My wife and I have recently fallen in love with an 1850's farmhouse thats on the market. The problem is its in need of some major renovations. Many of the windows are done for, and at least a few of them have water damage to the sill. The roof itself is intact, but there is some damage under the eaves (looks like a bird was nesting). The roof was last redone in '86. The kitchen is a complete wash, the oven is a gonner, and I'm not sure I trust the stove top. The basement has an added on sun room (thats beneath the kitchen) that is not completly sealed from the outside. There is also mold in the basement. The house has an oil furnace (last recieved maintenance around '98) with forced hot air, but it only feeds to the first floor. The second floor has a single hall vent. The electrical wiring is a bit sketchy. The breaker box looks new, but in the attic I found some fabric insulated wiring and (of all things) an old fashion bare metal flip switch which looks like it would better fit in a Frankenstien movie than a house.

With all that said, the house is in a great neighborhood, looks charming, and has great land around it. It's a huge ammount of work, but it is still incrediablly tempting.

My problem is I don't even know where to start estimating the repair cost to know if getting a 203k to purchase and fix up is even possible. Should we go straight to getting a contractor to take a look and give us an appraisal?