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Going to look at another farm *sigh* adding AC to the 100 year old house?

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  • Going to look at another farm *sigh* adding AC to the 100 year old house?

    Actually the house is 115 years old (eeek). It is outside of our original distance parameters and a mile on gravel, but it is also a lot less than our budget, so *shrug* ....maybe?? Keep in mind we are homeless in August... I think the sellers are motivated. It has been vacant a year (sale fell through it looks like) and they have lowered the price below what they paid in 2008. They started at 15k over what they paid and now are 7k under what they paid--so a big drop.

    Three bedroom, 1 (ugh) bath (updated) but the rooms are really nice sizes for an old farmhouse. The smallest bedroom is 13x11 with a good closet. If you opened up the kitchen to the living room, which would be possible with a couple thousand dollars for a support beam in the ceiling, it would have an open floor plan. Main floor laundry!

    Decent looking (a little faded--has the verticle stripe that everyone used to do) older 72' x 48' Morton brand building and a cute little red barn. 7.4 acres. House and red barn need a new roof.

    I don't know. I feel like at this price even if we stick 20k into it and hate the isolation we can still get our money out and sell it. It is in the boonies, but only two miles from the interstate exit, so that is good. It needs superficial updates (get rid of the wall paper borders, etc.) which we are good at.

    Oh, but my question. It doesn't have central air. Any random ideas on how hard it is to run duct work if the house is finished? The basement won't be finished, I'm sure, being super old, but the first and second stories are...maybe we will luck out and the heating system has ducts, but I think it is going to be baseboard from the pictures.
    DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

  • #2
    You'd be looking at something like this, versus running ductwork through the whole house:

    http://www.residential.carrier.com/p...ee/index.shtml

    I knew someone who put in ductless and I do not think it was terribly expensive. Maybe a couple/few thousand?

    Comment


    • #3
      Ditto what Simkie said. My boss just put in a Mitsubishi ductless air system in his in-laws old house. He said there was no way to put in ducts.

      http://www.mitsubishicomfort.com/en/...oduct-showcase

      I didn't ask how much it was, but he really likes it.
      "Dogs are man's best friend. Cats are man's adorable little serial killer." -- theoatmeal.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Who knows, you may wind up liking the isolation! .
        COTH's official mini-donk enabler

        "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

        Comment


        • #5
          well, if you have basement space and attic space you should be able to run ducts.

          But I have to agree, those Mitzubishi units look really neat. I am such a house work hater...the A/C ducts in the floor drive me absolutely nuts! There is always crud in them, no matter what you try!

          They are not cheap though, but I am assuming one could add them a room at a time, starting with the living room and master bed room. (they still have a pipe that goes to the outside, but from the schematics I looked at a while back, not big, but it runs through the wall non the less.
          Originally posted by BigMama1
          Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
          GNU Terry Prachett

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            BRILLIANT!! I wonder how efficient they are compared to traditional systems?

            We leave in a few minutes. I've lost track of how many acreages I've looked at now. Going to be a scorcher--It is wicked hot today. Great day to check out a house with no AC! :P
            DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

            Comment


            • #7
              We have the Mitsubishi ductless system and we LOVE it! I have a very small 90 year old house in an historic district, so installing central air was nearly impossible. My husband had experience with the ductless system from his time living overseas. We went on line to servicemagic.com and had several contractors come out and give us a price.

              I wasn't wild about the idea of having the units on the walls; I thought they'd look out of place in an old house. But I grew accustomed to them quickly. They have not been expensive to operate at all.

              One of the things that I especially like about the system is that each unit has its own remote control. So if my husband wants the office set to "artic" and I want the bedroom more temperate, we can easily do that. We can also close up and cool our bedrooms while having a couple of windows open elsewhere in the house.

              We had only one problem with ours. Because our house is SO small, the contractor ran the hoses/ducts through a conduit up the outside of the house, then in through the attic and down from the ceiling to connect to the bedroom units. Each unit has a pump to get rid of accumulated moisture. When the duct work goes down, in the typical way, the pump doesn't usually have to run, gravity pulls the moisture down and out. Since those upstairs ducts run up, the pump will turn on several times until the rooms have cooled off...and it's a rather large buzz. Our contractor wasn't even aware that would happen, as he'd never done an install like ours. but once they're running and the room is cooled, it's not a problem.

              I think you'll enjoy the system.

              Comment


              • #8
                i didn't realize i was familiar with the ductless system until i opened the link to check it out. we have on at the salon. it's very efficient. we keep it set to like 65 to keep the humidity and everything to a minimum.
                Gracious "Gracie," 2002 TB mare
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                I have Higher Standards ...do you?

                Comment


                • #9
                  We have a Mitsubishi heat pump split ductless system as well, but because I felt averse to the wall units we had lines run to the attic and basement (nonfinished farmhouse basement). It converts there instead of in a wall unit, then the downstairs has traditional looking floor ducts and the 2nd floor has vents in the ceiling. We use ours for air and for heat til 20F. The upstairs and downstairs function separately with thermostats. For us it was much cheaper than trying to get full ductwork run. We also love how small our electric bills are!

                  Feel free to contact me if you have questions.
                  http://www.stampyandthebrain.com

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    WHAT A HOOT!!

                    Were about 5 miles from the farm and I get a phone call. My realtor has a flat and is waiting for AAA. We go back to get him and he sheepishly admits he doesn't know how to change a flat. Well I do. So in a skirt in 96 degree weather on asphalt I change the tire (I let him do the hard stuff). I did ruin my skirt btw, when I got down to show him that he had the jack on the wrong part of the frame. Unless someone knows how to remove tar?

                    Then a farmer pulls up in an old tractor to see if he can help. From under a hat I hear "Laura is that you?" Turns out it is a highschool classmate. Fortune smiles on us, because he knows all the dirt on the place. Like that the Morton building gets six inches deep when it rains!

                    The house turned out to be a bit different than the description. The third bedroom is really your sitting room and the staircase to the upstairs is in it, so it was a 2 bedroom 1 bath, not a 3. The main floor was so uneven you could bring in snow and sled on it.

                    The red barn was a cute little dairy barn, but not for horses.

                    So the search continues!!!
                    DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Ahhh, nothing like some Divine Intervention!

                      I know it's frustrating, but keep reminding yourself: the right one is out there and when you see it, you will KNOW it beyond a shadow of a doubt.
                      <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by TrotTrotPumpkn View Post
                        Were about 5 miles from the farm and I get a phone call. My realtor has a flat and is waiting for AAA. We go back to get him and he sheepishly admits he doesn't know how to change a flat. Well I do. So in a skirt in 96 degree weather on asphalt I change the tire (I let him do the hard stuff). I did ruin my skirt btw, when I got down to show him that he had the jack on the wrong part of the frame. Unless someone knows how to remove tar?

                        Then a farmer pulls up in an old tractor to see if he can help. From under a hat I hear "Laura is that you?" Turns out it is a highschool classmate. Fortune smiles on us, because he knows all the dirt on the place. Like that the Morton building gets six inches deep when it rains!

                        The house turned out to be a bit different than the description. The third bedroom is really your sitting room and the staircase to the upstairs is in it, so it was a 2 bedroom 1 bath, not a 3. The main floor was so uneven you could bring in snow and sled on it.

                        The red barn was a cute little dairy barn, but not for horses.

                        So the search continues!!!

                        LOL, make sure you deduct the skirt from the commission!

                        Your farm is just around the corner!

                        Some corner, anyhow!
                        Originally posted by BigMama1
                        Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
                        GNU Terry Prachett

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          First of all, when you look at what the seller paid in 2008... well, don't look at it at all. It has no relevance to the current value -- as you can see by the fact that the house has been on the market for a year. Of course, your neck of the woods may be MUCH different than mine, but the difference in property values between 2008 and 2010 is HUGE in many parts of the country.

                          So I would look at this the way a house flipper does: it's all about the purchase price. Be very analytical about current property values, as in, the price at which comparable real estate ACTUALLY SOLD in the past few months, not what comparable properties are listed at.

                          Now, if the seller is upside down in his mortgage, his purchase price in 2008 will be relevant to his ability to sell, but it should not determine what you will pay.

                          I would talk to your realtor about comps, and then make a rock-bottom offer at a price for which you could re-sell the house comfortably, if you decide you hate living out there.

                          I would include a nice letter to the seller, pointing out some of the things you love about the house, it's charm, its beautiful setting, its suitability to you because you have horses, and then itemize a list of problems that you feel affect the value and explain that is why you are offering a lower price. For instance, you might say, "Although other buyers might be okay without central air, we really need that in a house and will have to pay the considerable cost of upgrading it. I have obtained three estimates that range from $5,000 to $8,000." And "Although the property is 50 miles from Big City, which decreases the value, we feel that we will enjoy the rural setting, and for us, the beauty of your house will offset the increased cost of commuting and the reduction in property value." So the point is to not insult the seller when you offer low. People hate to get a low offer from someone who says in effect, "This property is garbage and that's why I wouldn't pay more than bla bla..." They can be SO offended that they won't even deal with you. And why should they?

                          Anyway, this has worked for me.

                          Also, get a good inspection before you buy.
                          "Random capitAlization really Makes my day." -- AndNirina

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Great advice, thanks, I just can't do a two bedroom on a bad foundation though. It is way too small of a house for us. And I'm pretty most of the fields are a swamp when it rains (lots of reeds).

                            Our straight housing real estate market is not depressed. FWIW. Ag land shot up 38% from last year too. In one year. It is a horrid time to buy an acreage here--land prices are unreal. The word "bubble" is becomming more and more popular...
                            DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I learned quickly when I was farmette-hunting to look first at the land - was it suitable for horses now? would it have to be cleared? how much was pasture or easy to make into pasture, vs. wetlands or rock fields? would the horses have to be part mountain goat to navigate the steep property? Only once I determined that the land had possibilities for horsekeeping did I actually focus on the house.

                              I ended up buying an old (circa 1850) house. It's a bit of a kluge, but it works well for me. (Acknowledged: resale may turn out to be a bit challenging unless I luck into another buyer like me, but I wasn't buying it to flip but to live in for decades.)

                              If you find yourself looking at another older house and have questions about modifications/upgrades to it, this is an excellent forum for old house fans: http://www.oldhouseweb.com/forums/

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Don't forget that in a place with septic that it has to pass the perk test, or else you have to get some special system that really costs (an area near where I live has this problem).

                                You'll find the right place, and not seeing the right one yet might mean it's not for sale or listed on the sales ads yet. So many people I know have run into exactly this scenario, they go looking, really need a place, and someone lists the right place at the right price. It will all work out in the end.
                                You can't fix stupid-Ron White

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  In addition to the ductless AC systems already mentioned, there are also high-velocity air systems that use small, easy to route pipe for duct work that are suitable for retrofitting older structures unobtrusively for a central air system. The ductless units are "easy", but since they are room based (1-3 rooms typically), they do result in a more visible installation on the outside of the home due to the need to route the refrigerant lines to the outdoor compressor units, especially for rooms that are not on the ground floor.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Old houses

                                    Just a side note -- at least in my area, people pay a PREMIUM for old houses. Just don't buy an old house and try and make it look like a new house, that's the worst of both worlds, and will substantially decrease its value. This may not be true everywhere, but certainly is here.
                                    https://www.facebook.com/SugarMapleFarm
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                                    www.PeonyVodka.com

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                                    • #19
                                      Oh, well! Keep us updated on your search! Where are you located?
                                      My warmbloods have actually drunk mulled wine in the past. Not today though. A drunk warmblood is a surly warmblood. - WildandWickedWarmbloods

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Well in a complete 180 we put in an offer on a house in the city today. I found out about a (previously closed to horses that weren't in training with the previous owners) boarding barn that basically has everything I want, is reasonably priced, knowledgeable staff on site, plus has 100 acres to ride on, and my fingers are crossed that it works out long term.

                                        The house is vacant (relocation company involved) and a complete fixer-upper, but is in a fantastic location for both of us and has a great floorplan. It is a larger (outdated) version of our house we just sold. I have no idea if they will go for our offer though...

                                        Of course it takes disgusting to a whole new level, which is why it hasn't sold I'm sure. ;-)

                                        Seriously, why don't people spend a few hundred dollars to hire professional cleaners before listing their house? Or splurge on a can of white paint (the teal probably isn't helping either). My gain I guess.

                                        I'm not saying the farm won't happen in the future, but I feel like this is an incredible opportunity that fits right into our skill set and I can't pass it up!
                                        DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

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