Author Topic: Weird features spotted while house hunting  (Read 92997 times)

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BabylonSister

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Re: Weird features spotted while house hunting
« Reply #375 on: December 20, 2011, 05:58:32 PM »

First my mom's: In late 2008, she moved from a Parisian suburb to the South of France, near the French-Spanish border. She had spent the previous 45 years in recent, spacious, subsidized-housing apartments. She moved into a one-bedroom apartment that had exactly one window. The whole apartment was one long rectangle, with her bedroom opposite from the window. A windowless bedroom ... It's apparently a common feature over there. She didn't stay in that one very long. Her current apartment is much nicer but it has a Dr Seuss touch: none of the walls are at a right angle. They're close, but not quite there, so the furniture always looks like it needs to be pushed back in place.


The house I live in is over 100 years old and it has been updated but this is a low-income neighborhood so I'm guessing previous owners did not hire professionals.


-The doors don't match. They're of different heights. They have the doorknobs in different places. One of them has it at a child's height. One door was too high for the frame? Not a problem. They sawed the top off. So, what if they didn't saw it off straight?  ::)


-Carpeting in the kitchen? Check. That was the first thing I took care of when we moved in. I am not cooking and eating on carpet.


-Wood paneling everywhere? Check.


-My room has no central heating and no insulation. It was evidently added later. I *love* my space heater.


-The kitchen cupboards must have been installed for giants. The lowest shelf is at 5'3". I'm 5'4". I love* my stepladder.


-There is no closet. None. Anywhere. I guess according to federal regulations, it's a 0 bedroom house. The house did come with nasty, cheap armoires but I certainly miss having a linen closet, or a place to store ... you know ... STUFF.

hermanne

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Re: Weird features spotted while house hunting
« Reply #376 on: December 20, 2011, 06:16:53 PM »
Re.: no closets in older homes.

Apparently this was normal for these houses to only have one largish closet for everyone in the house and to use freestanding wardrobes in the bedrooms, if you could afford them.

My parents' old house (the one with the "floor of Dante's inferno" red carpet) had that setup on the second floor with the bedrooms. The closet had a window, and was my sister's room. It was a big closet, but a tiny bedroom. (And that meant Sis didn't have to share! :D) Our parents built closets in the other bedrooms during their many years of renovations. And yes, the former closet got a closet.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2011, 06:32:30 PM by hermanne »
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Slartibartfast

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Re: Weird features spotted while house hunting
« Reply #377 on: December 21, 2011, 02:42:04 AM »
Some friends of my parents built an honest-to-goodness log cabin as a summer cottage (a fairly common thing in the north woods).  It's actually a pretty nice house - I wouldn't want to have to heat it in winter, but it's cozy and comfortable.  The odd thing: in the master bathroom, they put in mosaic floor tile.  In the colors and shape of a sports team which is a main rival to the local favorites.  A team based out of a city quite a ways away, so the chances of someone wanting to buy the house in State A and just happening to be huge fans of this particular sport and loving State B's team enough to tile their bathroom with those colors are pretty small!

iridaceae

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Re: Weird features spotted while house hunting
« Reply #378 on: December 21, 2011, 02:47:52 AM »
Some friends of my parents built an honest-to-goodness log cabin as a summer cottage (a fairly common thing in the north woods).  It's actually a pretty nice house - I wouldn't want to have to heat it in winter, but it's cozy and comfortable.  The odd thing: in the master bathroom, they put in mosaic floor tile.  In the colors and shape of a sports team which is a main rival to the local favorites.  A team based out of a city quite a ways away, so the chances of someone wanting to buy the house in State A and just happening to be huge fans of this particular sport and loving State B's team enough to tile their bathroom with those colors are pretty small!

MInnesota Vikings or Chicago Bears?  If it's the Bears and you're in Wisconsin the North Woods are, of course, big summer vacation areas for Chicagoites. 

Slartibartfast

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Re: Weird features spotted while house hunting
« Reply #379 on: December 21, 2011, 02:57:48 AM »
Some friends of my parents built an honest-to-goodness log cabin as a summer cottage (a fairly common thing in the north woods).  It's actually a pretty nice house - I wouldn't want to have to heat it in winter, but it's cozy and comfortable.  The odd thing: in the master bathroom, they put in mosaic floor tile.  In the colors and shape of a sports team which is a main rival to the local favorites.  A team based out of a city quite a ways away, so the chances of someone wanting to buy the house in State A and just happening to be huge fans of this particular sport and loving State B's team enough to tile their bathroom with those colors are pretty small!

MInnesota Vikings or Chicago Bears?  If it's the Bears and you're in Wisconsin the North Woods are, of course, big summer vacation areas for Chicagoites. 

Michigan State, actually  :P

Okay, haven't finished reading the thread yet, but the talk about secret passages reminds me our current house DOES have a secret room!  We didn't find it while house hunting, but discovered it about a year later.  The second floor is basically a hallway with a bedroom on each end, and there are walk-in attics under the sloped roof at the front and the back of the house.  However, if you go in the back attic and duck behind the linen closet and follow a 4' high triangular-shaped tunnel, you find a huge unfinished space over the garage!



We had it finished this spring - it adds almost 300 square feet to the house!  We turned the previous "second bedroom" upstairs into a study and are making this new room the baby's room.  Turns out the previous bedroom isn't up to code for a bedroom anyway (window's too small and there's no way to enlarge it), and now you have to walk through it to get to the new room, but we did the same carpet and paint in both rooms and now we could probably pass it off as a "mother-in-law apartment" or a bedroom suite or something.

Reader

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Re: Weird features spotted while house hunting
« Reply #380 on: December 21, 2011, 09:51:53 AM »
The house I live in is over 100 years old and it has been updated but this is a low-income neighborhood so I'm guessing previous owners did not hire professionals.


-The doors don't match. They're of different heights. My floor is sagging in the middle. Not a problem. They sawed the bottoms off. So, what if they didn't saw it off straight?  ::)


-Carpeting in the kitchen? Check. Luckily I have a dog that I have taught to pick up food on the floor by just saying vacuum so that keeps the messes down to a minimum.  Haven't replaced it because the linoleum is even uglier underneath and pulling up the carpet (which are carpet squares) would leave huge circles of glue on the linoleum.

-Wood paneling everywhere? Check.


Added the changes for it to be my house.  When I first read your post man I was like she's talking about my house.  The lady who owned it before had a love of wallpaper as well.  Over 3 different kinds used to hide flaws in the wall.  Still trying to understand why she used a border in the den and living room near the top by the ceiling when she didn't put wallpaper up in there besides the border.  She even had the downstairs bathroom wallpapered before they put in the sink, so the caulk for top edge is actually over the paper.  And that bathroom has a blue theme carried from the kitchen (since it's right next to it) and even sports a blue toilet.

BabylonSister

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Re: Weird features spotted while house hunting
« Reply #381 on: December 21, 2011, 10:05:40 AM »
Under my carpet there was plywood --well, and an inch thick layer of very old glue. I had to use adhesive remover, which has very toxic fumes so I had to buy a gas mask. Fun times.


Who glues carpet on top of linoleum?

Reader

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Re: Weird features spotted while house hunting
« Reply #382 on: December 21, 2011, 12:14:41 PM »
People who either don't really know what they are doing or people who don't care that they should have pulled up the linoleum first.  Because of the way they did other things is the reason I've been putting off redoing the floor.   I'm kinda afraid of what I might find under that linoleum because since they glued the carpet to it, it might stand to reason I might have multiple layers of linoleum to deal with.

Don't get me started on the drop ceilings in half the house (why would you crop wonderful I think 10 feet high ceilings to something just around 8) and I also have tiling in 2 of my three bedrooms and upstairs hallways.  The kind of tiling that looks like it should have come from a 70's office and looked very similar to tiling we had at my old work building before we moved locations.  That building was so old that when it was selling the historical society tried to step in and make it a historical landmark.  I'm all for preserving historical buildings, but this building really needs to be demolished, it is a pit (one connected building still had fire damage and was closed off), and because the cost to update the whole usable 3 floors into modern spaces was so high that it prevented 3 separate buyers from purchasing prior, until the city bought it for a renovation project for a farmer's/open market space.   It's been 3 years since then and it still sits there empty and unused.

BabylonSister

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Re: Weird features spotted while house hunting
« Reply #383 on: December 21, 2011, 01:35:20 PM »
Reader, our houses do sound similar! Here's me in my kitchen hamming it up with my gas mask at the time of the carpet removal. Look at the ceiling! Oy! You can also see one of the impossibly high cabinets. Oh and that door in the back? It's for a bedroom. Both downstairs bedrooms open onto the kitchen. One also opens onto the back porch.



twiggy

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Re: Weird features spotted while house hunting
« Reply #384 on: December 21, 2011, 04:39:44 PM »
My dad recently found a hidden space in his house. This is my childhood home, a house that my dad has lived in for nearly 20 years, I would have thought that he knew every nook and cranny, but apparently not. When he and mom divorced a couple years ago, Dad had to get it reappraised and it turns out that the single story ranch style house I grew up in is actually, legally, a two-story house. Apparently there is a loft above the entryway that could open to either the living room or master bedroom, but it was drywalled over and hidden. Dad wants to remodel and make the unfinished space usable, but he also kind of wants to buy a new, smaller home now that it's just him.
In the United States today, there is a pervasive tendency to treat children as adults, and adults as children.  The options of children are thus steadily expanded, while those of adults are progressively constricted.  The result is unruly children and childish adults.  ~Thomas Szasz

VorFemme

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Re: Weird features spotted while house hunting
« Reply #385 on: December 21, 2011, 06:40:18 PM »
My dad recently found a hidden space in his house. This is my childhood home, a house that my dad has lived in for nearly 20 years, I would have thought that he knew every nook and cranny, but apparently not. When he and mom divorced a couple years ago, Dad had to get it reappraised and it turns out that the single story ranch style house I grew up in is actually, legally, a two-story house. Apparently there is a loft above the entryway that could open to either the living room or master bedroom, but it was drywalled over and hidden. Dad wants to remodel and make the unfinished space usable, but he also kind of wants to buy a new, smaller home now that it's just him.

Opening it up COULD make the house more appealing when it comes time to sell it...........but he might want to talk to a real estate agent about it..........because it will take time and money (more time & less money if he does it - less time & more money if he pays to have it done - depending on how good HE is at doing that sort of thing - there are people who should never touch a Do-it-yourself project because it will go wrong from the first time they touch the tape measure).............

Then there is the possible need for a work permit (contractor should be in charge of getting that if he hires one) - depending on where he lives.

Would it be "polite" of him to consider setting up the loft as a guest area for visiting family?  Lil Sis has a loft set up as her office with a table for playing cards or seating extra people (if there are more than the eight that her dining room can handle)...............there are ways to use that loft to make the house more appealing (and worth more)..............

After watching Income Property on HGTV, my fingers itch to do something like that - but my pocket book squeals like a dying bunny......it is afraid of the very idea.
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I say more?

Sterling

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Re: Weird features spotted while house hunting
« Reply #386 on: December 27, 2011, 10:21:48 PM »
My first house has lovely hardwood floors at one time.  Then a former owner GLUED shag carpet to in.  Right before I bought it the owner ripped up the carpet (it was burnt orange and ugly) to expose the floors not realizing it had been glued down.  We had to resand and finish the floors.  We don't know what kind of glue they used either.  The flooring guy we hired said it looked like tar.
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Re: Weird features spotted while house hunting
« Reply #387 on: January 02, 2012, 03:21:05 PM »
I don't think I've mentioned this one yet. We found a listing for a house that was 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, still under construction. It needed drywall, flooring and cabinetry, I think. The price was $60,000 and was on 1/2 an acre. We were so excited...plenty of room for the kids to run around outside, we could pick how we wanted it finished, etc. So we drive out there and park in front. When I got out of the car, I noticed a sign that said that where we had parked was not part of the property for sale, that the property line was 1 foot off the front porch! Since we had parked right next to the front porch we were on some other person's property. There was no road or curb...this house was several hundred feet behind (and on higher ground than) another house. I don't think it ever sold. It could have been usable if the 1/2 acre that went with the house for sale was not a steep, wooded hill. I still wonder how a house could get so far into construction without the other property owner putting a stop to it.

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Re: Weird features spotted while house hunting
« Reply #388 on: January 02, 2012, 10:00:53 PM »
I don't think I've mentioned this one yet. We found a listing for a house that was 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, still under construction. It needed drywall, flooring and cabinetry, I think. The price was $60,000 and was on 1/2 an acre. We were so excited...plenty of room for the kids to run around outside, we could pick how we wanted it finished, etc. So we drive out there and park in front. When I got out of the car, I noticed a sign that said that where we had parked was not part of the property for sale, that the property line was 1 foot off the front porch! Since we had parked right next to the front porch we were on some other person's property. There was no road or curb...this house was several hundred feet behind (and on higher ground than) another house. I don't think it ever sold. It could have been usable if the 1/2 acre that went with the house for sale was not a steep, wooded hill. I still wonder how a house could get so far into construction without the other property owner putting a stop to it.

That's called a flag lot (because the lot for the house and driveway is shaped like a flag). They're legal in some communities and not others. I think they must have banned them where I live about 25 years ago, because I only see them in older neighborhoods.

ladyknight1

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Re: Weird features spotted while house hunting
« Reply #389 on: January 04, 2012, 03:15:41 PM »
Under my carpet there was plywood --well, and an inch thick layer of very old glue. I had to use adhesive remover, which has very toxic fumes so I had to buy a gas mask. Fun times.


Who glues carpet on top of linoleum?

The same people who bolt carpet over beautiful terazzo tile floors. My best friend was astounded when the home inspection showed the tile under the carpet with half inch bolts every foot throughout the house. The tile is still beautiful, just pockmarked with holes from the bolts.