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Old 01-13-2012, 09:50 AM   #1
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when is it not worth fixing?


I got a house in july that is pretty much gonna need ground up restoration. it's liveable , but the basement is just a standing crawlspace. The joists will need replacing, alot of dryrot and already sistered. Foundation inspector said might get 20 yrs out of them. Most likely the exterior walls need to go before thinking of putting new siding over them, and possibly the framework as well, havn't opened a wall yet to see. It's just an old 2 bed bungalow farmhouse, is it even worth rebuilding rather than using as a stepping stone to bulldoze later and put up new construction? I know I want something just a bit bigger, even as a career bachelor, should I just go for it and add an expansion while exterior walls off? At what point is it not worth saving?

I know the answer to that question depends partially on what I feel like doing myself/getting out of the property, but also looking for cost effectiveness. I think I'd like to live on this property a good long while either way, my dream of a big garage on an acreage later could be just that, a getaway rather than a home. Plenty of old farmland around here to set up my trucking company on within a reasonable distance and not have to make it home as well.

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Old 01-13-2012, 10:10 AM   #2
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when is it not worth fixing?


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The joists will need replacing ... dry rot ... already sistered.
...might get 20 yrs out of them ... exterior walls need to go

It's just an old 2 bed bungalow farmhouse...
At what point is it not worth saving?
If it is as bad as you describe it... I'd say you're at that point now.

This place sounds like a candidate for a "tear down"...
which means building an entirely new home at that address.

Quote:
I think I'd like to live on this property a good long while either way...
my dream of a big garage on an acreage...
Were it me... I'd focus on that garage idea.
Include a nice bachelor apartment on an upper level in that.

If the old house livable... rent the old house out for a few dollars until you can catch your breath from the garage project... and use that time to really settle on some design plans for what is the best use of the location.

hth

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Old 01-13-2012, 10:12 AM   #3
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Generally, remodeling adds up to a higher cost per square foot than new construction.
Get estimates.

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Old 01-13-2012, 10:34 AM   #4
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when is it not worth fixing?


Also depends on town codes. An existing structure is usually allowed to stay and be renovated. Tear it down and start over and there could be implications if zoning has changed etc. Might be to close to lot line, too big, too tall, in flood plain, etc.
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Old 01-13-2012, 10:36 AM   #5
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Tarheel- that was my plan, I've been looking at plans for 2-3 car garages with a 1200ish sq ft 2 bed loft. I've got no money atm and this house is probably gonna have to be dozed and filled in before new construction could start. It was basically 2 city lots owner financed for 12k with the house thrown in. It sits about dead center in the 2 lots so not sure i could build first to either side of it. But that 12k will be payed off end of this year and my semi a few months later. I'll have to save the money for new construction or fix my credit before even thinking of anything else, but I could live here another few years. I could still put a bigger garage for truck later if bought the dream acreage and still live here on the city utilities. Probably just slap some new shingles on this spring so it's insureable, and fix other problems as they come.

It may also come to what I find when i tear into a wall, the roof was raised and is still looking good aside from shingles, maybe something has already been done with framework or exterior walls too. most of what I can see rotting is around windows where gaps in siding,

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Old 01-13-2012, 10:42 AM   #6
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when is it not worth fixing?


With money a problem and I understand that, living in it as you repair a little at a time would probably be more doable.
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Old 01-13-2012, 10:58 AM   #7
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If you don't have the scratch to build the garage which I thought was also related to something income producing you do... Then tough it out as is.

You don't have much choice in the matter.
Paint and putty and generally "get by" until you can save some real money...
while you clean the place up enough that you could borrow against it to get a building loan.

As far as remodeling an old shack?
Not me... well not unless it was 100 feet of Pacific Coast Highway.

Ever see this movie?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yil2jWQ5Oqg

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Old 01-13-2012, 11:03 AM   #8
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That was why I jumped on it when i saw it and agreed with their "liveable" description. When I was driving OTR my parents a week every few months was ok, but now I'm home every weekend and own my truck and trailer and was parking at a bar by their place. Now I have a little country truckstop and drop the trailer and bobtail to park in my yard. People were calling the cops in suburbia parking on my parent's curb. I coulda used house for storage/bathroom and lived in truck if needed lol.
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Old 01-13-2012, 01:51 PM   #9
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when is it not worth fixing?


Usually any renovations beyond paint and flooring are not worth it. Like others have said. Most renovations I did for people especially if they were extensive were not worth it.
Good thinking about the shingles. If they need it do them. No sense in letting water in and ruining it quicker.
Depending on what you can stand just live in it and get you finances straightened out. Assuming it isn't going to fall down on you, which sounds like it is OK.
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Old 01-13-2012, 02:30 PM   #10
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Also depends on town codes. An existing structure is usually allowed to stay and be renovated. Tear it down and start over and there could be implications if zoning has changed etc. Might be to close to lot line, too big, too tall, in flood plain, etc.
A very good point!

Add to new zoning ordinances, property taxes and insurance.

We lived for 10 years on an acreage, in a 100-year old house that we renovated and built on to. Because we renovated an old house, rather than built new, our property taxes "froze" for 10 years because of what was called a "This Old House Tax Program." It saved us about $1400 per year.
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Old 01-13-2012, 02:36 PM   #11
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Usually any renovations beyond paint and flooring are not worth it. Like others have said. Most renovations I did for people especially if they were extensive were not worth it.
Good thinking about the shingles. If they need it do them. No sense in letting water in and ruining it quicker.
Depending on what you can stand just live in it and get you finances straightened out. Assuming it isn't going to fall down on you, which sounds like it is OK.
I think that depends largely on two things:
1. Whether you're doing the work yourself or hiring it done.
2. The local housing market.


My wife & I made a killing on a 100+ year old farmhouse we renovated. But we did everything (except install the carpet) ourselves. Also, it was in a perfect location for resale.
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Old 01-13-2012, 02:48 PM   #12
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Dr. Hicks

If you honestly figure out all your costs and your time what does it come out to.
Many when renovating their own house forget some of the costs. Plus the time is worth something.

If you enjoy it and it is kinda a hobby that pays a little great. For many extensive renovations do not pay, yes there are exceptions but one should be very careful thinking they are the exception.
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Old 01-13-2012, 03:04 PM   #13
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Dr. Hicks

If you honestly figure out all your costs and your time what does it come out to.
Many when renovating their own house forget some of the costs. Plus the time is worth something.

If you enjoy it and it is kinda a hobby that pays a little great. For many extensive renovations do not pay, yes there are exceptions but one should be very careful thinking they are the exception.
You're absolutely right. There are a LOT of variable, not the least of which is what you consider your time to be worth.

Also, how exactly do we figure profit/loss if we're living in the house while renovating it?

Then there's the obvious variable of market conditions. That can take an otherwise slam dunk and turn it into a disaster.


In the end, in my particular case, renovating houses has been both something I've enjoyed doing, and have made good money doing it. No doubt it won't work that way for everybody, so people should not be deluded into thinking they can "flip" houses.
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