Not to steal Tom’s thunder, but I am the bigfoot king, so I thought I would tell you I just bought a house at a foreclosure sale:
5 bedrooms, 1 1/2 bath, 1900 square feet. Lot size of 9000 square ft.
Definite fixer upper, and a block away from me, so I am going to gut it and renovate over the winter and probably move in in April-May, hopefully. Nice fenced in yard for the pets.
No central air, but has good air flow so I will survive until that comes in later.
I was the only one to show up at the auction, and the guy was actually surprised. I paid a dollar ($1.00) over the minimum bid.
When’s the housewarming party?
Anonymous At Work
Plenty of bedroom for frat brothers and their pets, too.
Pity about not slum-lording it out, though.
I love the porch!
I’ll work for beer and gas.
It’s nice! Congratulations.
Gin & Tonic
Huh. What else are you up to in your spare time that you don’t tell us about?
Holy cow, that’s a beaut! Congratulations, Cole!
Looks like a lovely home for the pets to break in. Congrats John!
So, does each pet get their own bedroom now? With one left over for you.
Nice rocking chairs for the front porch are a must-have accessory, even though it appears it already comes with a porch swing-seat. And that’s a real front porch, not one of those too-skinny faux ones for people to actually sit on that too many contemporary suburban subdivision developers add just for marketing appearances.
We’ve got a real, old-fashioned southern generous front porch across the entire front of our house here in Raleigh, NC, with two sturdy wooden rocking chairs and two padded wicker rocking chairs. Absolutely wonderful for sitting there drinking morning coffee and surfing Balloon-juice in the am.
So, are you going to make us costal elitist types jealous by telling us how
muchlittle you paid for it?
Congratulations! The menagerie will love it.
Kidding. Except not. Reno always takes ages longer than anyone expects.
But congrats! And welcome to a world of fresh problems to solve!
Surprised that someone showed up, or surprised that nobody else showed up?
If you can’t get central air try ceiling fans in key locations. but do be aware of cold winters and stuff.
Foreclosed properties are tricky nowadays: a lot of them have hidden costs and damages to them. Nearly every one requires renovations/repairs that get expensive.
“Costal” elitists? You have fancy ribs?
While you’re reno-ing, you should probably consider adding one more bathroom. 5 bedrooms and 1-1/2 baths means that no one with daughters will ever re-purchase it from you.
you gonna get your fraternity friends to help out with the renovations?
Nice. Making me rethink the foreclosure scene where I am (some bidder? Sweek!)
Beautiful house. I look forward to months and months of hilarious posts under the rubric “My Big Fat Dangerous Expensive Renovation Project.”
Wow, congrats! It’s a lovely house! And YUUUUUGE!
Congrats! Welcome to home ownership. Good luck!
Since it was an auction you probably got a crazy price, definitely get an inspector to look it at immediately so you know what you have to do right away, have to do soon, and can put off forever.
Great! It looks like with a little love that will be a wonderful house. The fenced yard will be fantastic for the pets. Maybe you can even put in a catio for Steve so he can get outside, but not roam.
Well, now you’ve really pissed satby off.
In West Virginia? The former, no doubt.
“Not to steal Tom’s thunder, but I am the bigfoot king, so I thought I would tell you I just bought a house at a foreclosure sale:”
What are you? Donald Trump?
The guy is dangerous wielding a broom. What’s the over/under on the first hospital trip?
What a lovely house! Looks like it has good bones! I look forward to the reno diaries!
5 bedrooms? Are you planing some kind of BJ-Air B’n’B? Never been to West Virginia.
Was just thinking the same.
Congrats, John. Hope you and the critters are very happy there.
@Poopyman: I meant “mop”. And FYWP for not allowing edits.
Agree. Seriously. Awesome. Porch. I’m already decorating it in my mind for John.
Seriously congratulations and I’ll hope you provide us with more details about what you love about the house.
Was he surprised only you came, or was he surprised anyone came at all?
@Mnemosyne: Yes, sacrifice the smallest bedroom to put in a new bath, or make an ensuite for the master bedroom.
That’s not what we have to worry about — it’s the “naked demo work” posts.
John Cole is going to renovate a house over the winter. This should be interesting. I suggest everyone stock up on popcorn. (non-snark comment – that thing looks great. Love the wrap around porch)
Speaking architecturally, that house is a classic. Nice that previous owners didn’t screw up the exterior from what I can see.
Kudos to you John!
You’ll have moments when you will wish you’d never started the project, but it’s worth it once it’s done. Except that it is never actually done.
Just kidding! Congratulations!
I love the bones of the house and can’t wait for the photos of the renovated house. I also actually like the way it looks on the outside. I watch a lot of HGTV (as a break from politics mostly) and have wanted to do what you’re doing but with an eye to making them lovely again and reselling for some family to enjoy. Alas, the SO is not interested in taking on such projects.
@Mnemosyne: This exactly. Definitely add that extra full bath. The non-master bath should also have a tub if anyone with young kids will ever consider the house. Should be easy to add in a gut remodel and doesn’t need to be crazy expensive.
But that’s a lovely house, John. Congrats.
pseudonymous in nc
Let the record show that today marks the beginning of the “John Cole, Property Magnate” era, on the heels of “John Cole, Pet Fur Magnet”.
Well, don’t watch “The Money Pit” on Netflix.
And don’t blow off claiming whatever tax incentives still exist for first-time homebuyers. Your shit-for-brains congress wants you to be happy.
Awesome porch! Can just see you sitting there yelling “You kids get off my lawn!!! Come on up here and sit with me, then we’ll go inside and make some dinner – maybe watch a movie…
Congratulations Cole. Now we can look forward to a whole barrage of ‘renovation posts’ from here until, whenever. Might as well make a tag for that -stat.
Does Steve get his own bedroom?
@SiubhanDuinne: And videos. We need actual videos.
C’mon, folks, haven’t you figured out the obvious? Connect the dots between recent “Parenting” post with this one.
And yes, there will definitely be infinite opportunities for fascinating mopping and walking injuries.
Get that Hillary sign out front pronto, may as well begin easing your neighbors in now. Love the porch, wish my house had one.
No, the question is “Does John get his own bedroom?” Each of his menagerie decide that it’s more important for THEM to have a room. And John always has his couch and recliner.
Maybe when you pack up to move you’ll find the mustard.
There are probably a lot of readers that are good fixer uppers (I’ve become quite the handyman over the years).
You should have a ‘readers help fix up the house’ weekend :)
That would be a 2 million dollar home in Chicago
@boatboy_srq: We bought our place from foreclosure back in 2010, paid about 70% appraised value (other day I think I said 50%, this time I did the math) there were issues of course (no disclosures- bought as is) but as a carpenter I knew what we were getting and how to deal with it. The place is now worth considerably more but I have no idea what it would appraise at.
Tons of pictures, please! Shoot some befores as soon as you take possession. And congratulations!
OMG, I LOVE that house. I mean LOVE it.
Amen! Started building my house in 1998, still isn’t finished. Only door and floor moldings left, but there’s always something else that pops up at the head of the yearly projects list that has to get done first.
I really like the porch.
@Lee: @Lee: I love that idea! Although John might have some reasonable wariness of inviting people he only knows from their nyms into his house.
@SFAW: You forget, Lily always parks with Cole.
Congrats, good luck, and for FSM don’t forget this
I was just going to say that!
as opposed to my neighborhood in seattle where every house gets like 20 bidders and goes for 150K over list price.
Well, at least somebody has some brains. ;-)
Any energy efficiency projects should be done before 12-31-16 for any tax credits (30% of the total cost), that includes caulking windows ( a HUGE energy saver), insulation (check the attic and basement esp.) new water heaters, windows or an upgrade in a furnace or even that new AC unit.
The foreclosed house in my neighborhood went for $445K… down from the $1.5M the owners paid for it, 56 acres, 7500 sq ft, Linden cedar home.
next up: john cole rents a nailgun
Mazel Tov! Looks wonderful, and ready to fill with people and pets. I’ll bring ice cream to the housewarming party!
congratulations! that’s great news!
Didn’t find the min auction bid, but how do annual property taxes of $587 sound?
Bill E Pilgrim
Yeah, but next you’ll somehow get it stuck in a muddy field and it will still be there a year from now because the farmer is never home to let you get it out.
Congrats John, looks great.
Just One More Canuck
@maya: Every bedroom is Steve’s bedroom
@Mnemosyne: I think he should reduce the number of bedrooms. It is five bedrooms in 1900 sq ft. They have to be small. And he needs to put in the double sink in the master bath so he can hate on those home make over shows every morning when he wakes up. ;)
@Bob2: Trump would’ve bought the house just to steal thunder from Tom L. And then burned it down when people kept talking about Tom. And then sent Tom a bill for the fire damage AND the purchase, on the perfectly logical grounds that his purchase and arson were all Tom’s doing. When Tom laughed off the bill, Trump would sue him, lose, and have to pay 5x what he’d hoped to win. Ten years later, he’d still be sending Tom pictures of flaming wreckage with “Your fault!” scribbled on them in gold highlighter.
ETA: Trump would have paid way too much for the house, too. And he would mistime the arson so that he’d be stuck for years paying property taxes on a burned-down house.
Good-sized lot too. I hope part of it is real sunny so you can grow lots of veggies.
Wow, I get behind on the blog for a few days and suddenly Cole and satby are buying a house and moving in together. Man, things move fast!
Oh, wait, that’s a different victorian house that satby is buying.
Getting pretty nesty Mr. Cole, very nesty.
It’s been lovely watching you in your journey of self-actualization and I wish you all the best.
That is great news John! What a great house – love the porch.
The house looks lovely. Not too large but big enough to have others over.
The porch is wonderful.
Bill E Pilgrim
My God I didn’t even think of that. The words “I’m renovating a house ” should send a chill through every regular reader even while sending a thrill up the leg of the finance department of the nearest emergency room.
My buddy in Morgantown is an electrician.
Congratulations! So did I! I love mine, and yours is quite nice too. Enjoy redoing your new place to make it yours.
@Yellowdog: I’m glad someone else continues to pursue this incredibly critical unsolved mystery. #neverforget
lol, now the ad on this page says “Never remodel your basement again!” These ad-picking algorithms are getting really smart.
@OzarkHillbilly: I got the check for our rental re-fi so mow that it done and our reverse mortgage is in effect we have to dive into that retirement strategy full blast!
You gonna flip it?
Woo hoo! Good news, John. Just don’t turn it into a frat house that will bug the neighbors.
Cole will most likely move it into the fild and park it next to the Subaru.
@Onkel Fritze: Next meet up is at BJ headquarters.
phoebes from highland park
The house looks wonderful, Cole, but I strongly echo those advising converting one of your bedrooms into a bath.
Best of luck on the upgrades and repairs! May they all be easy and accessible and, better still, cost less than you expect!
@burnspbesq: OMG! We watched The Money Pit right after moving into a huge old house, but before escrow closed. We had nightmares of the upstairs tub falling through the floor. Turns out our house was pretty solid and while it did need some work, no one had screwed up the plumbing or electrical over the years. We did have to have a plumber in once for an elderly drainpipe in the cellar. And it had a cellar, in Southern California because it was built in 1912 by a wealthy East Coast family as a winter retreat. They did have to add a heater, not believing the original builder that it still gets really cold in Riverside. It had had a solar water heater originally and the huge copper pan was still up in the attic.
@chopper: If I could go back 17 years I’d get one.
They sound like “fuck you, I don’t need to hear that.” Ours are $5,300 for a similar size house, but we have a big lot by OC standards (21K sq. ft.).
tony in san diego
Is the hole in the back yard big enough to hold all the money you are going to shovel into this?
Bill E Pilgrim
Needs Moar Pix! Especially the back yard: looks very deep with a beautiful privacy fence.
Congrats John! I hope you enjoy many happy years there. Take lots of before pictures.
@planetpundit: Or under that goofy car shed that straddles the fence?
Having done remodeling A Lot …
Remember the Time Factor Law of House Remodeling:
The first 90% of the work takes 90% of the time, the last 10% of the work takes the other 90%.
it’s gorgeous! And huge! I’m so excited for you!
Will BJer’s be invited to the housewarming? I, too, have never been to WV.
@Mnemosyne: I was thinking that 5 bedrooms in 1900 sq ft is pretty many, unless there are different sq ft rules
for multi-level houses.
Congrats, John Cole ! Wonderful news for the animules. Now where will YOU live ? :)
Congrats,John. It looks nice. Is it haunted? I would make sure theres a full disabled access bathroom and bedroom on the ground floor,what with your proclivity for falling and hurting yourself.
Congrats. As others have alluded to, make sure your health insurance is current and give the local EMTs a heads up.
Also, take a look at ductless HVAC systems. Make be easier to install in older homes and a more efficient than central air.
Is there a hammock on that porch ? So jealous.
@chopper: People want to move TO Seattle, W. by God Virginia, not so much.
Sound like terrible local schools and roads.
@Anoniminous: And is never really done.
@Poopyman: Nah, I think his house looks great! But mine only needs some wall to wall carpet pulled up for me to move in.
Mingobat f/k/a Karen in GA
Congratulations! I too am eagerly awaiting the renovation posts.
@OzarkHillbilly: I just had another guy come to see abut making us a screen door for our new porch. It’s the 3d person, I know it’s a small job and I know, since it is 3/4″ it’s going to be pricey but, damn!
@bluehill: Ditto on the minisplits. That’s what I am going to put in here when I am rich and famous.
Nice! Love wraparound porches, a California rarity (see also: basements). Congrats and best of luck with the [infinite number of] looming projects.
Let the young’ns climb the ladders. That’s an order.
ETA So many mustard hidey-holes.
@raven: I wouldn’t think that would be too bad.
Awesome! Congrats to you John.
@OzarkHillbilly: Yea, there is a joint in San Pedro that makes 3/4″ screen doors but the shipping makes me want to use someone local. I’m thinking $500.
Rob in CT
The exterior sure looks fine. Hopefully the interior isn’t too bad.
I’d probably have a stroke if I knew the purchase price, so I’m glad you didn’t mention it.
Don’t break your neck renovating, ok?
We just bought our first house last month, and it’s terrific. It’s a wonderful problem to have. Easier than a boat….
Plus, just having a front porch makes everything better.
Can you use the GI Bill on an auction property?
Rob in CT
I understand that I live in a high-cost/high-tax area, but holy fucking shit. Adjusting for size of house & lot size, that’s approximately 10% of my property taxes.
It looks wonderful. And yes, it’ll take a while to fix. You’ll be ecstatic and aggravated in equal proportions. Congrats!
Congratulations! Attractive house; porch makes it great. Everyone will tell you, but it is worth repeating: 1. be sure the wiring is good and 2. be sure the plumbing is good. (I’ll assume the roof is, but up there, ice is a problem).
Get some good power tools (oh lordy, please don’t damage yourself with them) and have at it.
Given it’s West Bygawd Virginny, I’d communicate “there goes the neighborhood” in this order:
1. Naked mopping of awesome porch.
2. Dumping giant cardboard box of pets on front lawn.
3. Emplacement of stuck Subaru on said lawn.
4. Hillary signage.
think of how much mustard seed you could grow on a lot that big.
I guess the local constabulary will have to move their observation shack, or invest in a larger ear trumpet.
Can I live in the attic? I make hardly any noise, and I am an excellent dishwasher. Congratulations, John Cole!
Does it make you feel any better if I tell you that I pay about (or slightly more than, since my tax bill JUST went up!) you pay? I live in a 638 square foot, 1br apartment.
It’s an apartment 1/2 a block from Central Park on the Upper West Side, but still. I literally do not own a blade of grass ;)
OH, and John – Congratulations!! My only recommendations are – for real plumbing and electrical, don’t assume you can do those yourself. I’ve seen more than one “handy” person in my family cause untold amounts of damage by thinking they could save some money by doing that stuff themselves.
@raven: I’ve got to start charging more.
Rob in CT
And thanks for that. Feeling better now ;)
Don’t worry about central air, get window units. Way cheaper and more efficient. Living off them now in Memphis, with a heat warning til tomorrow night. Also much easier to clean. Congratulations!
Congrats to you as well! May it be warm, welcoming and filled with laughter. May it be the home.of your heart.
@sam: where you are? You most certainly do own a blade of grass. Or billions to be precise. Central Park. I’m jealous.
Guessing he’d need to run new 20-amp service to any window he’d contemplate hanging an A/C unit in. Sad.
I’m seeing more of these split-system ductless AC/heat pumps (mentioned upthread) and they seem like the best of both worlds, so long as the area has affordable electricity (In coal country it better be). IDK how well they deal with humidity–we basically have none in my region when it hits triple digits.
Whole house attic fan to vent out hot air and pull in cool air at night, plus some ceiling fans, and unless it’s a heat wave you barely need air conditioning. This is the first time in 3 years I bothered to put my window units in, and I did it more because the humidity has been so extreme for so long. Plus, with that maple gone, my current house bakes in the afternoon sun.
The Other Bob
Congrats! Can you say BJ barn-raising?
Now fill it with kids.
Ditto on the porch. Ditto on highly recommending the ceiling fans. Besides they make A/C work better no matter when you install it ;-)
@satby: congrats, satby, i missed your earlier announcement of getting the house. that’s wonderful, and so great to hear you’ll be taking all your critters! congrats to cole too, though the thought of cole with power tools is frightening :o)
Better hire someone else to do the fixing. Don’t want to come here and read a post about how you dropped a hammer on your toe. Congrats!
Even more reason to add in another bathroom.
You idiot, don’t buy a house with stairs you are gonna trip and fall. Kidding aside, congratulations. Look forward to the reno pics.
What’s the old saying, “90% of success is just showing up”??
Iowa Old Lady
@hitchhiker: That was my first reaction too. The porch is just great.
Congrats John! Love the porch. And please post more before pictures.
@gsp: Fireman’s pole? It works for going down, at least.
I can’t believe that no one has mentioned granite counters and stainless steel appliances, since John has discussed them so many times when he’s been watching “House Hunters.”
Been working on our 1928 Colonial for 10 years. Very satisfying. Congrats!
@raven: I am having a screen porch built and he is making the doors. I would be embarrassed to say how much they are costing. It’s ridiculous, but with 2 crazy dogs there was no way some cheap off the rack door would hold up.
This is so exciting! I love house decorating projects and I’m always making trouble in my own cookie-cutter corner of suburbia. Can’t wait to see this chapter unfold for you and all the critters!
John, first, congrats! Next (hoping you’ll read this far…) There are a couple of things happening on the AC front. One of them is duct-less mini splits…no ductwork, just a small unit in each room and two lines run, one for condensation, the other is refrigerant. No more expensive than traditional HVAC. The other, if you are new home broke, is to get a portable unit you can put in the room where you spend the most time. Mine does not have any condensation, so it is particularly easy to install. A good one will run you around 600 Trump Bucks. (ducks)
Congrats!!!! All kinds of good news today!
@chopper: The idea of Cole and a nailgun in the same state, much less the same house, is twrrifying.
Also, I know you would never be so tacky as to put your name in huge gold letters on the roof… so I look forward to seeing you put STEVE’s name in huge gold letters on the roof! Class up your neighborhood a bit.
Congrats! Beautiful house – more pics, please!
Congrats. Looks lovely!
@SiubhanDuinne: oooo that’s right! Can’t wait for the posts describing project pitfalls a la John Cole.
@lurker dean: Thanks! I’ll have a porch now too, but John’s new porch is nicer. But, I have the original woodwork, unsullied by paint. Which I love.
Congratulations. I saw the other post first & was WTF did I miss?
I did an almost full remodel my last house including kitchen and one bathroom to the studs. Took 4 months, every day
Congrats! That’s a very pretty house! Plenty of room for the pets and the frat brothers. Enjoy it!
@ruckus: You must be very handy.
Death Panel Truck
Nice house there, Cole. And I thought I bought something cool today.
Actually, I did. Four grams worth. Looking forward to that hopey-changey feeling coming over me.
@Mary G: Quartz is the only way to go.
@p.a.: That’s a charming song. But I must differ: my best toys have always been power tools. One of my very best is my Anniversary Edition Sawzall, a birthday gift in better years.
Still, from what we hear about Mr Cole, it might be wise for him to let someone else wield the Sawzall. (There will be a Sawzall. You can’t renovate without one.)
@satby: really awesome to see you happy and to see some good luck come your way!
I don’t see why if Natural gas is cheaper.
My daughter went to buy a router ( and I was there, too), but it is not the kind that needs carbide bits.
But good time to find out all the wiring is aluminum! A friend found that in his house after Katrina.
By the way, good news from Katrina!: It washed a huge amount of lead out of New Orleans. I think that should have been in a bigger headline in the paper. Maybe I should forward the news to Kevin Drum.
Cool! Looking forward to seeing what you do with it!
Ooh! That is very cool. I have an old 1914 foursquare that we have been working on for 20 years. In the course of that I’ve gotten pretty plugged in with old house restoration folks, so if you run into issues feel free to ask.
And don’t let anyone sell you replacement windows. The house never looks the same after most replacements and the replacement business is a bit of a scam. Old windows were meant to last and can be easily repaired. And new ones never pay for themselves in saved energy cost. Better to put the money into insulating the top of the highest heated space. Storm windows also do better than window replacement.
I’ve got a page about my house on my website and some links to good storm window info and also a bit about some I made for myself.
Then how do I get all of those tourists off my lawn? :)
I actually live in a great location, and I kid – since I bought my folks rent stabilized apartment at a ‘conversion’ price, I paid nothing close to actual market price for the place, so even though people from other places would still consider what I paid to be utterly ridiculous for a 1br apt, it was a steal for being half a block from the park and the subway. The biggest “downside” (if you can call it that) is that I live on the same block as the Dakota, which means people thinking our otherwise quiet residential block is some sort of Dead Beatle Disneyland at certain times of the year.
Mike in NC
Congrats on the house!
Congrats, Cole! Great looking ol’ house.
If you use a service like “Equity Accelerator,” you’ll get your mortgage paid off a LOT faster, and save a ton in interest. Re-fi later with a HARP refinance load to 15-year fixed, and the PMI goes away FAST. PMI is thievery.
Mary in Ohio
Its beautiful! Congrats
Looks good from the outside. Hope it works out for you.
I can’t imagine having stairs to navigate is going to work out well for you.
J R in WV
21K square feet, Mein Gott that’s a huge house!!!
You mean the lot? lessee, an acre = 208 odd feet square, = 43560 square feet, so you got almost half an acre, that is good sized for an urban lot.
We have 4,356,000 square feet of land, thereabouts. 100 acres of trees. Taxes when we bought it were $11 / year. Really! Mrs J went to the courthouse and yelled at them to raise our taxes, that’s what pays for the schools. That’s why the schools suck.
Beware of asbestos, especially on pipes, boilers and ceiling tiles. Be aware of asbestos in flooring tiles and roofing shingles, but they are not as much of a concern.
PM me if you have questions.