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old gm building
Bartleby the Scrivener vegan27
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what inscrutable thing...
I am going to buy this house, and I'm not sure there is a whole hell of a lot you can do about it.

There are certain houses I have always wished were for sale for cheap. Mindy's house is #1 on that list. But there are a few others I've always lusted after--just a small number of historic houses that are run down and need attention, but are in good locations. This house is one long-time member of that list.

I have a photo of the house from 1976. The knucklehead photographer didn't notice the tree in the way, but just LOOK at that porch. It just tears my heart right out.

This house is next door to a friend of mine, technically in Corktown, and yet somewhat isolated. I wonder if the house is *livable* at all. If the roof is serviceable for a few years, if the foundation and bones are solid, I'll have to buy it. Fate wills it. Consider my current house. To perform the necessary repairs, it has to be gutted. So I'm basically paying $69,000 for a shell of a house, a garage, and the land. Why not pay the much, much lower asking price of this house for a shell instead?

* * * * * * *

I also wanted to share photos of another house. This is what a house on Pine Street--two doors down from my first Corktown residence--looked like about five years ago:

It's owned by my friend Tom, God bless him. He did a full overhaul of the house that is still in progress, focusing overall on energy efficiency. He installed high quality casement windows, and very thoroughly insulated the walls. However... he sort of... covered the house in galvanized metal siding and painted the accents bright red:

Even his wife told him he was crazy. I suppose any future owner could easily unscrew the galvanized metal. And he sort of saved an old house, right? I wonder where exactly the original trimwork went, whether he is saving it or if he donated it to a historic salvage place. Hey, at least it's better than vinyl siding.

* * * * * * *

"What is it, what nameless, inscrutable, unearthly thing is it; what cozening, hidden lord and master, and cruel, remorseless emperor commands me; that against all natural lovings and longings, I so keep pushing, and crowding, and jamming myself on all the time; recklessly making me ready to do what in my own proper, natural heart, I durst not so much as dare?"

You're crazy!

::poops pants::

I drove by the house a few weeks ago that you intend to buy, and I actually considered buying it. Being me, I didn't get any further than the consideration stage. I hope it works out for you.

BTW, I think Tom's house is amazing. I'm slightly sad about the trimwork disappearing and not being modified into the new design somehow, but other than that I think it's a vibrant twist on a renovation.

Are you looking to ultimately move away from your current neighborhood, or were you thinking of having an investment property?

I was thinking of moving from the current neighborhood more than anything. My little slice of SW det has gone downhill.

There is good news and bad news. The bad is that the house is currently unlivable and just as bad as the Bagley house was when my brother first got it. It's actually worse, because the floors are unlevel. Parts of the house would need to be jacked up -- exactly what I'm running away from at my own house! (In addition to the incessant noise...)

The good news is that the people just want to pay off the debts associated with the house and not even make a profit. They just want to get rid of it. It's owned by a woman who moved to Kentucky, and her son who lives in the metro area. The son showed us the house today. He estimates that there is $11,000 - $12,000 in debts from taxes, water, and other bills that were not paid by a relative who lived there and was supposed to pay for them.

The house is divided into two units. It seems like the downstairs actually used to be two very small units, but they are now one.

How big of a project are you willing to take on? This house needs to be gutted, plain and simple. Would it be completely insane for us to obtain the house, renovate it, and then one person takes the upstairs and the other the downstairs? Of course I have yet to meet you in person, so maybe it is insane. All of my house-related plans are insane...

I wish I could take on such a project but, with my semester in full swing as of next week, it just isn't possible. Besides, I talked to my wife, and I do believe if I try another house over haul any time soon, she might just leave me.

Sorry Paul. It could have been fun.

Some other time then. There is no shortage of endangered historic houses in need of renovation.