Saturday, October 13, 2012

Four more farms today

Was a very long day today. We left the house at around 8:15am and got home around 12 hours later. I put over 400 miles on the truck today going from one farm to another.

Farm one was in Louisa, VA. The house wasn't a traditional farm house but it was very pretty with a huge master suite that has a fireplace, and giant soaking tub in the bathroom. There was a beautiful front porch and an even NICER deck on the back of the house with access from the master bedroom.There were fenced pastures and a two-car garage, but only a chicken coop and a bunch of dog kennels. The people breed hounds - they were howling at us when we were walking around.

Second farm was a short sale and the house, while charming, was just too run down to even consider purchasing. There's a reason that there aren't many pictures available. I worry when I see 4 inches of standing water in a bathtub, rotten railings on the front porch, and it stank. I can't do stinky.

Third farm was my absolute favorite. The main part of the house was built in 1781. Yes, it's 231 years old. The property was just beautiful, rolling hills, giant old trees. There was a huge old walnut tree as well as some persimmon trees along the creek. Luckily, we ran into the caretaker who was in the middle of mowing the yard and he's been living in the area his whole life and as a child, he played on the property and in the woods. The woods are great hunting land with deer, wild turkey, and bear! Yes, a bear! He said there was one on the property just a few weeks ago that was about 350 pounds!

We're going to need a bigger gun.

I couldn't stop smiling the entire time we were checking out the house. There's a front stair and a back stair! There are beautiful floors, wood moldings, NEW windows (yeah). There was a brand new barn, large fenced pasture and the property, while being on a main road, had a very long driveway. There was also a former slave quarters! Really neat to have as far as interest. You can see it in the picture there off to the left of the big tree.

Last house was weirdly situated, down a dirt "road" behind a mechanic's place with a bunch of broken down cars lying around, and it's owned by the bank. It was originally listed at $395K but they've pushed UP the price to $425K which means that they probably owe that much and worse yet? While it was the biggest house at 4,222 square feet, it was in a state of disarray. Too much work needed to be done to even live in it and at the top of our price point, it's just not worth it. It was full of construction trash. The main house was connected to a garage that had an apartment above it however, you couldn't get to the basement of the house from WITHEN the house - you had to go outside, and go into a sliding door (that wouldn't shut properly).

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Wilsons Road Place

As much as I loved the house, and the land was good in that it had a good mix of pasture and woods. We put in an offer at less than the list price and asked for closing costs and waited.

When we did hear back, it wasn't good. Reverse mortgage...the bank would have to approve.

Last thing was there was a big doubt that the bank would take our offer and wouldn't pay closing costs. We already know we'd need to build fences and do something about adding a commercial kitchen and to find out that they wouldn't be able to accept our offer as it was, and we'd have to offer more which would put us at the top of our price range....well, it's a no go. We won't be pursuing that property.

West Virginia

More farm shopping this week. We ventured into West Virginia - it was only two hours west of us here near Washington DC so that's a good thing. Not too far from "civilization." But far enough away to feel rather in the middle of nowhere.

First house was in Lahmansville,WV. Absolutely beautiful farm house built in the 1860-1880s. Five bedrooms upstairs all with beautiful moldings,  hard wood floors in many bedrooms, fantastic turned handrail leading upstairs. Lots and lots of space - there was a 6th bedroom on the first floor that could be an office. The kitchen was recently upgraded and there was even a cellar to use for storage. It had two barns, an old outhouse, and a little storage building and was very close to major roads. It was only 20 acres with no wooded areas and a woefully undersized pond (according to my husband - I think it would have been made larger). This was my favorite house because it just screamed FARMHOUSE at me. But my husband did not like the land.

Second place was in Augusta WV. It was for-sale-by-owner on 87 acres. Only 15 acres were clear - the most was in woods. There was a HUGE pond with a little bridge/sitting area. The house itself was quirky - it was originally built around 1840 something and the central part was a log cabin. During the civil war, that log cabin was a muster location where the troops would go to get their salary. According to legend, a soldier was shot in the house on the stairs. And there's even a gravestone on the property - little girl was 11 when she died. The house was super tiny - cute, but super tiny. I smacked my head on the doorframe when I walked in. I couldn't live in a house where I had to cringe every time I walked into the super tiny kitchen. No land to build a kitchen on either AND it could have been a set on deliverance. The driveway was 1/2 mile long and THAT was OFF of an already long (3/10 mile) dirt/gravel road. Transportation would be monstrous at certain times of the year.

House three was also in Augusta, WV on 60 acres. There were no barns but there was an equipment shed, a three-car garage, and a really nasty looking dog kennel (they had a boarding business). The land had good clearance and wooded areas with a few ponds. The house also had a log cabin section which was turned into the master bedroom. Unfortunately, when they added the rest of the house on, they made it the same height so I felt like I was going to smash my  head on the beams, the bedrooms upstairs were super tiny and the three of them didn't have any closets. I don't think two of the rooms had enough space for twin sized beds even and one room didn't have a door. This was my husband's favorite. I really didn't like it at all.

Last house looked fantastic on paper but it was super creepy. They realtor said that the last owner put a lot of money into the place but other than painting the porch (which was nice in that it wrapped around three of the four sides)  and a new roof, it was hard to tell. The interior of the house was disgusting. The kitchen was god awful ugly with burnt wood cabinets (they were wood that looked like someone used a wood iron on to burn on the markings). Most of the rooms were panelled which just contributed to the dark and creepy vibe. It had beautiful land, a huge pond with a little dock, and good sized out-buildings but I couldn't live in that house.

So, we're back to looking...again. I don't think we're ever going to agree on a property. Why do I say this? Because we've been renting for eight years because we could never agree on a house to buy.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

More shopping this weekend

I got a text from one of the realtors we met last weekend. She just listed a farm in WV and thought of me. Which I thought was nice considering I met her the one time...But while it was nice, it was almost $300K over my budget (OUCH). So thank you but no...

However, since she's listed a place in WV, that means that she's licensed to be a realtor in WV so I asked her to check on two properties for me - one in Augusta WV and the other in Lahmansville WV.

The Lahmansville property is really nice - beautiful ancient looking farmhouse built starting in the 1800s. Here's the listing information:
This beautiful 20 acre historical farmette displays the quality and charm of days gone by! Spacious 10-room two-story colonial home with 5 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, fireplace, 9' ceilings, hardwood and pine floors and original oak trim thru out. Addl amenities incl modern kitchen, formal din rm, new heat pump and city water. There's also a big barn and at least one stable.

The Augusta property has more outbuildings and more land. Here's some information about that:
Remarkable farm find 47 fenced, level, beautiful acres, 4 ponds, 48x48 12-stall barn, 8x20 tack room, 25x37 shop, garage, and gazebo comes with this 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom 2,800 sq ft home w/in-law quarters. Easy access of state maintained hard cap road and only 35 minutes to Winchester VA. Too much to list and really must see to appreciate

They both have their charms. I love the Lahmansville house; the Augusta listing doesn't show many pictures of the actual house.

What's even better is that while they are in West Virginia, they are actually closer to my husband's place of work than the one we put in an offer on in Wilsons, VA that ended up being a no-go

Speaking of Wilsons, heard from the realtor in that the information has gone to a short-sale expert. Not sure what that means...but hopefully it's a good thing.