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  1. #1
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    Money Pit or wise investment

    My wife and i are looking at a 'fixer upper' house.
    -4 bedrooms
    -original hardwood floors and interior trim
    -huge yard
    -2 2 car garages
    -1 3/4 baths

    Does anyone here have any experience fixing up a house, for you to live in? By live in, i mean compared to reselling right a way, or renting it out. This house doesn't need much at all:
    1. A new closet door
    2. Sheetrock, mud and tape a 10-12' square patch of the ceiling in the kitchen.
    3. Stove,fridge, dishwasher and over the range microwave, with the last 2 being wants not needs.
    4. Glass in a window replaced.

    There's not alot to the basement, so a "man cave" doesn't seem likely. We would be getting the 'First time home buyer tax credit'. This is actually a loan of 10% of the cost of the home, up to $7500. It's paid back at $500/year on your taxes for as long as 15 years. I am going to make a hard push to use that money for a kitchen remodel.

    Share your successes, or horror stories.
    *EDITED: Links not working. I could email it to you if you are genuinely interested in seeing pics.
    The ribbon is the 'Gulf War Ribbon'.
    SUPPORT OUR TROOPS!!

    -I need a new liver. Please join us for a spaghetti dinner and silent auction benefit.
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  2. #2
    BadlandsVikings's Avatar
    BadlandsVikings is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Money Pit or wise investment

    You're link doesn't work

    Don't replace glass in a window, repalce the whole window


    Is the closet door bi-fold or regular?

    What kind of heat does it have?

    How's the foundation?

    How's the insulation? are the windows and doors drafty?

  3. #3
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    Re: Money Pit or wise investment

    The windows are original, and the house is 122 years old.
    The closet is a small closet, not like a coat closet near an entrance to a home.
    It's forced air heat.
    The house is unoccupied, so the heat is at the minimum. The windows are double glazed, and original. Replacing one window in the kitchen, would likely mean replacing the ones in the other rooms as well.
    The ribbon is the 'Gulf War Ribbon'.
    SUPPORT OUR TROOPS!!

    -I need a new liver. Please join us for a spaghetti dinner and silent auction benefit.
    -January 13, 2013 1-4.
    -$10 covers spaghetti, salad and bread.
    -Anoka American Legion.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
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    Re: Money Pit or wise investment

    make sure to have a home inspector inspect the house.

    but if that's all you have to worry about with your fixer upper , than that aint much


    as far as the door, do you need a new frame? if its a regular hinged door (similar to a front door) i would have a professional install (if it needs a frame), if you get an angle wrong than the door wont shut , or will leave a gap

    for the hole in the ceiling , you need to cut to the beams . so that both sides of the sheet rock can bolt to the beams, if any edge of sheet rock isn't mounted to a beam it will end up sagging. another aspect of the hole in the ceiling is texture. which will require special tools. and if it's "popcorn" than you will need a sprayer.

    single pain windows are normally pretty easy and wont be charged much by a professional window installer. depending on who you call , they will try and sell you a set of windows, which if the windows are 122 years old will be a very good idea (when you can afford it)

    http://justlube.net/?page_id=44

  5. #5
    El Vikingo's Avatar
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    Re: Money Pit or wise investment

    "STCLOUDSAYSGOVIKES" wrote:
    My wife and i are looking at a 'fixer upper' house.
    -4 bedrooms
    -original hardwood floors and interior trim
    -huge yard
    -2 2 car garages
    -1 3/4 baths

    Does anyone here have any experience fixing up a house, for you to live in? By live in, i mean compared to reselling right a way, or renting it out. This house doesn't need much at all:
    1. A new closet door
    2. Sheetrock, mud and tape a 10-12' square patch of the ceiling in the kitchen.
    3. Stove,fridge, dishwasher and over the range microwave, with the last 2 being wants not needs.
    4. Glass in a window replaced.

    There's not alot to the basement, so a "man cave" doesn't seem likely. We would be getting the 'First time home buyer tax credit'. This is actually a loan of 10% of the cost of the home, up to $7500. It's paid back at $500/year on your taxes for as long as 15 years. I am going to make a hard push to use that money for a kitchen remodel.

    Share your successes, or horror stories.
    *EDITED: Links not working. I could email it to you if you are genuinely interested in seeing pics.
    Get divorce better
    :P
    El underdog.

  6. #6
    singersp's Avatar
    singersp is offline PPO Newshound
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    Re: Money Pit or wise investment

    "STCLOUDSAYSGOVIKES" wrote:

    Does anyone here have any experience fixing up a house, for you to live in? By live in, i mean compared to reselling right a way, or renting it out. This house doesn't need much at all:
    1. A new closet door
    2. Sheetrock, mud and tape a 10-12' square patch of the ceiling in the kitchen.
    3. Stove,fridge, dishwasher and over the range microwave, with the last 2 being wants not needs.
    4. Glass in a window replaced.
    There is almost nothing I haven't done in the lines of remodeling.....

    [img width=450 height=298]http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b21/singersp82759/cabin/Cabin_1.jpg[/img]
    [img width=450 height=300]http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b21/singersp82759/cabin/Cabin_2.jpg[/img]
    [img width=450 height=300]http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b21/singersp82759/cabin/100_0582.jpg[/img]
    [img width=450 height=300]http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b21/singersp82759/cabin/100_0585.jpg[/img]
    [img width=450 height=300]http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b21/singersp82759/cabin/100_0586.jpg[/img]
    [img width=450 height=300]http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b21/singersp82759/cabin/Cabin_4.jpg[/img]

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  7. #7
    Purple Floyd's Avatar
    Purple Floyd is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Money Pit or wise investment

    St Cloud is one of the best markets in the state, but right now I wouldn't use a house as an investment. No way, no how.

    If it is selling at a steep discount and you are planning to live in it for a minimum of 5 years as your primary residence and put all of the sweat equity into it then it might make sense because interest rates are low, but there are a glut of houses on the market and there will be many many more in the next 2 years so I would certainly not want to be trying to sell or rent it out in that time period.

    That being said, it will also be costly to restore a 122 year old home,especially if the windows, etc are original unless you go the route of the pop in replacement windows. But if they are the windows with the rope and weights on the side that assist opening then you will have to contend with the cavities or have heat loss there.

    As far as the kitchen remodel, that is my specialty. I own a cabinetry business and I can tell you that a kitchen remodel and a master bath upgrade are the two most cost effective ways to increase resale value if you do them right. ( Of course if you hire the wrong person and mess up the design or color scheme you can lose money too)

    Personally I would stay away from any house that is that old. I would also look towards the rambler style houses for the following reasons:

    They are generally going to be newer
    They will then be more energy efficient,which means over time they save you money
    They will be easier and cheaper to maintain because of the shallower roof pitch and easier access when things like new shingles and siding are needed
    They hold their value better over the long run which gives you the return on investment.
    The layouts are generally better because they were designed with function over form so laundry is generally closer to the bedrooms, bathrooms are bigger and in better locations etc.


    JMHO

  8. #8
    singersp's Avatar
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    Re: Money Pit or wise investment

    "UffDaVikes" wrote:
    St Cloud is one of the best markets in the state, but right now I wouldn't use a house as an investment. No way, no how.

    If it is selling at a steep discount and you are planning to live in it for a minimum of 5 years as your primary residence and put all of the sweat equity into it then it might make sense because interest rates are low, but there are a glut of houses on the market and there will be many many more in the next 2 years so I would certainly not want to be trying to sell or rent it out in that time period.

    That being said, it will also be costly to restore a 122 year old home,especially if the windows, etc are original unless you go the route of the pop in replacement windows. But if they are the windows with the rope and weights on the side that assist opening then you will have to contend with the cavities or have heat loss there.

    As far as the kitchen remodel, that is my specialty. I own a cabinetry business and I can tell you that a kitchen remodel and a master bath upgrade are the two most cost effective ways to increase resale value if you do them right. ( Of course if you hire the wrong person and mess up the design or color scheme you can lose money too)

    Personally I would stay away from any house that is that old. I would also look towards the rambler style houses for the following reasons:

    They are generally going to be newer
    They will then be more energy efficient,which means over time they save you money
    They will be easier and cheaper to maintain because of the shallower roof pitch and easier access when things like new shingles and siding are needed
    They hold their value better over the long run which gives you the return on investment.
    The layouts are generally better because they were designed with function over form so laundry is generally closer to the bedrooms, bathrooms are bigger and in better locations etc.


    JMHO
    Older double hungs will have those weights in the open spaces, but that is not to say the rest of the house has adequate insulation. He could easily plan on doing what I had to do & tear out all the inside of the exterior walls to better insulate them. Not to mention insulating the attic.

    He could also be looking at having to replace a lot of all the old wiring & plumbing as well. Check to see if the outlets are two prong or if they have the third ground plug. Also the type of sevice should be upgraded for circuit breakers.

    Upgrading kitchens & bathrooms are the biggest areas where you can increase a homes value, but they are also the most expensive. Especially custom cabinets. If you plan on selling the house later on, it's well worth replacing them, but I would tend to look for a home that already has that done.

    Windows are not cheap either. I replaced everyone of mine, but I did it myself. Paying a contractor only increases the cost. Same goes with hiring plumbers & electricians.

    I don't know what the codes are in MN anymore, but here in WI I get to do my own plumbing & electrical work as long as I do it to code. If I'm merely replacing windows on my house, re roofing or remodeling without structurally changing anything in WI, I do not need a building permit. In MN, that is not the case

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  9. #9
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    Re: Money Pit or wise investment

    Thanks for the advice. A few things to cover:
    -We have a block layer, roofer, an HVAC guy and elevator guy in the family, so doing it myself and with help from family, isn't an issue. Not only that, but my uncle owns a construction company.
    -I'm not sure about the weights on the windows. I don't believe there are, so it's possible they aren't the original windows, but old none the less
    -All i want to do for the kitchen remodel is knock out the center island, and a corner triangle wedge. I'm not talking going down to the studs or anything.
    -We will be living in it for at least 5 years. As long as it's safe, much much longer.
    -We don't plan on remodeling anything else, and may not even do the kitchen.

    +This house, is only $77k. It's a block away from the park, for my boys. 2 2 car garages, so i will likely rent out one, use the other, and my dream is to get a little mg or fiero.
    +It has a patio for sitting outside, and grilling. Good size trees for shade in the summer, and i would much rather open windows then turn on an a/c unit or the central air.
    +The house was just sold in '06 for $171k, so i assume the heating, plumbing, and insulation are adequate.

    I'm going to see if i can get into it sunday, and have my dad inspect whatever needs to be looked at. He's not a licensed inspector, but he can def. give us an idea of what we are getting ourselves into.
    The ribbon is the 'Gulf War Ribbon'.
    SUPPORT OUR TROOPS!!

    -I need a new liver. Please join us for a spaghetti dinner and silent auction benefit.
    -January 13, 2013 1-4.
    -$10 covers spaghetti, salad and bread.
    -Anoka American Legion.

  10. #10
    NodakPaul's Avatar
    NodakPaul is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Money Pit or wise investment

    "STCLOUDSAYSGOVIKES" wrote:
    Thanks for the advice. A few things to cover:
    -We have a block layer, roofer, an HVAC guy and elevator guy in the family, so doing it myself and with help from family, isn't an issue. Not only that, but my uncle owns a construction company.
    -I'm not sure about the weights on the windows. I don't believe there are, so it's possible they aren't the original windows, but old none the less
    -All i want to do for the kitchen remodel is knock out the center island, and a corner triangle wedge. I'm not talking going down to the studs or anything.
    -We will be living in it for at least 5 years. As long as it's safe, much much longer.
    -We don't plan on remodeling anything else, and may not even do the kitchen.

    +This house, is only $77k. It's a block away from the park, for my boys. 2 2 car garages, so i will likely rent out one, use the other, and my dream is to get a little mg or fiero.
    +It has a patio for sitting outside, and grilling. Good size trees for shade in the summer, and i would much rather open windows then turn on an a/c unit or the central air.
    +The house was just sold in '06 for $171k, so i assume the heating, plumbing, and insulation are adequate.

    I'm going to see if i can get into it sunday, and have my dad inspect whatever needs to be looked at. He's not a licensed inspector, but he can def. give us an idea of what we are getting ourselves into.
    If it sold for $171k three years ago, and now they are asking for only $77k, I would be concerned.
    Is it a bank forclosure?
    Was it overvalued in '06?
    What changed?
    I would seriously have a licensed inspector, in additino to your Dad, look it over.
    They are fairly cheap, can be worked into the price of the house, and may find some of the hard to find issues, like foundation problems.

    If you are buying it for yourself, you also need to consider if it fits your needs.
    For instance, older houses tend to have small rooms, is this a problem for you and your family?
    Can you live in only part of the house while you remodel the rest?
    etc.
    Zeus wrote:
    When are you going to realize that picking out the 20 bad throws this year and ignoring the 300 good ones does not make your point?

    =Z=

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