big house on the urban prairie

so ma and i are thinking about buying a house.  the details still need to be worked out.  it’s a pretty big house, certainly much more than we would need.  we would likely turn it into two flats and live in one.  it’s a pretty sad story, owned by this guy roy, in his eighties, didn’t have any fire insurance on the place, lived and cared for his schizophrenic son.  i guess his son wasn’t doing so well, and set the place on fire.  the son ended up dying in the fire.  roy i guess is ok, he seems pretty upset, but just about as sweet a man as you can imagine.

ma and i walked it last weekend, it was really sad to see the place all burned out, to hear roy’s stories, as well as roy’s son roy jr.  they were super nice, even in such a tragic stressful time.  in some ways it was totally unbearable, the sort of experience that the not adult me would skip out on.  the not adult me would not have called roy jr. up again to plan another walk though with friends who are contractors.  the not adult me almost convinced the adult me not to dial that number.

the whole down stairs was covered in smoke damage, one room was pretty much fully burned, but structurally it looks good.  all the windows are knocked out, so that would be a major expense right there. at least that’s what my totally ignorant assessment was.  the upstairs was in pretty good shape other than some holes the fire persons bashed in.  it is however covered in wood paneling, drop ceilings, and industrial carpet.  it made me feel like i was in an office building circa 1975, which is likely the last time any redecorating was done.  the whole interior needs a ton of work.

yesterday while at the bank, i discussed with the banker options for payment, and was surprise that he agreed with my assessment on how to pay for the place. get an appraisal, offer cash for less than that price, hope to have cash reserves to get the place improved on, have another appraisal, and get a home equity loan on the property to finish the rest of the repairs, the ones that don’t have to be done right away to make it livable.

i’d always told ma i didn’t want to have to live in a house where i had to do so much work to it, but then i don’t think i was imagining this house.  ma i think get’s frustrated by my sometimes (ok all the time) slow decision making process, but i also think i’m pretty good at knowing the right opportunity when it comes along.  even though all this stuff seems like the sort of big kid stuff i would rather not get involved with, some how i’m doing pretty good.  we’ll see how i feel after monday’s walk though with contractors.


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