Friday, August 12, 2005

Buy, buy, buy!

Picking up where we left off . . . we went for visit #2 and it was every bit as charming, original, and sound as we'd remembered. So we put in a bid. Those of you who have bought houses know how this feels. You offer to buy a house, the sellers counter your offer, you (probably) counter their counter, and so on. Eventually, ideally, everyone ends up feeling like he or she got a fair deal, but the process can really wear a body down.

In our case the negotiation was awfully easy. We drew up an offer immediately following visit #2. The seller countered with a more-than-reasonable price, and we took it! Wow, so painless. Hopefully they feel like they got a fair shake; we sure know we did. This is really our dream house from a rehabilitation perspective. It needs a lot of work, to be sure, but we can go at our speed and do things right and well.

I digress . . . back to the house. It was being sold to settle the family's estate, and the sellers were concerned that the house should go to someone who appreciates it. Who better than a preservationist and an urban planner? There were a few things, however, that we weren't really willing to tackle ourselves. The house had knob-and-tube wiring throughout, so we had an electrical crew come and and rewire bottom to top for us. They did a great job, fishing through the cellar, walls, and attic in order to preserve the maximum amount of plaster. And they finished ON TIME and in budget. Surprised? So were we, I assure you! The house had a very, very old HVAC system, so we had a contractor replace that. He had to cut the main unit apart with a blow torch to get it out of the cellar. Once all the old stuff was out, he brought in a much smaller unit that, frankly, looks more like a furnace and less like some sci-fi metal octopus! Contractor #2, on time, on budget. We probably shouldn't get too used to this, I'm guessing!

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