Tossing and Tortured 'Till Dawn

I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide.

Friday, January 22, 2010

As I've mentioned to many of you separately, I've been poking my nose around this place lately. Needs a little love, but it's all there...

Built in 1895, modest-sized place that suits my needs aesthetically / emotionally.

Here's the pro and con that I can see:

* House is not entirely free of knob-and-tube wiring. Most has been replaced with romex, but some k-t still exists in the attic. It all looks in good shape, with no splices or additions, at least.

* Foundation: Half of the structure has a full-height basement, the other half, a crawlspace. The original basement was brick, but this has been replaced with poured concrete that looks good. The other half is still the original pier-and-beam, though it looks in good shape.

* living, dining, main floor bath, mudroom all contain original double-hung, single-glazed windows that will need reglazing and new sash cords if they are to open and close correctly.

* No insulation under main floor floorboards -- combined with windows, will make keeping living room warm in the winter inefficient, if I wanted to.

* No proper garage (There's a "1 car attached garage" that is basically the basement.)

* Lot size is small (future sale price?)

* Water heater is gas, but not very new

* Front porch is not original and probably needs redoing soon, certainly aesthetically. Seems a pretty small job.


* Location is perfect -- desirable part of town, near houses of a similar vintage that are well-kept, walk to cafes, restaurants, shops. If any part of my town is up and coming, this is it.

* Lot size is small (No yard, no worries!)

* All the aesthetic "charm" I want.

* Roof is reasonably recent and in good shape asphalt shingle. Gutters were redone, probably at the same time, and look sound from what we can tell.

* Gas furnace new, professional install in 07

* Upper floor has a recent refresher, includes energy-efficient windows of some kind, lots of insulation. Attic finished into living space well-insulated, with its own wall-mounted electric heat.

* Kitchen has a full modern remodel in 07. Not completely to my taste, but "Nice on a budget" stuff here -- Silestone countertops and ceramic tile, nice large LG appliances: fridge, "stealth" dishwasher, micro/convection, and electric range / oven. Most of the other houses I looked at in my price range had a resto that looked at least 25 years old.

* Washer / Dryer aren't particularly exciting, but they are included.

Sure sure, the house needs some "finish work" -- the old baseboard moldings are there, but the little quarter-sawn shoe molding thing, if that's the right term, is missing, etc, etc. But it's all there, and it all works.

Opine, please.


  • At 11:28 AM , Blogger Juicey said...

    Been following your blog for a while... yet this is my first comment. My boyfriend lives in Tacoma and does some electrical work on the side if you need some help on the cheap side to replace the old style of wiring. He can also help you get an idea about insulation.... as he's done a bunch of work on his house at Salmon Beach - if you need some help in that regard.

    I really like the house you found - it has great charm and sounds like amazing potential... is it in the North End?

    Good luck to you!


  • At 11:33 AM , Blogger Argentius said...

    Thanks, Juicey.

    I've been neglecting this blog lately, busy with work, but I hope to pick it up more regularly soon.

    The house is on 6th and Anderson. Technically it is on the SOUTH side of 6th, which is the dividing line between "central" and "northend," so it's more affordable -- but the world doesn't get magically beautiful 2 blocks over!

    I think of "6th," like "Proctor," as a neighborhood in itself...

  • At 8:14 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    What's the plumbing like?

    It may pay to hire a housing inspector; not one recommended by a realtor.

  • At 8:17 AM , Blogger Argentius said...

    Plumbing --

    Thanks, anon. That which I can see is pretty recent copper pipe; clearly, the original stuff would not have lasted until now, anyhow.

    But, I already do have plans to hire my own inspector just to make sure about things like plumbing, roof, foundation, etc -- all looks good to my untrained eye, but I'm willing to pay for a trained one.

  • At 4:41 PM , Blogger Miriam. said...

    I second the idea to get an inspector. What can look good can be very deceiving.

    Though, if you get the house, you'd have a fantabulous place to house me when I visit. :D

  • At 12:35 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    As a cyclist(racer) and carpenter you would be better off finding a newer condo to live in versus a house. Unless you have unlimited time and money to pay someone to continually repair and maintain the place. As a homeowner of a thirty year old house and in the building industry it would still cost me in excess of $5-10,000 a year in repairs and it would still be an inefficient old house. And the time spent training would now be spent on upkeep/repairs. unless you have an extra 10-15 hours a week to spend. In old houses repairs don't come cheap, usually bandaid repairs have been done for 30-40 years so instead of replacing a part you are replacing a system at great cost. and when you are replacing systems they are expensive and invasive costing money, time, and creating stress and exposing yourself to hazards such as asbestos and lead poisoning.


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