the better option.

Is the acreage house more square feet? That might factor in too. I'm guessing the historic house is kinda small?

JanM
Jul. 21, 2012, 06:33 PM
If the historic house really doesn't have a useful yard, then I would definitely pass. Since you said it isn't a good resale prospect, then this would shrink the buyers' pool even further. It would eliminate many people that just want an outdoor space to enjoy, and those with pets or children would probably not even bother to look at it. Curb appeal is important, and something without a decent front yard would scare me. Some places in the city nearest to me are widening a lot of two-lane streets to four lanes or more, and there are many houses that now have virtually no yard.

And I worry about things like parking, and what is near the historic house. A relative lived right across from a brand new high school, and during the school year or when there are football games or other events he can't even get out of his own driveway. In fact the first six months people would park his driveway full, and he had to call the cops every morning to get the cars towed. I know a couple of other people that sold houses and moved to get away from elementary schools or nursery schools because of traffic also. So surroundings can really louse up a location.

I think you've made a wise choice, and I hope it works out this time.

TrotTrotPumpkn
Jul. 22, 2012, 09:25 PM
Hi, went through all 3 yesterday. Hubby loves historic house,not me-just to be clear. Although I was pretty impressed with what they have done! All three are over 2500 sq feet (historic and acre in town being 3000 sq feet or larger, and farm 2500. So none are super small (IMO).

Anyway, we made an offer tonight on the acreage.

Finally, home values never dropped in our area and are up significantly this year. We don't really have the employment issues the rest of the US has-unemployment here is 4% (just checked) and Ag land is incredibly high.

Ambitious Kate
Jul. 22, 2012, 10:52 PM
Yay! Finally, you had a choice!

I would also have gone with the acreage. My feeling is get the land you want, and the house will happen - even if the house on it is patooy, you can always use the footprint and build the house you want. Or, rehab the house you want. Wtih the right property, you can get building loans. With the right zoning, you can put an apartment ontop of a garage and get some income. There are just more options with the acreage property, in my opinion.

Hooray, and looking forward to updates!!

nightsong
Jul. 28, 2012, 03:52 AM
I think you went with your heart. In your first post, you waxed lyrical about the larger property, moped about the historic house being "practical", and ignored the one-acre ENTIRELY. Also, houses come and houses go (and decay), but acreage is FOREVER. You may also get some good subdivision lots for retirement income.