Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Farmhouse Update/ It's Not The One

Hi, Friends, 
How are you? 
I thought I'd give you an update on the farm. 
I was going to call this post, Lipstick On A Pig but I changed my mind. 

We had the inspection on Monday morning. We got the report by that evening. 
The inspection revealed some serious issues. The inspector's demeanor was very neutral. That is probably normal but we haven't bought a home in 27 years, so it threw me off.  Bill and I noticed some flaws that were not in the report. They were non-code type of things but problems, just the same. It took us about 24 hours to come to terms with what we would require from the seller. 
We did not feel like we will get any of those things because the house is kind of "as is". 

Bill and I both have had moments of great excitement. I left the house on Monday with a feeling of dread.  I couldn't shake it all afternoon and evening. 
If you follow me on Instagram, I woke up yesterday ready to tackle the renovation. However, sitting together at lunch and talking through the issues, I knew that we would be making a costly mistake.

The original shake roof and at least five layers of asphalt are under the new metal roof on the old part of the house. That is so much weight. Think about the stress on the piers under the house. Bill thinks that the roof over the porch has to come off in order to remove all of the layers, replace the decking, and repair any rafters before the house can be re-roofed. The cute metal roof and the front porch were one of the selling features. We were losing that from the get go. 

More than a quarter of the house needs new siding. Some of the new siding is on crooked. 
There are replacement issues with the eaves on the back and North side. 
The cute corbels would be gone. 

As we walked around on Monday, I was trying to get a feel for why there were window shaped niches in two out of three rooms.  One bedroom had a window still exposed but it had been boarded up from one side.  Additionally, the kitchen stove sat in front of a weird bump out.  It was not dawning on me why any of this was so. 

On the living room side of the same wall, there was the old hole from a wood burning stove. My grandparents had one in their kitchen which they covered with a metal decorative plate. As we were leaving, I commented on the kitchen stove placement. The inspector got down and looked into an ugly cabinet next to the stove. He saw exterior siding. By this point, I'd already decided that the kitchen needed to be gutted. As much as I'd hoped that the original cabinets could be saved, they had decades worth of paint layers and they were not built well to begin with. In an aha moment we came to the conclusion that the kitchen was an addition onto the house.

While the inspector was finishing up, I had a chance to walk around to see the stuff that I couldn't remember from the initial walk through and that wasn't pictured in the listing photos. 
I was cataloguing what needed to be done to the interior. 60's paneling had to be removed but some of the paneling in a hall by the bathroom was already gone. I saw more exterior siding. The little hall and bathroom were part of addition number two. 
If you saw my original post about this property, there is a big addition (the third) that is not complete. It needs a bathroom and a finish out. We had plans to make that room our great room but in looking at it for a second time, I don't care for it. I think we could make it cute but I just don't like it and I don't think I ever would. It was smaller than Bill remembered.

Bill's rose colored glasses had started to come off at this point. He had concerns about the septic, well, foundation in addition to all the other issues. To be honest, the interior really didn't scare him.
I went through and we made a list of everything that needs to be done to the house. 
I listed 99 punch list items. That is without the new kitchen and the finish out of the great room, which needs a bathroom. That doesn't include anything done to the barns, land or any equipment we would need to care for the land or the barns. 

  Bill kindly burst my bubble about the floors. 
He told me that they were not the original hardwood floors. They were subfloor. Under the subfloor was dirt.  
It needed new floors in the oldest section of the house.

Let's talk about the wood plank ceilings. In looking at a popular Instagramer, I noted something her contractor said. He told her that she wouldn't want the original planked ceiling in her bedroom because dust filters down from the attic. Umm no. I would have to cover those up. 
It needed new ceilings. 

So what does that leave of the original character of the home? 
I've lost the kitchen, floors, and ceilings. The trim was already removed. 
All I've got is doors, some hardware, and a cute ironing board cupboard. 

What about the shiplap? Let me tell you what I noticed about that on the second walkthrough. 
It is rough! 
There are staples, wall paper fibers, nail holes, gaps, seams. There would be patches galore. 
I walked into our painted shed yesterday and thought about what paint did for that space. It would do the shiplap a world of good but it would still have more flaws than I feel comfortable with. I could do faux shiplap in our current suburban house but I have chosen not to. It's not something that I've had to have even though I love farmhouse decor. However, I would have embraced it and made it cute. 

Bill and I enclosed our back porch. We occasionally have roofing issues pop up on it and we know we did things correctly. 
Three additions? Nope. Who knows what is lurking in those walls? If we tear out the kitchen, I can only imagine what we would find. 

Ultimately, we decided to terminate the contract even though we still had a few days left on our option.  We could have had a roofer go out to make an assessment but we really didn't need that to help make the decision. 
Even if the seller agreed to a new roof, there are way too many issues. 

 Finally, I don't want you to feel like I click baited you on this whole deal.
 We really thought that this was the one. It had a lot of what we were looking for. 
As God has directed our steps, we trust that He is keeping us from making a huge misstep. 
I got caught up in the antique details and the romance of a Texas farmhouse. 
That is not what this was. 
I think that the original house was only a three room house which explains the windows in the bedrooms and living room. I bet it had no bathroom and no kitchen originally.  
Who knows? It could have been a bunkhouse for the ranch. 
I'm so thankful that Bill and I know enough about houses to see past the new and discern what is really going on. 

On each step of this journey, we learn new things. 
We narrow down what we want.
We keep looking and hope that the right property is out there. If the Lord wants us to do this, the right place will come along.
Thank you all for your kind wishes and for sticking with me. 
I am really okay with this.  

 That barn sure was adorable! 


  1. You made the right decision Katie, it would have much more than you would have wanted. Not having any of the charm you thought you would be able to keep was and would gave always bothered you.

    You gave a great attitude. Just keep looking and your dream will come.


  2. Katie, I'm so sorry it didn't work out but you were wise to accept the realities of it and move on. It had to be difficult but yes, it was the right decision. You'll find the right thing -- of that I've no doubt.

  3. Sorry Katie this was not the one. The right one will come along and when you find it I know you will make it charming. After going through all our renovations and builds on our 1948 home believe me there are lots of hidden nightmares behind walls etc. So you made a good decision. The hunt is on!

  4. Sounds like you are making the right decisions, Katie. It can't help to be a bit of a disappointment though. We had a lot to do on our home when we bought it, but we were younger than and had more money! haha. Your time will come and you will find the perfect place..Stay well..xxoJudy

  5. It sounds like you made the right decision. It would have been a large amount of work and money to make it what you want, and even then there may have been serious structural issues that could not be fixed. Keep looking and dreaming and the right one will come along.

  6. Katie,
    Everything happens for a reason and if anything, this was a lesson well learned...Glad that you took your time and listed everything that would have to be done and then stepped back and took a second look....I firmly feel that if the right place is out there, it is waiting for you to find it...And you will find it....