Tuesday, October 27, 2009

house #1

So, Saturday afternoon we visited a house for sale in Tiny Town, only a ten minute walk from here. We were surprised by how much work the house needs, since it wasn't mentioned at all in the ad, but we are still pretty interested in it. The house is a maison de ville, or townhouse, meaning it shares walls with homes on both sides. It's just over a hundred years old and is solid as a rock, so no worries there (which is one of the reasons we're interested in older homes anyway).

The major problem is that the entire electricity needs to be replaced, which thankfully still falls within our budget. The former owners fancied themselves as home improvement types, but just a couple of the "improvements" include a cooktop built in wood (wtf???) and a trendy bowl sink supported with 2 x 4s. Every room needs cosmetic improvement but that is something we can tackle in good time.

On the good side, the rooms are comfortably large, the kitchen includes an American sized fridge (woohoo!), the garden is the perfect size for barbecues, a small garden and space for Fry to play, and tons of storage space.

Seeing as this is our first house, we're trying to temper our interest, especially since this house has only been on the market for a couple of months. We are slowly going forward; we'll pass by the agency again this weekend with a couple of questions and if we like the answers we'll make another appointment to visit the house again with a couple of family members. The real estate agent told us that he may have another house soon with what we're looking for as well, so we don't feel pressured at all about this house, but to tell you the truth, I really like this one. As the agent said, if someone else swoops in and buys this house, it wasn't meant to be ours in the first place. I really like that guy.

We're taking off in the morning for a few days, so have a great end of the week (and enjoy this gorgeous weather if you're in France!) and hopefully I'll be back on Saturday with a few pictures for you!

1 comment:

JChevais said...

I visited hundreds of houses before both Mr C and I agreed on the one we have. And it had only been on the market for a couple of hours and other visits were planned for it that same day. A couple of months on the market seems like a really long time. There's a reason but you don't necessarily know what that is. So "méfiance".

Older doesn't necessarily mean more solid. It could mean more problems. The number of times we've been flummoxed by our old house (only 80 years) because the norms no longer coincide for plumbing, gas lines and how they've tried to make up for modern amenities by doing the least work possible to get something done. My heater is in the bathroom (totally against housing regulations) and the toilet pipe runs through one room downstairs. It's a fab guestroom/office. Really.

Just electricity for hardcore renovating? Hmm. I think electricity needs to be at norm now before it can be sold. It may not be your problem or could be a good negociator.

What about windows? Do they need to be replaced? How old is the furnace? Have you asked what the property taxes are and the owner's tax (foncière)?

If you do make an offer, don't settle on the price given. Make a lower bid because it sounds like the kitchen is an embarrassment.

Sorry for being a bit of a downer for your first house visit, but OMG, believe me when I say, find a mason to visit the house with you. To investigate any cracks in the mortar because you never know.

There may be some serious "cache misère" on those previous home "bricoleurs" conscience and once the deed is signed, it's over baby. There's no turning back.

Good luck!