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Default (Homebuying) How Much Renovations Too Much?

I didn't know how to title this thread, because there's really much
more wrong with the 1832 property than you could fit in a thread title.
But we still want the house.

I don't know the exact square footage, but there are ten (small) rooms,
so many different kinds of services (oil tanks, two of them, two water
heaters...on one water bill, various electrical "patchworks"). I want
to use the first floor, which is definitely the nicer one, as a primary
residence and continue to rent out the upper to the decent tenants now
there.

I know this is asking a lot, but could anyone give me even a ballpark
estimate for the following:

1) Cutting through clapboard and ancient planks to install a second,
upper stairway (so that the home may qualify for HUD tenant subsidy)?

2) Totally rewiring the home for two services (so that in mid-January,
tenants don't plug in space heaters, keep overloading the breakers, and
burn the house down)?

3) Tearing down ancient gypsumboard so that the high-ceilinged first
floor could be insulated?

4) Replacing 19th/early 20th century NON-WEIGHTED double hung sashes
with the cheapest alternative (about fifteen standard-size, @ 3' x 4'
(?) windows)?

5) Replacing the @ 3' chimney.

A real estate/home inspector knowledgeable of the home said he did an
"APOD" on the home, a former bed-and-breakfast, and that the cash flow
was so negative it almost went into the imaginary number system. But I
don't want to use the place as a bed-and-breakfast, and if I have a
positive cash flow of even $1 a year, that's fine, because I plan to
use the place as a primary residence.

Oh well, I suppose you'll make fun. I just need some non-mockery.

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wrote:
I didn't know how to title this thread, because there's really much
more wrong with the 1832 property than you could fit in a thread title.
But we still want the house.

I don't know the exact square footage, but there are ten (small) rooms,
so many different kinds of services (oil tanks, two of them, two water
heaters...on one water bill, various electrical "patchworks"). I want
to use the first floor, which is definitely the nicer one, as a primary
residence and continue to rent out the upper to the decent tenants now
there.

I know this is asking a lot, but could anyone give me even a ballpark
estimate for the following:

1) Cutting through clapboard and ancient planks to install a second,
upper stairway (so that the home may qualify for HUD tenant subsidy)?

2) Totally rewiring the home for two services (so that in mid-January,
tenants don't plug in space heaters, keep overloading the breakers, and
burn the house down)?

3) Tearing down ancient gypsumboard so that the high-ceilinged first
floor could be insulated?

4) Replacing 19th/early 20th century NON-WEIGHTED double hung sashes
with the cheapest alternative (about fifteen standard-size, @ 3' x 4'
(?) windows)?

5) Replacing the @ 3' chimney.

A real estate/home inspector knowledgeable of the home said he did an
"APOD" on the home, a former bed-and-breakfast, and that the cash flow
was so negative it almost went into the imaginary number system. But I
don't want to use the place as a bed-and-breakfast, and if I have a
positive cash flow of even $1 a year, that's fine, because I plan to
use the place as a primary residence.

Oh well, I suppose you'll make fun. I just need some non-mockery.


Too many unknowns to do at this distnce.
I'd suggest a contrcator.
Around here, they charge $75 per hour after the first meeting.
Tha's still cheap.
I'd ask about a proposed order of work, estimate of cost & how to
handle change orders.
Look at a comprehensive, long range plan spread over several years.
TB

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m Ransley
 
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Do yourself a favor and get a contractor to bid on everything. nobody
can give accurate prices without being there, learn before you buy a
money pit. Your home inspector should have done this.

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Colbyt
 
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wrote in message
oups.com...
I didn't know how to title this thread, because there's really much
more wrong with the 1832 property than you could fit in a thread title.
But we still want the house.

I don't know the exact square footage, but there are ten (small) rooms,
so many different kinds of services (oil tanks, two of them, two water
heaters...on one water bill, various electrical "patchworks"). I want
to use the first floor, which is definitely the nicer one, as a primary
residence and continue to rent out the upper to the decent tenants now
there.

I know this is asking a lot, but could anyone give me even a ballpark
estimate for the following:

1) Cutting through clapboard and ancient planks to install a second,
upper stairway (so that the home may qualify for HUD tenant subsidy)?

2) Totally rewiring the home for two services (so that in mid-January,
tenants don't plug in space heaters, keep overloading the breakers, and
burn the house down)?

3) Tearing down ancient gypsumboard so that the high-ceilinged first
floor could be insulated?

4) Replacing 19th/early 20th century NON-WEIGHTED double hung sashes
with the cheapest alternative (about fifteen standard-size, @ 3' x 4'
(?) windows)?

5) Replacing the @ 3' chimney.

A real estate/home inspector knowledgeable of the home said he did an
"APOD" on the home, a former bed-and-breakfast, and that the cash flow
was so negative it almost went into the imaginary number system. But I
don't want to use the place as a bed-and-breakfast, and if I have a
positive cash flow of even $1 a year, that's fine, because I plan to
use the place as a primary residence.

Oh well, I suppose you'll make fun. I just need some non-mockery.


No mockery. Some advice. But no real answer to your question.

First thing I doubt that you will ever have a positive cash flow. At best
most two family situations will afford you a discount on your portion of the
payment. Over time that might become a higher percentage of the total.

Because of the wide range of labor cost and overhead no one in this group
can give more than a wild guess about prices. Even it you were in my
locality, the things you mention have to be seen to even make an educated
guess.

In your shoes I would do the following make up 3 lists. The things you must
do to acquire the financing, another of things that really should be done
and a wish list. With a certified contractor doing the work HUD may advance
the money to complete the first list provided the improved property will
appraise for the total of the loan. I don't recall which type of loan this
is.

Best bet is to find a local, well referred contractor, be honest with him
and pay him for the time he spends developing a plan and estimate. That will
be "better spent" money than what you paid the home inspector.


Colbyt


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Ken
 
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wrote:
I didn't know how to title this thread, because there's really much
more wrong with the 1832 property than you could fit in a thread title.
But we still want the house.

I don't know the exact square footage, but there are ten (small) rooms,
so many different kinds of services (oil tanks, two of them, two water
heaters...on one water bill, various electrical "patchworks"). I want
to use the first floor, which is definitely the nicer one, as a primary
residence and continue to rent out the upper to the decent tenants now
there.

I know this is asking a lot, but could anyone give me even a ballpark
estimate for the following:

1) Cutting through clapboard and ancient planks to install a second,
upper stairway (so that the home may qualify for HUD tenant subsidy)?

2) Totally rewiring the home for two services (so that in mid-January,
tenants don't plug in space heaters, keep overloading the breakers, and
burn the house down)?

3) Tearing down ancient gypsumboard so that the high-ceilinged first
floor could be insulated?

4) Replacing 19th/early 20th century NON-WEIGHTED double hung sashes
with the cheapest alternative (about fifteen standard-size, @ 3' x 4'
(?) windows)?

5) Replacing the @ 3' chimney.

A real estate/home inspector knowledgeable of the home said he did an
"APOD" on the home, a former bed-and-breakfast, and that the cash flow
was so negative it almost went into the imaginary number system. But I
don't want to use the place as a bed-and-breakfast, and if I have a
positive cash flow of even $1 a year, that's fine, because I plan to
use the place as a primary residence.

Oh well, I suppose you'll make fun. I just need some non-mockery.



As others have said, there are way too many unknowns for anyone on
usenet to give you a ballpark estimate. For the work that you have
mentioned so far, be prepared for costs that have at least 4 zeros.
And knowing that the house was built in 1832, if you *really* want to
fix it up right, get yourself comfortable with numbers that have 5
zeros. Once you get into a renovation/restoration project, there will
be a zillion things you find along the way that will need to be
remediated that you didn't originally plan for. Once you open the
walls and/or ceiling, you'll find framing that is bad, joists that have
been sawn/drilled completely through by plumbers and electricians that
need to be replaced, new plumbing will need to be done, etc. Then you
will start noticing that floors are not level, you'll investigate
further and find the foundation has settled and will need to be jacked
up, etc, etc. You mentioned the tenants plugging in space heaters,
which probably means the heating system is inadequate and/or the there
are too many cracks where cold air blows in from outside, so all those
issues will need to be taken care of (probably a lot more than just
getting new windows installed). I'm not trying to scare you, just
prepare you for the realities of owning a house that old.

If you are looking for a HUD subsidy, then unless you are in Boston or
some area with high real estate values, these costs and amount of
effort are probably way beyond what you want to put into the house to
really make it right.

Ken



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Bill Waller
 
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On 27 Jun 2005 04:04:11 -0700, "
wrote:

I didn't know how to title this thread, because there's really much
more wrong with the 1832 property than you could fit in a thread title.
But we still want the house.

I don't know the exact square footage, but there are ten (small) rooms,
so many different kinds of services (oil tanks, two of them, two water
heaters...on one water bill, various electrical "patchworks"). I want
to use the first floor, which is definitely the nicer one, as a primary
residence and continue to rent out the upper to the decent tenants now
there.

I know this is asking a lot, but could anyone give me even a ballpark
estimate for the following:

1) Cutting through clapboard and ancient planks to install a second,
upper stairway (so that the home may qualify for HUD tenant subsidy)?

2) Totally rewiring the home for two services (so that in mid-January,
tenants don't plug in space heaters, keep overloading the breakers, and
burn the house down)?

3) Tearing down ancient gypsumboard so that the high-ceilinged first
floor could be insulated?

4) Replacing 19th/early 20th century NON-WEIGHTED double hung sashes
with the cheapest alternative (about fifteen standard-size, @ 3' x 4'
(?) windows)?

5) Replacing the @ 3' chimney.

A real estate/home inspector knowledgeable of the home said he did an
"APOD" on the home, a former bed-and-breakfast, and that the cash flow
was so negative it almost went into the imaginary number system. But I
don't want to use the place as a bed-and-breakfast, and if I have a
positive cash flow of even $1 a year, that's fine, because I plan to
use the place as a primary residence.

Oh well, I suppose you'll make fun. I just need some non-mockery.


Although I cannot give you direct answers to your questions, seeking the advice
of a contractor, as suggested, would be the wisest thing to do. I can tell you,
however, from experience, that once you start working on an older building,
things escalate. When we bought our 1884 Victorian, we thought that we could
just make a few changes. Twenty years and a lot of dollars later we had
completely rebuilt the house from the inside out. It was not because we really
wanted to, but as we started each project, it became apparent the there was a
lot more that had to be done.

Good luck. :-)

BTW: we ended up selling the beast due to a job transfer. We may have gotten
our money out of it, but I will never be sure.

As a side note, the new owners have torn out twenty years worth of work and
made the place into an office building...more money that brains, given the
location.
____________________
Bill Waller
New Eagle, PA


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Colby, Mark, Bill, and everybody:

Thanks for some insightful advice. The idea of taking a contractor
along when I'm home-shopping for an older home is so smart, I'm
surprised no one ever mentioned it to me (or on any DIY show that I
know of) before. Sort of like "inspect-as-you-go."

The wind-up is that we lowballed at 60K (because whoever said we might
have to add *5* zeroes was absolutely right), were declined, and that's
the end of that.

I learned after having bid that this former bed-and-breakfast (HEL-LO,
Bill, in New Eagle--exactly diagonal from ya'll) is notorious in the
local real estate market in this toney county. Apparently the old dude
selling started out at 130K and has been coming down (to 80K) for
almost eight years. A GREAT home inspector who didn't charge a penny,
the former head of the real estate agents society in this particular
county, told me the seller is possibly a little disturbed...

Anyway, thanks again for some great words. (And Bill, don't I know the
feeling of gorging an old house with money, and then hearing the new
owner ripped everything out in the first week. As Andy Sipowicz would
say, I'm keepin' a good thought for ya.)

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