Great. I just don't want you to get in over your head with this project. Those are really old pipes, it's very difficult to work with threaded galvanized without the proper tools necessary to complete the job. That's probably why the previous owner just shut it off and left it alone. You never know what else you may run into when fixing it. Unfortunately, someone has to fix it, just wished for your sake it was pex or copper. Just remember, you will have all the water to your house shut off, if you run into problems you may be without water until you fix it.
Last edited by jmon; 03-05-2013 at 10:10 PM.
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That's about all the advice I can give you bro. It's up to you from here, if you feel comfortable and have the skill set, the proper tools, go for it. If not, hire a pro. Galvanized pipe is harder to work with, but it can be done. Hopefully the plumbers installed a union somewhere so you won't have to cut the pipe and do all that work to replace the valve. Now you know why the previous home owner just shut it off and left it alone.