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Farm Shopping Fatigue...the Seller came back to us

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  • Farm Shopping Fatigue...the Seller came back to us

    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is completely fixed up/move in ready and on the national historic register--so basically it is 100% the opposite of the outdated and tired 1970's split level house the farm has.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.
    DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

  • #2
    Gawd, what a hassle. Sorry! Good luck, sorry I don't have any words of wisdom....


    • #3
      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!


      • #4
        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?


        • #5
          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!


          • #6
            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!


            • #7
              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.
              Equus makus brokus but happy


              • #8
                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.


                • #9
                  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.


                  • #10
                    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!!
                    My warmbloods have actually drunk mulled wine in the past. Not today though. A drunk warmblood is a surly warmblood. - WildandWickedWarmbloods


                    • #11
                      Whatever you decide ~ I would take your time = more than 24 hours !

                      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 ~
                      Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by halo View Post
                        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.


                        • #13
                          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.
                          You can't fix stupid-Ron White


                          • #14
                            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.
                            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


                            • #15
                              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.


                              • Original Poster

                                more background

                                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...
                                DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/


                                • #17
                                  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.


                                  • Original Poster

                                    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.
                                    DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/


                                    • #19
                                      Oh I feel your pain..

                                      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.


                                      • #20
                                        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?
                                        "If you can't feed 'em, don't breed 'em."