We went and saw a house today.
I know what you’re thinking.
“Amy, you’re going to end up buying this house.”
I don’t think we will, because I don’t think we can. But we did fall in love with it enough to try and get YOU to fall in love with it. Because someone, somewhere, needs to love this gem.
I’m addicted to looking at houses online (and sometimes in person). I love seeing how they work, and how people have loved them (or left them) over the years. It makes me love my house more, and I almost always find something that make my heart leap, for good or for bad. I always keep on top of what’s for sale in my town, because we have so many AMAZING houses. It’s why we moved here!
Franklin is the best. Read about it here. There’s even an interview with Doug!
So, when I saw this c. 1910 house pop up on a great location for $18K, we were intrigued. CLEARLY, there are issues with it being that price. But we needed to see it.
Here’s the listing for this damsel in distress.
It’s a foreclosed 3 bedroom, 1 bath. I asked our friends Loren and Rachel to show it to us. They are the lovely owners of our beloved Jackson Street now, and are also awesome realtors. They understand our particular breed of crazy.
The Good : CUTE exterior, siding is in mostly good shape (it’s peeling, but not rotted), sweet porch, GREAT garage and workshop area, decent yard (if overgrown), large rooms with incredible ceiling heights, AMAZING woodwork, nice layout with good possibilities for small changes that would make a HUGE difference.
The Bad : WATER. It needs a new roof and gutters (it has a tarp over a large area), the walls need replacing, the kitchen floors are done, the KITCHEN is done, the exterior needs scraped and painted, there’s evidence of water damage in every room, the electrical looks to need replacing, the systems will need replaced, and there’s moisture in the basement.
(On a side note, I want to high-five whoever put the tarp up on the roof. When we bought the Murray-Bryant House, we desperately wanted to be allowed to put a tarp on the roof during contract negotiations to keep water from continuing to come into the house. And even though we offered to pay for it – not caring if if we closed or not – we weren’t allowed to. So I’m glad at least someone tried to stop the biggest influx of water while it continues to sit.)
Diagnosis : This house needs someone desperately. A flipper won’t buy it, because it’ll cost too much to make a profit (in my opinion). I think you could get out of it what you put into it – it’s a break-even house. That’s keeping in mind that, even with our experience, we’re not a house inspector or contractor, and the numbers in my head are completing this house to “Amy & Doug Standards,” which means using GOOD materials and being historically accurate and paying attention to details. I’m sure someone could do it for way less using cookie-cutter-builder-grade materials. But she deserves so much more, don’t you think? On the bright side, it needs new electrical and plumbing, but you have to take the water-damaged walls down anyway – so it’ll make that part easier. This house has HUGE potential for someone who wants to love it, save it, or live in it. If I had the money to finance the restoration, I would do it in a heartbeat, knowing that I wouldn’t make a profit. I just want to save it.
The papers on the window are foreclosure notices.
There is a mess of cable all over this house. It’s bizarre. But the porch is cute.
The foundation is brick, and there is brick on the ground. So it needs some help in some areas.
Some of the lower boards look bad, but overall, we were both impressed by the shape of the siding. It’s a total scrap / prime / and paint. But we think the exterior is in decent shape!
Some of the lower grossness.
Can you spot the license plate being used as flashing material? Classy.
Yes. That is a hollow-core rotting interior door on the outside of the house. It leads to a bedroom, super common around here to have two front doors next to each other – our rental cottage has the same. On the plus side, the ceiling of the porch is in AWESOME shape (and super cute).
Here’s the garage! It’s big, and as Doug said, it’s probably in the best shape of the property. It’s a 1-car garage, but it’s totally big enough to put a two-car door on (we measured).
The living room is a lovely shape and size. The fireplace is nice, the woodwork is STELLAR. The floors in the main house might be salvageable.
I didn’t measure, but at least 10′ ceilings in here.
The dining room. All the transoms look to be in good shape. It’s a marvel to me that this house got to this poor of condition, but the woodwork remains unpainted.
The kitchen needs help. I think there are some layout tweaks that would be easy. It’s not small, it just needs help.
This “mudroom” area is part of the kitchen, and I think it would be awesome to make this a true part of the kitchen.
There’s a door to the partial basement on the right, and an entry to the bath on the left. I’d close off that bathroom entrance, and make the entry a pantry. The bathroom is accessible through a bedroom, so I’d make that a master suite, and add a second full bath and laundry room off the kitchen. There’s a sunny addition off the kitchen (which I didn’t realize I didn’t get a picture of) but it would be perfect for that!
The glass door on the right leads into the addition, which could make a nice sized second full-bath and laundry.
The kitchen parquet floor is done. Buckled from water damage.
Here’s the main water issue with the house. There’s currently a tarp over the roof on this area. This bedroom would be the master (it connects to the bath).
The bathroom size is GREAT by old house standards. And if we can get the clawfoot out of the tomb it’s in, it might be a keeper.
This is the front bedroom.
The door on the right is that weirdo interior door to the porch.
This is the middle bedroom.
The light and height is amazing. We can improve on the light fixtures. If you buy this house, I’ll gift you a period-appropriate light fixture. I PROMISE.
Chatting in the backyard afterwards, Rachel and I saw that there was an incredible view of our courthouse from the property. Super cool!
I’ve never posted a “Save This House!” on the blog. But I felt this needed it. And maybe someone will fall in love with this! We wish we could save it. But we’ll totally help you if you save it.
TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS! And your enemies, too, if they’re into historic preservation and have some cash.
(Also, I want the outside to be a deep plum. It’s really screaming to be that color. Right?)