Old - New.......homes

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by prairiegirl, Nov 12, 2004.

  1. prairiegirl

    prairiegirl Well-Known Member Supporter

    Nov 2, 2004
    I'm just curious if any of you have had a similar experience.

    Let me explain.....
    We currently live in a newer home, about 12 yrs. old, all brick exterior, brick wood burning efficient fireplace, solid hardwood floors, 3 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, and a full dry basement set up perfectly for the woodburner, all on an acre. We've been looking for a bit more property. We love our home. The perfect solution would be to pick it up and move it somewhere else. The problem where we are is that the land has some covenants and yes we knew that buying it. But, they are selling and building all around us. We can't find any land we can afford that isn't part of a subdivision type area. There's nothing for sale that is about the same age. We are finding that we can afford older, 1900's or so, or major fixer-uppers with anywhere from 3 - 10 acres. We can't move from this area. The big question, "Why would you sell and move down?" Even the realtor has asked this question a few times.

    Are we crazy? Anyone else suffer from this insanity? We're used to being different so that's nothing new. I'm just interested in hearing from others that have made this type of move. From "new" to "old" just to live happily ever after.

  2. CarlaWVgal

    CarlaWVgal Well-Known Member

    Jul 21, 2004
    Wild, Wonderful WV
    I don't know about happily ever after :rolleyes: but dh and i bought an older (1918?) fixer upper 2 years ago. We bought it because the price was right, it was big enough for us and my parents, and there wasn't too much wrong with it, just neglect and the last decorating was done in the early 70's.

    We have been working on it since we moved in, and honestly sometimes it can be a pain. There is always some kind of demolition/remodeling going on. It takes some getting use to having unfinished drywall walls and things that are "less than perfect" The brightside is we saved money by doing the work ourselves, have learned so much about contruction and have a real sense of accomplishment.

    I don't think there is anything wrong with buying an older house as long as it's structurally sound, you can always have it inspected so you will know upfront if anything needs repaired or looks ominus. And if more land comes with it, thats just better for you! I think it's neat to find peoples signatures under the plaster we pulled down, and have met 3 families that lived here over the years, one woman was from Ohio and stopped by, told us her father farmed the property, even the hillside! and that explains why there aren't so many older trees. I like that everyone around here calls the house "the old Exline place". It felt like a home when we moved in, not sterile like some newer houses do.

    Overall I like living here, even with the mess we generate trying to fix it up, it was worth it for us.

    HTH (and I'm not trying to sell you my place, lol)


  3. Leay

    Leay Well-Known Member

    Mar 4, 2004
    Well, I'm in the process of doing what you've been thinking about. My fiance and I are living in my house, a 14 YO A-Frame on 14 acres. I love it here but the city people have found this area and are buying up farmland to build their half million dollar summer homes. When I bought my place 8 years ago, there were very few people on this road and most had been here forever. There are no zoning rules (YET) and people kept chickens, beef cows, etc. It was great! Things have changed though. There are SUV's everywhere now and alot of these people don't realize that you can't drive 55 miles an hour after dark on this rural road if you don't want to hit a deer. A neigbor's cow had gotten out and one of the city people hit it and now I hear they are trying to sue the neighbor for mental anguish??? for "letting" their cow out on the road.
    I have a small female Rottweiler that broke her chain one day and one of my friendly new "neighbors" was walking on my dead-end road, saw the dog running loose in MY yard and called the police. I got a visit from the local cop and he told me that a Rottweiler was a dangerous dog and that next time it was reported as "running loose" I would get a fine. I tried to tell him that she had broken her chain and hadn't bothered anyone but he said that the neigbor didn't see it that way. I guess money talks. She is now caged in a kennel when I'm not home.
    Well, after that long rant.... :rolleyes:
    We are moving to my fiance's farm about 40 minutes from here. The house was built in 1912 and we have been in the process of renovating it. Tearing out plaster lathe, insulating, drywalling, new wiring, siding, roofing... Whew! It's alot of work but it sits on 20 acres of farmland with a state forest all the way around it on a 1/2 mile dead end gravel road.
    I guess what you have to decide is what is important to you. If I could move my A-frame to his farm, I would do it in a minute. But that's not feasible so we fix up the old farmhouse and have our privacy. I'm actually finding out that the more we get done, the more I'm starting to love that old house.
    I'm trying to figure out how to post some pictures of our progress on the Farm Pics thread so if I figure it out, please be sure to check in and tell me what you think. It's slow going but I think in the end, it will be well worth it!
    Good Luck
  4. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

    Aug 13, 2003
    When I moved from CA, my house was 10 years old. Since then, every house I have lived in has been over 100 years old. The current one was built in 1870 and the only one that truly "needs" repairs. The roof leaks, it has termites and the out-dated boiler results in heating bill of $750/month.

    The others I lived in weren't exactly what I was used too, but they were solid and sound. It took some getting used to the idea of an old house and learning that they have "character" which means funny little quirks you learn to live with.

    You do what you have to do to get where you want to go. An older house is not always "selling down".

  5. gccrook

    gccrook Well-Known Member

    Nov 21, 2003
    SC Kansas
    Not sure we traded down in terms of years, but certainly in terms of quality. We decided that we would live with the house if we could find the land that we wanted. We found the land that we wanted at a price we could afford, and the house is livable. Getting away from the city was the main goal.
  6. ChuckinVA

    ChuckinVA Well-Known Member

    Mar 16, 2003
    I'm not sure you would be moving down...

    Every day there are more homes built and fewer places to build them. " you know theyr'e not making any more land."

    I think we tend to listen to society's bigger home, bigger cars, bigger debt scenario and believe that that is going to make us happy. For me, I would much rather have my land than my home, even though it is only 2.6 acres. My goal one day is to own about 15 acres and have a house that we could clean in 2 hours or less.

    In our area there are thousands of million dollar homes that drive the price of land up so high that people who provide services to the area ( fire ,rescue, police) can not afford to live here.

    If I was starting over, I would buy the most land I could possibly afford and then build a comfortable home as I could afford to build it, so that I would not have a mortgage.That would allow me the flexibility to work whatever type of job I enjoyed and not be driven by how much money I had to create to maintain what I have.

    Simplify !
  7. Siryet

    Siryet In Remembrance

    Jun 29, 2002
    River Valley, Arkansas
    When we retired we moved from a ranch house built in 1978 approx 1/3 acre in the suburbs to a home that was "Moved" onto this property in the early 60s so we don't know exactly how old it is. We have 10 acres. Square footage is about the same 2,000.

    The ranch had central heat and air. and fireplace.

    This place has one wall unit for the whole downstairs and window a/c units.
    a small central heater for the second floor which has my wife's studio in it.

    We replaced all the plumbing, and all the downstairs windows with energy effecient double pane glass and added a a new stove

    This place does have a personallity of its own. very warm inside as all the walls are real knotty pine and all the ceilings are boxcar siding.

    It was all worth it cause we now live in the country :)
  8. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    May 9, 2002
    Pretty much what Chuck said. Your current house is pefect except for (OK stop right there it has a fault) the amount of land. Unless you have the cash to renovate or build new you'll have to compromise to correct the problem. Older house but more land solves the one problem you can't change with your current house. You can get any house you want with some work (or money) how you do it is up to you. Letting someone else set your priorities is crazy. If I won a dream house in a subdivision I'd sell it as that kind of dream I can live without!
  9. prairiegirl

    prairiegirl Well-Known Member Supporter

    Nov 2, 2004
    Thanks for all the replies. It's clear that there are many others that have had similar dreams. Just none in our circle. We don't let others or society dictate what we do. We always follow our heart and we know that usually means being "different" and that's fine by us.

    I just wanted to hear what you're experiences were with making a move such as this. It sure sounds like a positive move for most. And, life is what we make of it anyway. I've always told my husband that we could make our home anywhere, any house.

    BTW, we are looking at two places this morning. Looking for our future home is sure an adventure.


  10. jackie c

    jackie c Well-Known Member

    Jul 17, 2004
    I bought my place as 'vacant land' got it very cheap! It did have an abandoned house, barn and old chicken coop. With help form my father, we gutted the house, got it fairly level again, and redid everything from insulating, to plumbing and electrical. It was a big job, but now my property has tripled in value. So with a little elbow grease, you are not really trading down, rather 'investing' in this type of property. Just my experience.
  11. Tracy

    Tracy Well-Known Member

    May 2, 2002
    We did exactly what you are considering anout 18 months ago. The other house was 20 years old, completley remodeled, new barn but only 4 acres.

    When we purchesed the other house we thought 4 acres was a huge amount but 2 horses, a beef cow, turkeys, chickens, pigs, and 100 meat rabbits later that 4 acres was not enough. We needed another barn/outbuilding but could not justify the expense of putting it up with only 4 acres.

    Had the oppertunity to buy 52 acres with barn, 2 other [run down] outbuildings and a 3 bay garage with 100+ old home. The house was pretty much not liveable
    Prpoperty was really neglected. We gutted the house and finally most of the inside is done. Remodeling older homes is always a challenge. Walls are not square [from years of settling] my kitchen has very little cabbnets compared to the other house that had tons of cabbnets. But you learn to make do.

    We have built a deck on the back of the house [beautiful view] and have the property cleaned up. It has taken so much work and $$$.

    Next year the house will get resided and a new roof.
    People ask why we just didnt bulldoze the house down and build a new one? Answer is easy, property taxes with all the outbuildings, house, and land is $900.00 a year. As soon as you put a new house up taxes skyrocket. The other house the taxes are $2,000.00 a year! :(

    Bottom line is THEY AINT GROWING ANYMORE LAND. If you have the land you have the potential to do a lot, with out land you are limitted.

    Would I do it again, yes, in a heartbeat. Only thing I would do diffrent is not have rented the other house, now we have tenants from Hell but that is another thread. :no:
  12. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

    Feb 10, 2004
    So Cal Mtns
    I can say this,we currently live in a 1934 house.Its drafty and constant,I mean constant repairs to keep it up.Boards rot,plumbing breaks,old electric is a pain,etc,etc.So get used to doing a lot of work on the older house.Our plan,buy the property and build a low maintenance earth sheltered,passive solar,cement type dwelling.I dont want to be doing repairs on outdated systems after we retire,its hard enough now.
    Fixer uppers can be a great value figuring sweat equity,you can triple your money,I have before,FWIW.
  13. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

    Jun 8, 2004
    We bought a place built in 1955. The whole house is made of tongue and groove, floors to ceilings, and roof, too (So's the barn). Knotty pine paneling and cabinets in the kitchen.
    Yep, the plumbing needs some work. I need more grounded outlets. There are no exterior outlets...yet.

    Since hubby is military, we've moved about 13 times in the last 23 years. I've lived in houses from brand-spanking new, to older than this one. Every single one has had problems.

    The key is to anticipate the problems you might have with a particular house and the care it's had over the years, and find one that you can live with. That goes for old and new houses. One big advantage (to me) of an older place is that it's already settled, and we don't have to go through that. A new house would have more closet space, though. Pros and cons for each side. Base your choice on what you are willing to live with, not what someone else is willing to live with. (If I'd listened to the Realtor, I'd be sitting on a 1/4 acre lot surrounded by neighbors...same thing if I'd listened to friends)

    Good luck
  14. bulldinkie

    bulldinkie Well-Known Member

    Nov 12, 2003
    Ok heres my story.we built a big 2 story home in 74 my husband owns 2 construction companys.We put pool,pond,did everything we wanted.We wanted more land ,animals.We bought a 1700 precivil war home 40 acres.We completely restored the house.We more than doubled its value.Probably alot more now that was 12 years ago. wegot Reg.Texas Longhorns ,horses,mini donkeys Love my old house.
  15. BobBoyce

    BobBoyce Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2004
    We shopped around and found some woodland we liked, with a creek, lots of springs, and enough acreage to suit our needs. Bought the land in 1997. It's all paid for, free and clear.

    We financed a manufactured home in 1999 and had it put on the property down near the creek. It took a bit of shopping around to find a finance company that would finance without us putting the property up as collateral, but I stood firm on that point.

    Our plans were to live in this home while we built a site built home further back, out of pocket. Then rent out or sell the manufactured home. We own all the way up to the top of the mountain and down the other side a bit, so we were thinking about building underground into the side of it. Solid granite can be so hard to tunnel out though.

    Our current mortgage is under $300/mo, and property taxes are under $200/yr with our current setup, so it's not bad at all.


    PS: Woodland with creek and springs on both sides of us is for sale, but for more than we can afford on social security.