My wife and I are first time home owners as of March this year. Couldn't be happier with the house that we found just a short drive from town - in our price range, solid 1940s construction old farm house (single story) with a nice full basement. During our search I bent one of my main criterias for a new home and we finally decided that a well built house with some great updates from this era would work for us.
Of course now that we've been living here for a few months we're seeing all the lovely things that the last owners staged so well! A very dry basement during the home inspection was a sham, and now we need to look into diverting some of this rain water running off an exterior hill and driveway around our foundation. I'm actually a little surprised that no one has done this already and I'm a little concerned about water damage that may or may not have occured over the last 60 + years. I'll post photos in an appropriate forum later today.
We have an addition that was haphazardly slapped on (most likely in different increments over the years from porch, to covered porch to full on enclosed mudroom/laundry room). The geniuses that did this project have left plumbing and heating elements, well, left in the elements under the flooring. This will take pictures to explain well, it's really pieced together quite poorly.
Finally, we have an out building, a single car garage and a workshop with an exterior wall that leans badly to the left. Since it's an out building we really overlooked this during the purchasing process - now I'm freaking out about it! It will take removing and rebuilding the foundation wall I'm afraid. Again photos will help.
All in all we did OK. We have newer mechanical appliances circa 2006 - water heater, furnace all new kitchen as of 2008. A dry basement in normal conditions (we've had an extraordinary amount of rain this season), and just basically a house that feels like a home. I'm excited to take on some of these improvements by myself and look forward to using this forum as a great resource.