So, it’s a disaster. But it has potential. Except it’s tiny. You can only fix tiny to a certain extent. If we do this, we need a garage. And more important than a garage — we need space. The house has no closets, the rooms are funky (you walk through one bedroom to get to the next), there is no defined living room, there is no open concept kitchen, the stairs are steep, there is only one bathroom (if you can call it that — it’s actually worse than an outhouse) — and it’s upstairs. The house is 1500 square feet. Every room takes up the complete depth of the house, 14 feet from front to back — front windows and back windows are in the same room. There is no center hall, no rambling spaces and no dining room/living room/family room/guest room/powder room — there is just no room!
But that’s okay. We watch “Tiny House Nation.” If those people can live in something that size — we can do this.
We make an offer, contingent on a few inspections (well & septic) — otherwise, the house is pretty much “as is.” Five acres, in Chester County with an old stone farmhouse — with a well and septic in disrepair.
Then we found a builder. They were on the internet — and if they’re on the internet, they must be good. Not only are the good, but they’re Amish… and patient.
The winter has been brutal, the ground is frozen, the water won’t run, the septic is broken. We can’t test the septic until we can get well water to run. We can’t get water to run because the house has no heat. We can’t fix the well, because we don’t own the house. We can’t test the septic unless we can fix the well. And so round and round we go.
The mortgage broker recommended a 203K mortgage. If you ever hear those words — RUN. We wasted time and money trying to meet requirements, run inspections and design a house that would comply with ridiculous requirements. But John, our builder, took the delays in stride while we work through designs, filed for permits and met with the historical society.