Thursday, November 17, 2011

I do better at home hunting than deer hunting this week

We looked at more homes today, including the 40+ acre properties.  We saw one house we really liked on a lot we really DISliked.  We saw one house that was okay on a lot that was okay.  We nixed another due to the lot and the neighborhood (didn't even go inside).  We drove by another we said we'd like to make an appt to see inside.  And then we saw the first 40+ acre place.  The lot was fabulous.  Huge.  Hay fields and woodlot, two polebarns, pistol pit backstop... but the house needed to be completely gutted and remodeled.  The floors sloped.  There was a lot of water damage.  It was a huge, beautiful farmhouse that had just been utterly let go.  I hate seeing that.

So to assuage our disappointment, we went to lunch (it was nearly 2PM and we had the girls with us, whom I must say behaved wonderfully all day long, and it was a very long day).  After lunch, we went to look at the 46 acre place.  That would be the one referred to in the previous post as COOKSTOVE PLACE, for the wood cookstove in the kitchen.  Looked nice from the outside - fairly new vinyl siding, fairly new roof.  BIG old barn that needs a new roof (it's losing shingles into the yard) and a new floor in the hayloft (there are holes).  Two leaning garden sheds.  One hoop house with dates/figs growing in it.  (Really?  in MICHIGAN?)  Composite deck and balcony (need powerwashing, but I'll take composite over care of wood any day).  And then we went inside.

There is cheap wood paneling everywhere.  On the walls.  On the ceilings.  We are in the living room, but we will see that paneling EVERYWHERE.  This is not a deal killer, it just makes the house darker than we like.  El Jefe's take on it is that it was probably in the condition of the other 40 acre place, and the plaster was ripped out and replaced, and the floors were refinished (they are wide planking, and not new, but not old enough to be original either).  We wonder if there is insulation behind the paneling.  The heat is turned way down (the house is unoccupied), so it is chilly, but that doesn't tell us anything.  Anyway, there are lots of lights in the living room.  Only one in the hall.  Oddly, the two bathrooms are right next to each other.  One bathroom is also the laundry room, but there is no washer nor dryer hooked up.  This would be an immediate expense for us; at least the washing machine would be.  We can live without a dryer, though that's a pain in the winter.  There really are FIVE bedrooms - five rooms with closets and egress windows.  They didn't lie about that.  One has new bamboo flooring and wallboard instead of paneling, painted a really bright salmon color.  Lots of new windows.  That is at the end of the house. Working towards the front there are three more bedrooms with new carpet and that atrocious paneling.  Some need new windows.  The bedrooms vary in size - one is very large, one is medium, one is small (what is this? The Three Bears?).  Above these bedrooms is the loft and another even smaller bedroom (Baby Bear gets a younger sib) that opens onto a balcony outside that is twice its size.  It is composite, too. 
We walk through every room in the house at least twice.  El Jefe walks around the property, spooking a 6 point buck.  The next door neighbor drives by on his tractor and waves hello.  We go back inside for one more look.  Neither one of us wants to say it.  Neither of us wants to get excited about this place maybe being the right one.  We were so disappointed when the last one failed the inspection.  So we are going back for another look tomorrow with our regular realtor.  I don't think I'm going to sleep a wink.


  1. With all those things that need fixing or updating I hope the price is low, low, low!

  2. LOL! The price reflects the 46 acres the house is on, rather than the house. But we are willing to make that tradeoff - property that would allow us to be as self-sufficient as possible (hunting on it, fishing (the back property line is the river), gardening, and raising animals) is a higher priority than our definition of "the perfect house", and for all my complaining, the house IS in move-in condition. There were just three things we insisted they fix as a condition of sale. Everything else is cosmetic, and we can live with that for awhile. And while that wood paneling doesn't thrill me, I actually found a pic in a design book of the same wood paneling that someone had painted over when updating their home and I was very pleasantly surprised to find that it looked nice.