Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Seach for home: "The Farmhouse"

warning: I'm trusting you to not steal this house from me. ;) (really though, haha)

Well, are you surprised? ;) ;) The house we're loving now is a farmhouse that was built in 1889. (Camila guessed it & Kelly was close with a barn-- I'd SO take a barn!!! It's another dream of mine actually haha) Anyway, the house is about 25 mins away from where we're at now & is on an acre of land. (we want land SO badly) It's only a mile and a half from the new grocery store (which is really important to me for convenience!) and is being surrounded by brand-new housing developments. When we walked into the house the couple living there thought we were crazy to want to live in the house & not tear it down because that's what everyone's doing. [Which I think is really sad-- this place is so beautiful & has so much history, I couldn't imagine tearing it down!!]

I love the front of the house: It's already white & I'd love to paint the tin roof red (ok, maybe silver) --see below-- and add some black shutters, fix the porch swing & layer it with pretty pillows, add hanging ferns in the summer, hudrangeas all around it-- ahh it could be gorgeous!!!!

Below is a view of the house from the backyard. (check out all that land!!!) It's hard to tell from the pics, but there's this perfect meandering stream throughout the backyard with 2 (really old but possibly gorgeous) little bridges over it. I think in the Spring when everything's lush & green it would look like something out of a fairytale.

Moving farther out is definitely a scary proposition for us. I'd love to stay near my parents & this is where I grew up & everything is just so convenient here: DC, Tyson's and even the country. (I would definitely be closer to Lucketts though if we moved here!!!) Below is a little tour of the inside of the house. Here is the room I'd use for the dining room/ sitting room:
I'd do a central pedestal table probably stacked with books & pretty things & have some wingchairs in the room that could be pulled up to the table for dining or working or projects. chandelier, lots of linen, you know the drill. The floors are the original wood plank floors (covered by carpeting & linoleum in places) painted brown. They'd be going white straightaway, like in Darryl Carter's Virginia farmhouse, below:

The plaster walls are the originals made out of sand & horsehair. The owner of the home was born in the house & lives there with his wife. (They seem like really nice people.) They covered up some of the plaster walls with 60s faux wood paneling (see below) which would be coming down asap. I'd also want to do french doors in the back of the kitchen (below) to a deck:

Here's another shot of the kitchen. To begin with, we'd simply paint the cabinets white because of budgets constraints & then attempt to do out own concrete countertops & find discounts on SS appliances. And let;s talk about the CEILINGS... As you can see, there are drop ceilings throughout the main level & I am DYING to tear them off & expose the beams & plaster ceiling!!!! I cannot even tell you how excited that gets me.

Here's the teensy living room, below. Again, the paneling would be coming down, the ceilings would be exposed & you have to picture white wood floor & linen sofas. The big dilemma is where will my hutch go? I think I have a spot for it.

Picture something similar to this: (from Honning & Flora)

Here's the laundry room/ sunroom. I'd definitely attempt some sort of laundry hiding ... and I'd ditch the door (or disguise it with curtains) so I could use that wall. I'd probably float my little desk & maybe do shelving on the long wall. ?? this room is SKINNY!

Goiny upstairs, there are 3 bedrooms & I'd want the hallway to look something like this (belwo, Atalant Bartlett):And here are the 2 bedrooms:

I cannot tell you enough how beautiful the walls are. They're like something out of Mount Vernon... (the smoke houses & such) When my husband & I opened the little doorway to go up the stairs & saw this curving tiny staircase & the walls we just looked at each other & it was like we had ESP. we LOVED it. It was like a time warp.

This is what I'd want to do: ( a little window enlargement in the first bedroom pictured) pic from Atlanta Bartlett-

Anyway, after coming home & having my parents roll their eyes at us & basically trying to reign us in (not my dad- he's all go for it because he's a dreamer like me) we started doing some research the next day. So here comes the bad news...

Well, the house is on 1 acre but most of that acre is on a floodplain, (the beautiful brook!) meaning you can't build on a flood plain. This is why no builder has snapped this place up yet. (Same as last time!!!) It's also less than 25 feet from the road & you wouldn't be able to put a flush addition on because you can't build within 25 feet of the road. (In a couple of years we hoped to put on a huge addition-- don't worry, we'd make it look like it had always been there...) I would put a room like this (Below, Darry Carter's LR) in the addition:

And here's the rest of the "bad" list: the gravel road it's on is being converted to a 35 mile perhour paved road (arggg!!! this is a HUGE NEGATIVE), we would need new: electricity, septic, central air & heat & probably plumbing... ($100,000+) So, that is a lot of money which is okay if the price for the house is low enough, but it isn't getting me up & running & out the door to put in an offer asap.
I also now know (looking at comps & finding out how unbuildable this lot is) that the house is WAY overpriced. It's only been on the market for a month & I doubt the couple living there would take the offer we'd be willing to give. But... maybe after it's been sitting for a while & they've found out about all of the lot's restrictions, they'll come around if we're still interested. I also feel like the market is still going to drop & we don't want to just jump in when we have this awesome opportunity to wait it out...

So it's not off the list, but I'm not gagga for it. Time & cost will tell!! what are your thoughts???


ps- I forgot to mention that the house is WAY under our budget so even with all of the $ needed to get it up to code, we're still under budget. (that's my favorite part of this house!! ;)