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  Oh boy do we have a decision! Help!
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Oh boy do we have a decision! Help! Sign In/Join 
posted
My husband and I were buying land to build a home on a lake and it ended up the seller has a lawsuit against him for something and it restricts him from selling any of his assets. Great, our dream was crushed. We could hold off and wait until it goes through the court systems, but in the meantime we found a really nice house in one of my favorite, quiet developments on a large, wooded lot.
Ok, I don't mean to sound ungrateful, hard to please or snobby, but I have had visions, collected pictures, written down my thoughts, etc for the past 2 years on exactly how we were going to build our home. The inside of this home does not reflect that, but changes can be made. The house is priced well enough that we can probably spend $100k to make changes. Someone else would probably move in and be happy with it but it's not all my taste. I like light and bright, this is darker. I love, love the neighborhood, the exterior, the landscaping, the proximity to both our work, etc., It's safe, it's beautiful, great to walk the dog and we wouldn't be house poor. It's actually less to buy this house and make improvements than to buy land and build a house.
Here are my issues and I desperately need your opinions. The family room is large with vaulted ceilings. The fireplace is plain and I want to get it redone in stone. On either side of the fireplace there is a window and a half of a half circle window on top of that. I want to let more light in so I'd like to have larger floor to ceiling windows put in. Is that a tough job and is it realistic? Ok so that's the family room. The kitchen is the biggest thing keeping me from pulling the trigger. The kitchen is nestled between the family room and a large den. It's odd because both the family room and den have high vaulted ceilings, the kitchen does not. It is not large, but it's not small either. It does, however feel dark and confined in the kitchen to my dismay. There are 3 windows facing the back yard (the seller does have them covered with curtains) I thought perhaps we could put french doors all along that wall where the window are to brighten it up and I would get new white cabinets (there are oak or light cherry in there now) and new countertops and it would hopefully brighten the kitchen up. Honestly, the den next to the kitchen is not needed so, I am wondering how big of a job it would be to take the wall down between the kitchen and the den and make one big kitchen. I believe the ceilings are 2 different heights for some reason. If this cannot be done, would getting white cabinets and putting in french doors brighten up the kitchen and open it up enough for me to be happy? I'm guessing it would be at least $50k to get new white cabinets, quartz countertops, backsplash and new appliances so it's a big decision, but again, we think we can spend $100k for the kitchen, painting throughout the house, windows, some changes to the bathroom etc. So, is it worth buying a darling home that's 10 years old, seems well built, that's priced well on a 2.5 acre wooded lot in a very desirable neighborhood if I need to make changes? There's one other thing I'd like to do but man I think it would be a big job. I always wanted dark brown wood floors that were wide and looked a bit distressed. I'd eventually make the change, but what the heck do you do when the hardwood floors then match the large staircase and the spidles that also go across the 2nd floor landing? What do you do when you change the floor? Can you hire someone to sand and restain the stairs and spindles, are they replaced?
I understand when you buy you never get 100% of what you want and would get if you build. To buy this house and make the changes it would still cost us less than buying land and building a brand new house and actually, land is hard to find in a nice neighborhood.
I know that's alot of info and I do just type fast as I'm thinking so I hope you can understand it.
I appreciate any advice/thoughts. Thanksso much Smile

This message has been edited. Last edited by: chloenkitty,
 
Posts: 437 | Registered: Jun 02, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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In regards to moving walls and adding windows and getting cost, the best thing to do is get a contractor out who can tell you IF you can make the structural changes and cost. He may even be able to give you ideas of what to do to achieve the look you are after.

If you weren't to get this house to hold out for the land or another house, do you think you would be sorry later for not jumping on this one?
 
Posts: 9439 | Location: california | Registered: Apr 01, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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BTW. Nice to see you!!
 
Posts: 9439 | Location: california | Registered: Apr 01, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
To buy this house and make the changes it would still cost us less than buying land and building a brand new house and actually, land is hard to find in a nice neighborhood.


Chloe, I think you have answered your own question. Best of luck and keep us posted!
 
Posts: 5169 | Registered: Jul 12, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks everyone, nice to see you all too lol. I hope the responses keep coming. I have been away from the boards as the past few months have been just awful. My dad got really sick and passed away and I was so busy during his illness because my mother was a helpless basket case. Then the issue with the land, a beloved cat suddenly got sick and died, I was devastated, a week later another cat was having strokes! A friend passed away and another diagnosed with cancer. I do not like 2013 so far and hope things start to improve. It could always be worse as they say and someone else always has it worse than you do. So I'm trying to keep my chin up. All those things are probably coming into play with me being able to make a decision as I feel nothing has gone right lately so I'm scared Frown
 
Posts: 437 | Registered: Jun 02, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I would do what Always suggested,to get a contractor and see if these changes can be done and the cost, if it's possible to remove the wall between the den and the kitchen I would opt for that. The changes that you want done sound great. As for the wood floors in the future, you could also ask the contractor. I also think that you have answered your own question.

Wanda
 
Posts: 1729 | Registered: Jul 17, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I'm sorry that you are experiencing so many unhappy events in 2013. I hope things get better for you.

As for the house, you might even check to see if an architect would consult with you for a small fee just to give you some rough ideas. I'm amazed at how a good architect can transform interior volumes.
 
Posts: 1735 | Registered: Aug 12, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have a good friend whose dad use to build houses for a living. He said he would look at it for me. I have a call into the seller asking her if I can bring him up. She knows how I feel about the kitchen and didn't build the home, so she's not insulted. She said she thought about doing something different with it herself.
 
Posts: 437 | Registered: Jun 02, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Wow, you've had one heck of a year so far. Sorry to hear that.

As for the house, go for it. You can't change the neighborhood. You can always change the house, somewhat anyway, if not exactly how you want it.


Wanda
 
Posts: 4800 | Registered: Feb 12, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Buy the house and make it yours.
 
Posts: 3041 | Location: central PA | Registered: Jan 08, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I'm so sorry that you've had such a bumpy few months, ck! I do know how it feels to lose a dream; for a few days we thought we had lost the old house that I posted about and I was heart broken. Fortunately everything worked out for us, but like you, I was immediately trying to find a back-up plan. My personal opinion is you have to go with your heart, whichever way that may lead. If you're just trying to convince yourself that you can make this place work and it's a better deal, then maybe it's not really where your heart is. If I'm wrong, and you truly think you can make it work in your heart, then go for it. Otherwise, I would wait.
 
Posts: 4026 | Location: Austin, TX | Registered: Dec 18, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Nitalyn, it didn't just happen with the land not working out, it has been months. And before that we had been looking for 2 years so its been a long time. I'm going to post pics of the kitchen in the house we are looking at so hopefully I can get some better ideas from you all once you see what I'm talking about more clearly. Look for a new post with the pics

This message has been edited. Last edited by: chloenkitty,
 
Posts: 437 | Registered: Jun 02, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I'm sorry for all your recent troubles. You have your hands full.

I would probably keep looking at houses. The reason....it always seems to cost more and take longer than planned. I would rather find something that I loved and didn't need quite so much work to make me happy. I don't like dealing with construction people in my house, and would almost rather live with the "old" than deal with them.
 
Posts: 3544 | Location: Ohio | Registered: Sep 18, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Just listen to this and don't say no till I finish.

Years ago I was invited to see a friend's sister's newly renovated kitchen.
I was gobsmacked when I saw what they did with that kitchen.

From then on I always dreamed of having the same thing done to mine.

Admittedly, a big part of that kitchen was the surrounding stunning wooded area outside.
It sounds like you may have that kind of exterior.
Anyway, they planned that kitchen so that on one long wall, all of the cabinets you'd normally have above the counters, were all designed below. In place of those cabinets was a plethora of windows that brought the outdoors in. It was bright, cheerful, exquisite, unique and nature at its finest.
Being that the sister was not more than 5'4" tall, everything was much more readily accessible to her without all of the cabinet space being too high to reach everything.

I know it sounds wacky, but believe me, it was anything but.
Anyway, it was fun just telling you about it.
 
Posts: 1594 | Registered: Jun 23, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Well thanks Argo! Did you look at the pics I posted in a separate post?
 
Posts: 437 | Registered: Jun 02, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Aha! I missed that post completely.
That room has possibilities for my plan if you were at all interested.
There is already so much cabinet space that the entire set of cabinets on that long facing wall could be replaced with windows BUT ... what's on the outside? A beautiful nature scene or what? I wonder about that curved centerpiece with the sink. It needs to be replaced with a more up-to-date one that looks more island-like and maybe straight instead of curved might give you more room to maneuver.
I am with you completely on white cabinets. Not everyone loves them like I do. It will also serve to brighten your room.
I am far from an architect and cannot actually see that room in its entirety and might change my thinking if I were standing right there.
These are just some random thoughts is all.
Also, I hope you plan to have a built-in refrigerator as part of your new plans.
Whatever you decide, it looks like you have good bones to work with.
Lots of luck and happiness in your beautiful new home.
 
Posts: 1594 | Registered: Jun 23, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thank you! The wall where you see the windows behind the kitchen table is the back yard and it is lovely, all wooded Smile I'd like to take those windows out and put all french doors.
When looking at that window, the wall to the left has the den on the other side of it. That is not a load bearing wall so I am considering having it taken down and having a large eat in kitchen so the whole back of the house would be windows and french doors to brighten it up. The other wall where the stove is has the family room on the other side. That wall is load bearing but we can make it a half wall and put columns on top of the half wall to open it up. My husband really wants this house and I am having a difficult time letting go of the vision I've had the past few years when I thought we were building of a big, bright wide open kitchen and family room. I'm to the point where I've gotten myself sick and my husband and I are at odds and not talking Frown
 
Posts: 437 | Registered: Jun 02, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Listen up!
Nothing, I repeat, NOTHING is worth going through stomach-wrenching times with your spouse.
Particularly when the ground you thought you were going to purchase has dropped into the nadir.
So pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again like the song says.
Actually, you have chosen something quite lovely to make up for it and you are obviously able to afford to spend enough to make it your dream home.
Just do it ... AND SMILE!
 
Posts: 1594 | Registered: Jun 23, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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