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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010

    Default This old house has multiple problems! Try to salvage or cut our losses & run?

    This old house has multiple problems -- big ones! Do we hire help and try to salvage it or cut our losses and run?

    The current biggest problem is this propane leak that my dad's "let's tinker with it till we find out what's wrong with it" style of fixing things is having problems with. But it consistently has problems with plumbing, the electric, and the water softener, and it needs new floors, windows, and cabinets, among other things. The ultimate goal was to fix it up ourselves so my parents could sell it when all the kids move out, because it's on a beautiful 11 acres of wooded land with a river, and it has a lot of potential, but at this point my dad's getting too old and it's getting too run down. So do we still hire people to fix it up and try to make more from the sale than what we spent fixing it or cut our losses and run? Thank you very much!! Marcy

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    Default Re: This old house has multiple problems! Try to salvage or cut our losses & run?

    Howdy, consider a Realtor come and evaluate its currant resale value & ask a revaluation if recommended improvements recommend. Obtain estimates for the repairs. Then make informed choice.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Smile Re: This old house has multiple problems! Try to salvage or cut our losses & run?

    I understand how you feel Marcy as our family had a similar situation only we were in a city area rather than a rural area that your parents are in. First thing I would do is make sure that propane tank gets looked over by a professional as that isn't anything to play around with.
    Then I think once you are sure the house is safe you and your brothers or sisters have to decide can you do some of the repairs yourself or should you talk to your parents about selling the place. Remember this is their pride and joy outside of you and the other children your parents had. Also it sounds as though you yourself have an emotional tie to this house and it sounds like a very beautiful place to live albeit with a slightly run down house.
    Maybe if I tell you a little about our situation with my grandmother it might help you to decide about your parents and what you should do. In our case my mother knew she herself was getting older and while not too old yet knew that going back and forth from our house was bad as my grandmothers house was in another town about five miles there and five miles back. Not a great distance but far enough as my grandmother was getting frailer every day. So we moved her over to our city in a house that was being sold next door to us where she lived until she passed away.
    Perhaps your situation is similar along with your brothers or sisters. If that is the case then maybe your parents could live with you or next door to you or one of your other siblings. It certainly is worth a thought anyway as I know my grandmother felt useful still and liked her new home which was very important to us as I am sure it is to you for your parents. If your parents feel they don't want their house anymore then I think it is time to then call in a real estate agent.
    It is a complicated issue though as perhaps you and your other siblings would like to keep the property because as you said there is a beautiful lake and if the house has been in your families name for many generations then there is a great deal of family history there. Whatever you do good luck to you and keep us informed. Merry Christmas!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Pacific Northwet

    Default Re: This old house has multiple problems! Try to salvage or cut our losses & run?

    Well, if I was in that position, I'd seriously analyze the whole situation.

    First, is the structure solid and sound; is it well-built? If there are serious structural issues, it's often not worth the cost and effort to remedy UNLESS the house has significant architectural or historic value.

    Secondly, is the foundation in good condition? If not, what will it cost in time, effort, and money to repair the foundation to provide a stable platform for the structure? How much leveling can be done without damaging the structure?

    Third, is the roof in good condition? If not, what will it cost in time, effort, and money to repair or replace with architecturally appropriate materials? (The foundation should be repaired before the roof, as jacking on the house could create leaks in a brand new roof.)

    With a good structure, a good foundation, and a good roof, everything else is cosmetic. Yes, even the mechanical systems. They certainly may need significant repair or replacement, but they can be dealt with more on an as-needed basis. Only the most emergent of mechanical issues should be dealt with before the structure, foundation, and roof are made sound, because you will not, upon sale of the house, recoup the cost of repairing mechanicals, wallboard, and flooring if the structure is failing.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

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