Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Paint and Color

The idea of decorating the new (old) house both thrills and terrifies me. I am drawn to the idea of doing all mid-tone soothing colors inspired by historical paint chips, but at the same time, I love bright color. I like the idea of bright, light, airy color, but don't want it to look like a nursery. What to do?

I had an idea today, maybe an epiphany, maybe just another passing and quickly discarded idea.I think I might do each room in a very pale version of the soothing, mid-tone historical colors. A very pale grey green. A very pale muted turquoise. A very pale butter yellow. A very pale dove grey. And a very pale, uh, white. Then I will add accents of the corresponding bolder color throughout the room.

In the bathroom, the pale, muted turquoise walls will be paired with bright turquoise and green accessories, colored glass balls, sconces, etc. Or maybe a pale turquoise bedroom can have pops of bright yellow, or maybe red? The white room, the living room, will have the orange couch. Maybe I'll add magenta and turquoise pillows. The dining room could be a very pale tangerine. You get the idea. This keeps the bright color from being overwhelming and the pale wall colors from being boring.

I came across the classic color collection from Benjamin Moore and I think I will be able to find what I need amongst all these yummy choices.

Monday, July 25, 2011

A/C, Roof, Sink

It's update time...

The quote to replace the slab under the air conditioning unit and well as various other A/C repairs came in at $355. Woot! That's a lot less than I was expecting.

The quote to fix ALL the roof issues including the leak near the chimney came in at $1,800. Not great, but not terrible.
ALL the roof issues from the inspection report.
I think I have decided not to do the foundation and plumbing work before I move in. I don't want to add $100 a month for 30 years to the cost of the loan. Even conservative Corey told me to wait until I had a problem. Of course if Eagle Trace sells quickly and for a good price, then I will have that extra money  in hand, which might change things. But since NO ONE came to look during the open house on Sunday, I am not hopeful.

But so far the list of things that do need to be done right away hasn't been outrageous. For instance, I need a kitchen sink. I would LOVE an antique. Something from This Old Tub and Sink maybe? Like this 1951 American Standard?

 But for $565? Maybe not. But I found this cast iron Kohler beauty on Craig's List for $85. AND it's the perfect size to fit the existing hole.

I'm going to look at it later today. I love a good bargain.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Bunch of Meanies and Affordable Delusions

We went to the bank and asked for a $5,000 discount off the price to replace the items stolen during the break in. The response from the loss mitigator is as follows "We have an approved negotiator price with the bank. They will not renegotiate because of a robbery or anything else. If this is not acceptable to your buyer, please let us immediately so that we can remarket the property. Call me if you have any questions."

Boo! Bunch of meanies! It's a good thing I just got my bonus check which should at least cover the cost of appliances. 

Remember the delusion I was having about purchasing an O'Keefe and Merrit stove? 

Well the price for a restored stove is about $6,000. Ouch! But look what I found on Craig's List for $375!

Pretty close, no? And WAAAAAAY cheaper. The seller says "It does work. I have had it for about 18 years, and used it as our daily stove until we sold that house. It has been in storage for the last five years. It needs a knob and has a few scratches, dings, and light rust on some parts of the chrome, but has lived a good life for a sixty year old stove!" Sounds like it wants to go home with me. Or at least into my storage locker until I move. I am going to go look at it this weekend. There are plenty of places on the web that sell replacement knobs. 

Now if I can just find a white Big Chill fridge on the cheap. Maybe a scratch and dent? I sent them an email to see if they had any.

There will be an open house on Eagle Trace this Sunday. Come on buyer! I know you are out there.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Engineers and Plumbers and HVAC, Oh My!

The structural engineer/foundation guy came out yesterday and the plumber and A/C guy today. As always there seems to be good news and bad news.

The foundation is in decent shape but there has been some settling. You can see it if you look at the living room floor. It looks a little wavy. Also concrete footers WERE poured for the new addition. Unfortunately they are not large enough to be within code. So, if I want to replace ALL the piers, the cross beams, have the floor leveled and the stucco repaired it will cost me $18,500 plus about $2,000 to have the sheet rock repaired that will inevitably crack from the leveling. $20,000 is better than $80,000 and it doesn't need to be done anytime soon. However, when I do it, it will take a month and make a huge mess. Not to mention it will mean the interior will need to be repainted. So suck it up, find the money and do it now? Or wait 5 years when I don't have a laundry list of other expenses? A realtor friend of mine (not the one I'm currently working with) told me that people expect old houses to be outside of code and if it's not broke, not to fix it. But paying money to resurface the interior walls and painting now, just to have to do it again later sux. Although in five years I may want to change the colors anyway... Decisions, decisions.

The hydrostatic test confirmed there were NO leaks. Yeah! Also, if I were to replace all the old galvanized pipe, there is only one place where the wall may need to be opened--the hall bath. There is already copper in the kitchen and PVC in the master bath. If I wanted to replace all the cast iron and galvanized pipe now it will cost me $8,000. But my contractor friend has offered to help and told me that it's not hard to change the pipes under the house. Maybe I'll just have that sewer line replaced now...

Well the thieves were definitely trying to take the A/C unit. They took all the freon ($200-$300 worth). In addition the slab below the unit has cracked (damn tree root) and needs to be replaced. I'm waiting for the quote with the full cost of repair to come in.

Replacing the stolen goods:
The previous owner, let's just call her "she of questionable taste," was in default for 7 months which means the insurance hadn't been paid either. No insurance, no replacement check for the stolen items. On top of that it doesn't look like a police report was even filed. My realtor is going to go to the bank and ask for a discount but it's not looking good. The cost to replace everything stolen? About $5,000.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Inspection. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

The inspection took place on the bungalow yesterday. I apologize for the lack of photos. I took a bunch but the cord I use to download the photos from my camera is in my storage space. Gah!

See the sink and dishwasher? They have been replaced with gaping holes.
First the bad news with a potential silver lining. The previous homeowner didn't run off with the kitchen sink after all. There are signs of a break-in. The back door was kicked in and the frame damaged. Taken were the porch swing, kitchen sink, dishwasher, stove, microwave, light fixtures, faucets, smoke detectors, shower heads, etc. It looks like they tried to take the air conditioning unit because it was disconnected and they may have tried to take the claw foot tub because the connecting pipe is leaking. If this were a regular sale, those items would have to be replaced because most are mentioned in the contract. But because this is a short sale, the bank may come back and say "too bad." I hope that it was insured and a police report filed so that the bank got reimbursed for the loss. They may be more willing to give me that money or at least a discount.  The appliances and kitchen sink were basic and generic, but some of the light fixtures were original and the faucets new and nice. Please, please let the bank give me a discount or cash for replacement. I'm already thinking about an antique farmhouse sink, O'Keefe and Merritt stove, Smeg fridge, etc. Of course those are going to be more expensive than the replacement value. (*sigh*) Maybe down the road sometime.

Delusions of grandeur courtesy O'Keefe and Merritt.

The other news is that it needs work...but I knew that. It's an old house..but I love old houses. I wanted an old house I could show some love and slowly bring back to glory. Good news is that overall it's not in bad shape. The foundation, the pipes, etc. are doing the job they were meant to do BUT they are not up to current standards. The pier and beam foundation is cedar beams to the ground. In fact some of them were trees growing on site. They were cut to the right height and the house built on top.  That was fairly common back then according to the inspector. There should be concrete supports below the wooden beams. There aren't.  They have stood up well for 80 years but at some point they should be brought up to code. The inspector suggested I have a structural engineer out to quote it, just so I'm aware.

The sewer pipes are cast iron. They aren't leaking but at some point should be replaced. 80% of the other pipes are still the old galvanized. Again, they aren't leaking but should be replaced with copper or plastic at some point. Again, the inspector said I should have a plumber who does hydrostatic testing out to quote the job.

There is a leak in the roof or flashing under the eave next to the chimney. Luckily it's on the outside if the house, not the inside. This is a <$500 fix per the inspector.

The master bedroom suite was an unpermitted addition. Most of it is up to code except the electrical and the foundation. When adding the new beams for the addition, again they did wood to the ground. I can have an electrician out to bring the electical up to code without pulling a permit. But if I ever want to have other work done on it, a permit would need to be pulled. That means that I would have to bring it all up to code, which means the foundation would need to be redone at that time. That will probably be expensive.

There are a lot of other small things you'd expect from any house. The hot water heater is missing the flood stop valve ($150), it's missing insulation in a few places, there are a couple small places where there is wood rot on the porch railing, etc., but nothing overwhelming. Great news is there are absolutely no signs of past or present termite infestation!

So next steps are to get the structural engineer, plumber and electrician out to quote current and future repairs, and to find out what the bank is going to do about the appliance theft. Then I'll make the decision whether to back out or to push forward.

Now onto the ugly--I know I want to paint the interior, resurface the ceiling in the living room and the walls in the bathroom, and refinish the floors before moving in. I'll need to get quotes for that too so I have a realistic idea of what I'll be out of pocket if I decide to "keep calm and carry on."

So there is potential bad news. I won't know until the quotes come in. A few thousand of immediate repairs and ten thousand down the road is acceptable. Ten thousand of current and fifty thousand down the road is not.  Stay tuned.

Friday, July 15, 2011

I Bought a 1928 Bungalow...Maybe.

 My offer was accepted, anyway. The inspection is this Saturday, so if it's a money pit I will back out. I'm not letting myself get excited yet. Not to mention, my current house on Eagle Trace isn't under contract yet. So, why did I make an offer? Because it's a 3/2 in Clarksville with a decent yard that is actually in my budget. How can that be? Because it was a short sale. Apparently no one else wanted to deal with the 4 title holders. Also, it's a bit of a dump...but a dump with good bones.

3 bedrooms. That's one for me, one for my sewing stuff and one for guests.
2 bathrooms! I hadn't even dreamed I'd be able to afford a house with two baths. Much less, one in Clarksville!
Clawfoot tub. Yummy!
Beautiful wide trim around all the window and doors.
Built in bookcases next to wood-burning fireplace.
2 sets of french doors.
A front porch with a ceiling fan and hooks for a porch swing. Yes, there is one in the photo, but the owner took it with her...she took the kitchen sink too...but left a bunch of clothes and shoes. Weird.

The previous owner had four dogs. The wood floors are scratched to hell and need to be resurfaced.
There is some funky surfaces on the ceiling and the walls in the bathroom. It looks like popcorn was added to the ceiling and then not scraped properly and then painted over. It needs to be scraped and probably refloated and resurfaced.
The owner painted the walls, ceiling and trim all the same color. WTF! And she choose some weird, dark colors. I will probably paint everything white to start and then make color choices down the road. But the trim will all stay white to show it off.
She did some "upgrades" which included retiling the kitchen and baths...but chose some ugly-ass tile that is at odds with the architecture of the house. But it's livable for now.
There is no garage. I'll have to get a shed for the gardening equipment and tools.

Back deck. No termites please! It's a blank slate. Just dirt right now.

Living room. It's small, but look at the built ins! Granted, they need to be painted white so you can actually see them. Also, what's with the brass fireplace screen? (*shudder*) It will go bye-bye.

Dining room and view to hallway. Bath with the tub is behind the door you can see.

Kitchen. It looks like the cupboards by the bar are new. The rest (not pictured) are old. The counter sectioning off the bar is weird. It may go. I think that will open up the space. And the tile is hideous.

A bedroom.

The master. It's big with a walk-in closet with shelves for shoes. I think that was one of the previous owner's upgrades. French doors to back yard.

Dark purple bath will walls that need resurfacing.

That tile? There? No bead board or at least white subway tile? Why?!? But, oh, that tub.  

So now my realtor needs to sell Eagle Trace! Anyone want to buy it? It's a great house. Check it out: http://www.studio12austin.com/5205EagleTrace/