prim

prim

a blue lady

a blue lady

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

House Hunting

I still need to sell the house I live in before even considering looking at something else, and I'm not close to being ready for that, but a house that I have driven by almost daily and always loved just came on the market and for an astounding low price for an 1870s brick home in Iowa City, where there are few of those left--most torn down to build apartments sadly. I had to go look. Well, first a view of the yard, my heart is beating fast, the house is so beautiful, they say it is 3400 square feet, the yard is big and old fashioned, the porch is wrap around, and it has a new foundation. Then, we go inside, and let me tell you, I have never had high hopes dashed so quickly in all my life. My husband and I have redone 3 Victorian homes all by ourselves, from top to bottom, not a contractor in sight, and I am very good at looking beyond things like the orange shag carpet that was in all 3 of the houses I did when we bought them, look beyond the crappy 1950s kitchens that needed complete tear outs--look beyond the salmon and olive bathroom fixtures in bathrooms that needed complete demolition. Keep this in mind when I tell you, this house I looked at is the money pit incarnate. The new foundation looked pretty iffy, lots of mortar goop showing on the foundation, large cracks in all the brick walls, a horrible crumbling addition on the back and the main house is HALF the size of my Clarinda house, all the square footage is in the basement, which is unfinished. The stair rails moved when you touched them and I about keeled over from vertigo at the top of the stairs when it was obvious that hand rail would fall over if you blew on it too hard. No nice woodwork, windows looked unworkable, plaster cracked and acoustic tile ceilings hiding lord knows what. Kitchen was about 4' x 8' with a really bad new plastic set of cupboards, oh, it was just all so depressing, I think half a million at least to repair it, and that is if we did the work ourselves. My little new ranch home was looking pretty good when I got back home! Here is the deceptive picture of what you would think could be the house of my dreams....


4 comments:

  1. Oh, it does indeed look like a beaut from the outside!! Sorry it was such a disappointment... it's very sad when a grand old house like that has been left in disrepair... there are fewer and fewer houses being restored anymore.

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  2. Hi Elaine, Darn! Such a disappointment. Just come help me work on this house! I am waiting for the contractor now. No one ever shows up when they say they will. The house is so big and construction dust dirty it is overwhelming. Most of the time you'll find me in a corner knitting and refusing to face reality. And we have a new kitten that Charlie brought home from college. She is a garage cat for now but she comes in to play when we are home. I'd better go dust but I am considering an afternoon of retail therapy.

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  3. What a shame. The house looks so beautiful in your photo. My husband and I love old houses, too, and are currently fixing up our 1885 yellow brick Victorian in a small Iowa community.

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  4. I can only imagine your distress while surveying the entire household. It seems like almost every corner of the house need fixing. And it’s such a shame, since it has a wonderful exterior. So, how did your house hunting after that?

    Naomi Walters @ Chicora

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