Basement Home

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by pointer_hunter, Jan 17, 2005.

  1. pointer_hunter

    pointer_hunter Well-Known Member

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    Ok, I'll try to make this as short as possible, but with as much detail as I can...

    Former Step-mother (as of last week) realized she doesn't need a house that she has up north as much as money. She gave me first dibs on it before putting it out on the market. No one has lived there in MANY years and it looks like it. It's just less then 3 acres about a half mile down a dirt road. When they moved out, there was a septic, well, house with basement. The basement use to be the whole house, but then my dad built the upstairs on it. From the looks of it, the house part may have to be torn down. I'm sure the well is still good and the septic should be ok. If I were to just redo the basement for now, is it possible to get a loan to redo the top? I don't know if they finance just basement houses. I think I'll be able to pay for the property and redo the basement and then thought about just working on the upstairs one check at a time....but I don't think DW had a good response to the house to begin with, and not sure yet how she'll react to living in the basement until the house is done.

    I see it as a house easy to cool/heat and she sees it as a BASEMENT :eek:

    I'm putting this out there for ANY and ALL ideas or comments.
     
  2. reese

    reese Well-Known Member

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    so if I understand you right, it has all the bells and whistles (kitchen, bathroom, living room ect)?

    if that's the case, I'd have no problem living in an "earth house", actually, if we end up north/midwest we plan on looking for or building one. It's energy efficient (low heating cost, no cooling costs), can be attractive (eye of the beholder lol), and if built well, is very easy to maintain.

    I'd say take a trip to go see it, do a run through with an open, but critical eye (look for cracks, leakage, plumming issues ect, but know that cosmetically it more than likely needs a good scrubbing and a coat of paint ect). If the house is in good shape, just needs minor work/cosmetic work, location is good, price is good, and your wife can cope :) then...
     

  3. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Really boils down to what DW is willing to live with. Is it worth your marriage potentially? Personally I would live in the basement and pretty well gut the house to the outside walls and, as you said, do it one pay-check at a time. Once the inside is OK move upstairs and do the outside.

    Ken Scharabok
     
  4. minnikin1

    minnikin1 Shepherd

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    We've done this.
    If the basement is sound, Light and Dampness are the issues. Even
    if the basement is basically dry (ie no leaks), they are notoriously damp.
    That can be uncomfortable and smelly, especially in summer.

    Is there a walk out side where you will get some light/views?
    How long do you anticipate you'll be down there?

    We did it for 3 months, during the summer in the NewEngland climate.
    Had to go find a cheap apartment to get out of there. We moved to a shabby little hayloft apartment in a WORKING barn and found that to be a big improvement - if you get my drift.

    But you're configuration might be much different than ours was-
    so it could be very cozy and comfortable.
     
  5. jack_c-ville

    jack_c-ville Well-Known Member

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    At the very least, when you are ready to start work on the upper part of the house you should be able to get a loan based the value of the land and other improvements. Depending on how bad the house looks, the bank might not consider it reasonable equity.

    If you are in a position to buy the property and get it to a point where you can live in the basement using only cash, I think you'd be nuts to encumber it with a mortgage. If it were me, I would work on the upper part of the house slowly and steadily using the money that you are not making mortgage payments with. You have a great opportunity to own your own place outright - something that many people never accomplish their whole lives.

    If you absolutely must have a bigger chunk of money sooner than you can save up from your paycheck to work on the top of the house, how much money are we talking about? If it is less than $5,000 you might want to consider getting a credit card and putting all your expenses on it. The rate will be way higher, but you won't have any closing costs, there will be no lein on your house and you can shop for one of these deals where you get zero interest for the first 12 months. My wife and I did that to cover costs for home improvement and we will have the house sold and the balance entirely paid off before the interest starts accruing.

    -Jack
     
  6. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It's a tough row to hoe if not all people living there are 'into' the idea.... ;)

    A basement can be quite dark, smelly, & damp.

    I would see the first need as re-roofing most likely, you must protect whatever is there yet, and that means a new roof?

    From there fix the basement & any way to clean up one room on the main floor to live in, even if not a perfect parlour, something to be in during the day & get some sun?

    --->Paul
     
  7. pointer_hunter

    pointer_hunter Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I'm thinking that this may not work out. I went to look at it today...wow. The plan would have to be gutting it out down to the studs to see if they are ok. The outside looks square and roof line looks straight. The basement is dry, mold free just dirty. It will need new everything. If the studs are good, I would just wrap the house and put in vinyl windows and siding. Then I could work the inside check to check. I am doing everything in my power to get to a point of no payments on anything. My snag is that DW has never had to work toward anything or wait for anything. She can't see spending 20k for the land/basement (possible house)/well and septic when we can just pay 25k for the same thing brand new on other land and then get a huge loan to build her dream home. It doesn't matter that it will run 80-100k for that. I tried explaining the whole fix this one up, live in it for a few years and sell it to build the better one...but her mind shuts down when there is the possibility of having to live there. She has the inability to look at the possibility of it over what is right in front of her.

    Odd situation, she knew what I was and I knew what she was...we agree on most everything else...just bumping heads on this one...