Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

I Bought A Neglected House!

LumbermanSVO

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 15, 2007
1,058
241
Denton, TX
I had been working for a live entertainment company in Texas for several years and rode the wave of it growing from 30-ish employees to over 200. Along the way the company got bought out by an investment firm and they took away everything that was great about working there. So I started looking around for another growing small company. I found one in SoCal and left Texas on New Years Eye for California.

I started on January 6th and things were going great, all the promise I saw while interviewing was looking like reality. I managed to lower my cost of living while increasing my quality of life, things were looking good. Then on March 11th I was laid off because EVERY show the company had was cancelled. Well, technically I was bumped to part-time, but with no hours, so I could keep my health insurance. But there were just no shows, in the span of a week my entire industry came to a screeching halt, something that has never happened before. Thanks COVID!

I sat around for weeks waiting to see what would happen, nothing. Then about 8 weeks into doing nothing I saw a job opening for my skillset on a FB group, so I sent in my resume, and sent the guy a message introducing myself. A few weeks later I was on a plane for the interview and a week of work. I eneded up getting the job, and a few weeks later moved to Cincinnati. I threw my stuff in storage and just rented a room until I could get the lay of the land.

One day my boss and I were driving somewhere and we went past some small houses. I mentioned that I'd love a house that size, but with a huge garage. He said that his grandmother just moved out of her house and it had a two car detached garage. I didn't think much of it at the moment. Then the next day the homeowner where I was renting sent me an email, he was giving me 30 days to leave because he wanted to move back in, so I asked my boss about his grandmothers house.

I looked at it that day, and boy was it in bad shape. I've done remodels before, but never on my own home, I've never actually owned a home. While this house looked bad, it seemed solid. So I made an offer that turned out to be right in the ballpark the flippers were giving. They decided to go with me because I'd actually live in it. I moved in on Sunday(my birthday!) and started the cleanup process right away.

I've decided to make a YouTube page showing the work as I tear into this project. The first video is a tour with commentary about the condition and plans for fixing it up:


I've been living in it almost two weeks and made another video a week into it showing my progress:


It's a solid house, but with a bunch of problems and needs a LOT of work. I really like the idea of doing things my way and seeing where it leads me. I have an overall plan, but just like work, I'm expecting to be thrown off track several times, and for everything to take longer than expected.
 

LumbermanSVO

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 15, 2007
1,058
241
Denton, TX
This is way more engaging to me than most of the YouTube videos I watch, and it's because you aren't cutting every .3 seconds!

Thanks! I thought about what I like about my favorite YouTube channels and people who actually tell a story rank pretty high up there, and lots of cuts don't usually help with that.
 

jeyf

macrumors 68000
Jan 20, 2009
1,744
773
i kinda regret doing major plumbing up front:
-push the eject button on all the existing cast iron steel portable water pipes
-Iinsead of getting the sewer line scoped, jsut replace it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: LumbermanSVO

LumbermanSVO

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 15, 2007
1,058
241
Denton, TX
Looks like a lot of work but with a potential for a great return.

It is very easy to look at this house and pass it up, especially if you will be paying for someone else to do the work. But I saw the potential, and will be doing almost all the work myself. I looked at comps in the area, but in good condition, and they were 3x what I paid, without the detached garage and large parcel of land. So I firmly believe I can increase it's value by at least that much while spending much less.

i kinda regret doing major plumbing up front:
-push the eject button on all the existing cast iron steel portable water pipes
-Iinsead of getting the sewer line scoped, jsut replace it.

I once spent a summer helping a friend do residential repipes, removing galvanized and replacing it with copper. I know what the inside of old galvanized plumbing looks like, it's BAD. So I was pretty happy to see that this house has copper plumbing.

There is some non-copper piping, but it is all gas lines. It does slightly concern me that there are some copper gas lines.
 

LumbermanSVO

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 15, 2007
1,058
241
Denton, TX
A lot of the stuff I watch regularly is car stuff, I really like the recording style of WatchJRGO. But I also like how the guy on Ghost Town Living will just sit down and talk to the viewer too.

I like how people like Finnegan, Cleetus, and Marty and Moog on Mighty Car Mods let their own personalities come through while telling their stories. I really like Alec's humor on Technology Connections, but his recording style wouldn't work at all for this kind of project.

So some sort of mix of those, a lot of POV stuff like WatchJRGO with some sitting down and explaining stuff, and a little bit of VO here and there.
 
  • Like
Reactions: tobefirst

Apple fanboy

macrumors Westmere
Feb 21, 2012
39,636
29,525
Behind the Lens, UK
I had been working for a live entertainment company in Texas for several years and rode the wave of it growing from 30-ish employees to over 200. Along the way the company got bought out by an investment firm and they took away everything that was great about working there. So I started looking around for another growing small company. I found one in SoCal and left Texas on New Years Eye for California.

I started on January 6th and things were going great, all the promise I saw while interviewing was looking like reality. I managed to lower my cost of living while increasing my quality of life, things were looking good. Then on March 11th I was laid off because EVERY show the company had was cancelled. Well, technically I was bumped to part-time, but with no hours, so I could keep my health insurance. But there were just no shows, in the span of a week my entire industry came to a screeching halt, something that has never happened before. Thanks COVID!

I sat around for weeks waiting to see what would happen, nothing. Then about 8 weeks into doing nothing I saw a job opening for my skillset on a FB group, so I sent in my resume, and sent the guy a message introducing myself. A few weeks later I was on a plane for the interview and a week of work. I eneded up getting the job, and a few weeks later moved to Cincinnati. I threw my stuff in storage and just rented a room until I could get the lay of the land.

One day my boss and I were driving somewhere and we went past some small houses. I mentioned that I'd love a house that size, but with a huge garage. He said that his grandmother just moved out of her house and it had a two car detached garage. I didn't think much of it at the moment. Then the next day the homeowner where I was renting sent me an email, he was giving me 30 days to leave because he wanted to move back in, so I asked my boss about his grandmothers house.

I looked at it that day, and boy was it in bad shape. I've done remodels before, but never on my own home, I've never actually owned a home. While this house looked bad, it seemed solid. So I made an offer that turned out to be right in the ballpark the flippers were giving. They decided to go with me because I'd actually live in it. I moved in on Sunday(my birthday!) and started the cleanup process right away.

I've decided to make a YouTube page showing the work as I tear into this project. The first video is a tour with commentary about the condition and plans for fixing it up:


I've been living in it almost two weeks and made another video a week into it showing my progress:


It's a solid house, but with a bunch of problems and needs a LOT of work. I really like the idea of doing things my way and seeing where it leads me. I have an overall plan, but just like work, I'm expecting to be thrown off track several times, and for everything to take longer than expected.
Good stuff. We bought a house from the 60's that hadn't been lived in for a couple of years and the old lady had passed away. We had a complete rewire, underfloor heating, boiler, doors and windows kitchen and bathroom replaced.

Moved in December last year and it was freezing. No heating worked at all.

But although some stuff was left there was no where near the amount you have there. I can't believe the current owners wouldn't at least clear it all out. Very strange.

Good luck with it. Looking forward to the next chapter.
 
  • Like
Reactions: LumbermanSVO

LumbermanSVO

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 15, 2007
1,058
241
Denton, TX
Good stuff. We bought a house from the 60's that hadn't been lived in for a couple of years and the old lady had passed away. We had a complete rewire, underfloor heating, boiler, doors and windows kitchen and bathroom replaced.

Moved in December last year and it was freezing. No heating worked at all.

But although some stuff was left there was no where near the amount you have there. I can't believe the current owners wouldn't at least clear it all out. Very strange.

Good luck with it. Looking forward to the next chapter.

I just spent two hours dragging stuff to the dumpster, the second 30 yard dumpster is now half full!

The woman who lived here built the home with her husband, she is currently 95 years old. She moved out, and next to her sons, about a month before I moved in. The family thought about getting her some in home care, but they suspected the state would be called because of the condition of the house. I dragged her mattress(room with the red carpet) out to the dumpster last night and I nearly puked, it smelled of urine was SO bad. I hope she is getting better care in her new place.

It must be depressing to watch the house you built, and spent nearly 70 years of your life in, fall apart around you because your sons are getting too old to maintain it, and the rest of the family can't/wont help. If you are sentimental at all, cleaning out the house would be a daunting task.

My boss is glad that he doesn't have to help with the process because he would want to keep too much stuff. I got a text from him tonight because one of his aunts is freaking out over that yellow-ish bench in the IT room. She is convinced it is worth something and wants to get it. I told him to tell her to get it this weekend or I take the sledge hammer to it. I don't have any emotional attachment to it, and just want it gone, along with the rest of the stuff.

I am keeping interesting pictures, blueprints from the building the family built in the area, interesting artwork, LP's, reel-to-reel audio tapes, and the letters. Some of the letters are beautifully written, I think I'll post them on the website blog and digitally scrub them of identifying information.

Wow, lot of changes this year for you @LumbermanSVO. Good luck with home renovation.

Thanks! it's been one heck of a year, especially after five+ solid years of stability.
 

someoldguy

macrumors 68020
Aug 2, 2009
2,127
6,745
usa
Good Luck ! , Really doesn't look too bad compared to other places I've seen . I've been working , almost continuously ,on my 100 year shack since I moved back in in 1997 or thereabouts .
Shoulda gutted it right from the start but couldn't owing to 2 kids , so everything gets done piecemeal . Just think things out before you start cutting .
 

LumbermanSVO

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 15, 2007
1,058
241
Denton, TX
All the best with this ambitious project!

Thanks!

Good Luck ! , Really doesn't look too bad compared to other places I've seen . I've been working , almost continuously ,on my 100 year shack since I moved back in in 1997 or thereabouts .
Shoulda gutted it right from the start but couldn't owing to 2 kids , so everything gets done piecemeal . Just think things out before you start cutting .

I think if it sat another 5 years it would be too far gone for me to tackle, especially if no one was living in it. I spent 5.5 hours just cleaning in one room today and made some interesting discoveries, and more rot.

In addition to making a vlog of fixing it up, I'm also keeping track of the time and money I'm putting into it, with breakdowns by each room. I'm real curious what those numbers end up looking like.
 
  • Like
Reactions: someoldguy

Apple fanboy

macrumors Westmere
Feb 21, 2012
39,636
29,525
Behind the Lens, UK
Week 3: I learn what happens when it rains, and start poking around in the electrical system.

Keep up the good work. I’d still be thinking about replacing the wiring rather than just the switches. I really need to get back on with our project house. But we did so much in the first 11 months we just feel like we need a break from the upheaval!
 

LumbermanSVO

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 15, 2007
1,058
241
Denton, TX
I'll be replacing the wiring as I tackle each room. For now, I want functional switches that aren't 70 years old. I have a case of outlets ready to go in as well.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.