Friday, April 11, 2008

First trip to house June 2005

The plain was to make a trip to Nebraska, being we were in Arizona after Jessica got out of school for the summer. The house was found on the internet and we had only pictures and the word of the realtor and inspector to go by. The inspector said the house has a sound structure and over all didn't look to bad. We knew it was a fixer upper from the start but the price was right at 20k and plenty of room for the animals with the almost 5 acres. And lots of trees and So the farm house charm. There was many thing we had to learn about but I'm getting ahead of myself.

In the pictures we had we could see it had been updated some in about the 1970s or so. lots of paneling. I'm not fond of the kitchen paneling but the front room paneling is the real wood and isn't to bad. Lots of slat and plaster still in the house all over. It still had all the old wood orginal to the house, lots of dark wood. And all the rooms have hardwood floors some not as good as others.

So we get there to the house for the first time, the keys were in the wash house, skeleton keys. but this was after finding out our road 419 is not maintained from the main road that we need to take 420 to get to the house if the weather is bad. The road out in front of the house down to the corner of 707 is maintained thank goodness.

1st surprise for us was NO WATER. They had shut the water off to the house and diverted it for water to the cow tank in the corral. And how do we get water to the house was the big question.

The back porch is enclosed and has an updated power box, washer and dryer hookups.
The basement is a 1/4 size. hot water heater and pump for the well is down there. Also we found an old oil burner heater down there also. The one wall in the basement does need some attention but its not really bad. Nobody had lived in the house for 3 years and was all over grown with weeds and the trees need some major attention. We saw that the wiring was in pretty bad shape coming into the house from the pole out side, and the wiring from the other pole from the transformer was in even worst shape. This was not mentioned by anyone.
We knew there was not central heating or air going into this, but what there was for heat is very old propane space heaters. 1950s vintage. 4 of them the biggest being in the front room. We ended up using the one in the front room for 2 winters.

We found out who the people were that had taken care of the water and well, went to talk to them. The whole well thing had to be brought up to code for Nebraska so we wouldn't have water the whole 10 days there. So we hailed in water. We had phone and electric already on so we weren't totally roughing it. But we had no stove or refrig in the house so off we went to get those. We have a 500 gallon gas tank which we used the first 2 1/2 years here. We had the cats with us to start demousing the house and out buildings. Second surprise was a mommy cat with 3 kittens already in the barn.

We did as much as we could the first 10 days there and then had to return to Az to get packed and be ready for the movers and be ready to return to Nebraska in 7 days.
So while we were back in AZ they were suppost to get the well all redone. Famous last words...

Saturday, March 22, 2008

History of the house..

The house was built in 1930, but this was not the first building on the property. The former owner told me that her husbands family had this land from the late 1800s, that they had across the road to the west a mud dug out house and then later built a small building they used as a house in the back of where this house is which was much much smaller. When they built the main house they wouldn't had indoor plumbing or electric lighting.

Electric didn't come to the area until 1949. We still have all of the old wiring in the house plus newer maybe mid 70s to 90s added in. I'm not sure when the plumbing came to the house but its all iron pipe, and if you look behind a door off the kitchen you can see the pipe that runs from upstairs to the bathroom to the basement. Its part of the charm of the old house.

The house has complete hard wood floors but most of the floors were covered with flooring of some kind to keep the wood good. Linoleum was very popular, and there is many different patterns thru out the the house. Alot I'm thinking is original from when the house was built.
In the rooms that doesn't have linoleum there was carpet (1970 era).

Back in the 30's when building a house they didn't have the fancy tools they have today and alot of the wood is hand tooled. This house has lots of fancy wood, in what would have been the dinning room just of the kitchen and the parlor next to it was separated by double wood doors, we think all the wood would have been white or yellow oak.
The builders we're craftsman in those days and had special touches to what they did. There is wood original to the house thru out the house. There is many doors in this house I'm not sure why there would have been so many entrances into the house but there is 5 doors leading to outside. I know they would have had a separate entrance to the parlor/sitting room for Sunday visitors and also if there was a death the would have used the parlor as the viewing room.

The back of the house has the enclosed porch that was enclosed later after the house was built.
There are 2 entrances to the house in the back. 1 into the kitchen and 1 goes into the hall next to the kitchen next to the upstairs. This maybe have been used as the mud room. They put a sink on the one wall and at one time there was a light above the sink. At the end of the hall way is a door to the basement and straight ahead was a door into the dinning room ( now closed off). In these old farm houses there was a reason for everything that was done.

The house had an unfinished partial room (with the slant of the roof) next to the bathroom and a long room on the north side upstairs. The one on the north is our storage room for now its long and not to wide and has the slant of the roof.

We had an inspector check out the house, he found it sound with some minor problems. Which is true the house is solid but has some problems. So little by little we find and fix and bring this charming old farm house into the modern day without loosing its charm.

Friday, March 21, 2008

In the beginning....

In March of 2005 Sean and I decided to move from our home in Yuma, we found a farm house with out buildings on the internet in my home state of Nebraska. With this house we have a barn that is straight and other small out builds on almost 5 acres of land. As you can see in the picture below the its sorta a wedge shape, the line of 3 deep trees on the north side and the field on the south,and a field to the east and the road to the west. All the dark blobs are trees. All of this for only a sweet 20k. We couldnt pass this up. The house is in not to bad shape but needs TLC and some updating. We started on the venture summer of 2005 and now we are at the spring of 2008.
In my next post I will catch you up on what we have done thus far.