Talk some sense into me

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04/03/2011

 I already own one bed and breakfast.  I enjoy owning a bed and breakfast.  I looove old houses.  I have been in love with a particular house since I was a child.  Anyone ever see the Casper movie with Christina Ricci?  The old mansion they move into is what this house looks like.  Growing up it was abandoned and boarded up.  A couple bought it and started to restore it, then sadly she passed away.  The husband doesn't want to continue with the restoration without her and so he's selling it at $20,000 less than it's appraised for, even after all of the work and resources they put into it.  My husband is a real estate agent so we went and looked at it tonight.  I am so in love and want it so badly.  It would be an AMAZING b&b.  It is still in rough shape and needs lots of love.  My head says we'd be in over our heads but my heart is overruling my head at the moment.  

Here is the website they created for it.  http://www.thecrosshouse.org/index-history.html

Opinions?

 

Silverspoon's picture
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Got the money, time and energy?  Go for it!!!  I have never, for even one minute, regretted bringing our 150 year old farmhouse up to snuff, B+B and all.  It was not cheap but I love this old house.  Do it now because my experience has been that the future creeps up fast and before you know it you may not have the passion for the sacrifice it takes to do such a project. 

Check the tax code.  If you will be significantly improving the National Historic Register Commercial property, you will be eligible for tax credits. 

Here is a link to the Park Service, where the NHR designation originates.

http://www.nps.gov/nr/faq.htm

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05/30/2008

I wish you the best of luck if you go forward.  You probably already know that it will be a labor of love...and MONEY!  Eye-wink

I have a second house to sell before my husband can retire, I can find a job somewhere else, and we can consider relocating.  I have a goal to get this done within a year or less!! 

As long as you have a long range plan, you will do well...

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04/21/2010

It is a stunning place. I like the fact that the mechanicals are all newer. Also it was a Motel before so that might make this all easier on everyone city wise etc. My experience was redoing a current B&B that had been foreclosed. The thing is B&B's need so much more plumbing then a house/ rental etc. So unless he was headed towards a B&B and you have all of those baths with jacuzzis, you are into a lot of cash to get there. 

Do the numbers and you will know pretty quick if it is a labor of love or good idea. 

muirford's picture
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05/22/2008

We just bought the property next to ours - to call it a house would be too kind.  It has been owned by a hoarder for 25 years and suffered a significant fire in December.  The house is not even 15 feet away from our Inn but we were very lucky to escape any damage from the fire.  We first have to clean it up but we hope we can restore the log structure (underneath a brick facade and original to the lot before the Civil War) and keep the original footprint to rebuild it as a single family house.  It will be a labor of love, not profit, but it will be good to have control of how the property next door looks now and we are excited to do the renovation.  We don't personally plan to expand the Inn - we could, although it gets complicated with zoning and sprinklers and commercial kitchens and ADA. If we had bought it ten years ago when we first bought the Inn, that might have worked - we would have been younger and would maybe see the payback of the investment.  The old houses do take hold of your brain, sometimes.

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04/03/2011

We are in the very beginning of fact finding here so I don't know the answers to a lot of your questions, yet. My husband and I, as he puts it, have a house porn problem. lol  We have both dreamed of fixing up old houses, we're young and we do have the stamina.  

It's hard to say how long it's going to take.  There is 8 years into it but they weren't working on it full time.  He completed the stuff that would scare me, the electrical, plumbing, new heaters, a/c, water heaters, etc.

It is listed on the historical registry which may create some hoops but it also creates opportunities.  There and funds, grants, and tax credits that can be used. I am positive that it is the proverbial money pit.  That said, the house feels sturdy and from our initial walk through doesn't seem to have any major problems.  We would get a professional opinion on that before we made any decisions.  It sounds like the owner would be more than happy to get us started on the right path.  He is passionate about finding the right people for the house so that it can get the attention that it needs.  One of the other agents somewhat jokingly told my husband that the owner would give it away if he found the right people.  

I'm not sure what we would do with our current inn.  I do believe there is enough demand.  We have owned this one for 2 years and seen it grow exponentially and I feel like we've barely scraped the surface.  There is a new conference center coming in downtown in the next year.  We are currently the only lodging downtown and the only b&b.  Worst case scenario, our current inn is already broke up into 4 separate units that we could rent as apartments if we weren't getting the traffic we needed to support both.  

These old houses are perfectly set up for b&b's because they were meant to have servants.  The attic floor is perfectly set up for innkeepers quarters.  We have a tech school in town that has a very good culinary program.  My thought was to offer room and board to a student to cook and help with cleaning.  They would also then get experience to put on their resume. 

Sorry about the book I'm writing here.  I've got so much floating around in my head it helps to write it all out and get it focused.  My main concern is resources.  We do ok but are not wealthy by any means.  My husband is very new at real estate so we don't have any idea what he'll be making yet.  I still have a full time job that right now I have to keep.  I see things improving but that isn't definite.  

So even though my head says it would be smart to wait until we know more. I think what I'll do is research and find out what exactly we'll need and what resources we can take advantage of, etc.  Maybe I'll do the research and see that it just isn't feasible for us right now or maybe it'll work out and I can have my dream b&b. 

 

 

Skamokawa's picture
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08/24/2008

You have a bad case of the old house love disease.  I share it.  We brought back from the dead another 1890s house, now a B&B, and we just purchased another of a similar vintage in a nearby town.  This one is in better shape, but still needs work.  Much smaller than yours, when finished, we will rent the ground floor out as a full time month to month rental and the upper floor as a vacation rental.  That way we can also have the use of it for less than 14 days per year.  So far we've unearthed two layers of vinyl, a layer of 3/4" plywood and 3 lower layers of linoleum under the carpet that was under the feet of the last renters.   Under that is the gold - an old clear fir floor.

If this give you happiness, if you have the stamina and the ongoing maint., once you're finished is sustainable, GO FOR IT

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Arks's picture
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05/22/2010

If it's on the National Register, or in a national historic district, the money you put in to restoration could qualify for federal, and perhaps state, tax credits. But that's only on the restoration money spent, not on what you spend to buy the property in the first place.

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10/07/2008

Okay you may be a little bit crazy, and have too much energy, time and money? errr you don't? Then let someone else do all of this, and then look at it then...when they run out of money and have much of it restored!  indecision

It doesn't hurt to get excited about it, but this is a long term investment...

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04/03/2011

This is honestly what I wouldn't want to do.  We bought our current inn as is, it was already a b&b, fully furnished and done.  It's nice but it's not how I would have done it.  I've changed things here and there and made  it a little more "me" but it's an inn someone else built.  The house next door to us is for sale, it used to be part of the Inn and could easily be converted back.  This is the move that makes the most sense but neither my husband or I are excited about it.  

The logical and the passion sides of me are battling.  

Iris's picture
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06/08/2009

Is this a historical site?  Won't there be a lot of hoops to jump through to make it into a business?  

Gilliumhouse suggested you watch the Money Pit. I agree with that.

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gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

It is a lovely house and will probably make a great B & B BUT perhaps you need to rent the movie, The Money Pit and watch it a few times before making your final decision.

Do not mean to be discouraging, just offering a bit of sanity before you dive in hook, line, and sinker. I know what this house demands - and it is only 101!! Currently owning a B & B you KNOW what you are getting into.

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06/24/2008

gillumhouse wrote:

It is a lovely house and will probably make a great B & B BUT perhaps you need to rent the movie, The Money Pit and watch it a few times before making your final decision.

Do not mean to be discouraging, just offering a bit of sanity before you dive in hook, line, and sinker. I know what this house demands - and it is only 101!! Currently owning a B & B you KNOW what you are getting into.

K, after finishing our project here I can not watch that movie ever again - I LIVED it.  Complete with the falling through the floor. -  thankfully not all the way, but the leg was dangling - not mine but DD's. 

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

And I just got another uplifting commentary (NOT!) from DH re this place. I WAS on a high today.

Joey Camb's picture
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04/02/2010

for example how many rooms would it make into? would you be selling one to fund the other? and if you are going to do both you have to think very hard about staffing and operations ie we want to take on our next door property to expand but I am already planning the operations ie we will have to change everything from how we take payments to how we deal with rubbish - ie currently we take it to the tip, with the additional numbers we won't have time to be messing about so will need it collected by a local rubbish company and so on - all these little things need to be thought of before you get up and running as you don't want to be hitting them when you are trying to operate.

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smiley How exciting, and what better position as to have a real estate person as a husband!  I agree with the others, if it sounds great, and makes you excited, hey, take a look, do some numbers (and then add on another 50% in costs), it's too soon to squash the idea.

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

Wow! What a house! So, how much would it take to reno it the right way? How long before it starts to pay for itself? Do you keep the other B&B or sell it? Is there a need for more rooms in the area? It sounds like 8 years into it it still needs a lot of work. Is the building sound? Up to code? Or is a lot of that stuff still not done?

I have that 'save this house' bug too. I have to stay away from old houses (and the ASPCA) because it's so hard to walk away.

But, I want to sleep at night. And be able to go on vacation. And not get divorced.

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06/24/2008

Lovely place.  For some strange reason I believe I have seen that website before - or maybe there was another one asking for help. 

While your heart may be filled with desire, your head needs to be in charge when making this decision.  If the economics work out and you purchase, then it will be time for the heart to take over and keep you focused on the task at hand to make the place one to envy by all who pass by. 

Good luck in your decision making!  And if not you, I sure hope someone comes along with great plans to return this beauty to it's grand stature on that corner.

Flower's picture
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06/19/2011

Oh my I sure can see why you fell in love. It is beautiful !!!! Guess I would say do you have the stamina cause this will take a lot of work and money.  How easy is it to sell your present B&B?

How long do you plan it will take you to bring it up to your standards?

I am a person that goes with my heart also. I wear it on my sleeve often . Being in love is a hard thing to walk away from. But having no will power and in love and willing to roll up your sleeves, And tread water for a while, then and only then after a long thought you will have your answere.

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