Years and years ago when Len was a youngun in his 20's, he built a house in Florida. A short time later he ended up selling it, but that's been his only experience with home buying, and I've had zero experience. So this is new territory for the both of us.
We've found something we really love in a little town called Monticello. It's on a nice little dead end street (there's a farm at the dead end), surrounded by houses that have clearly seen some TLC from their owners. The house we looked at appeared to have likely been the jewel of the neighborhood at one point but had just not been kept up. It's very unique and has a cool 1930's, sort of Frank Lloyd Wright thing going on. The inside is gorgeous with lots of neat built ins.
The drawbacks to the house are sort of a paradox for us. On the one hand, Len and I specifically wanted to find something that had a lot of character and was probably lower priced because it needed work to restore that character. We like the idea of taking a house that needed some work and bringing out the real beauty of it.
The areas around Madison have a lot of old Victorian homes and Craftsman homes that could use some work. We saw a couple we liked, but this one truly had the kind of character we were looking at. The drawbacks are that it really needs a lot of work.
For one thing, the kitchen is nearly unlivable. With a stove and a fridge it can serve all right until it was remodeled. But wow, it sure looks like time stopped for this kitchen somewhere around 1956. It even has a top-down dishwasher from the 50's that I've never seen before.
For another, the roof and exterior need some work. Fortunately it's all work that Len is capable of doing himself (like much of the necessary restoration and repair). Apparently fourteen other people have gone through this house and no one has put in an offer yet. We're betting that the extent of the repairs is scaring people off, and we're hoping that'll work to our advantage.
It's exciting, but we're nervous at the same time. It's a big purchase, but we can see so much potential in the house, and why rent when you can pay a mortgage instead and actually build equity?