Just Wanted to Introduce Myself

Started by thes10kid, January 08, 2014, 11:06:57 AM

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Good Morning Everyone,

I stumbled accross this board awhile ago, and finally decided to register today (yes, I know it only took 30 seconds)!  I live in NJ right now, but have been looking at properties around Grafton, Vermont.  Specifically Townshend and Newfane.  I have always been mechanically inclined, and my focus has been hot rods and motorcycles.  My grandfather was a union carpenter, and over time I have acquired tools from him and been tinkering more and more with construction and projects out of wood.  Oddly, I have found this much more rewarding than cars (maybe because it is easier to fix a mistake in wood as opposed to metal).  Anyway, I have been looking at some fixer-upper properties that have water/electric/sewer in place.  I have always been a backwoods kind of guy with fishing, camping, mountain biking, kayaking, etc.  I am ready to take the plunge to look for a second home, one that can be my primary home in a couple of years after I am able to fix it up.  If anyone out there is from or familiar with the area, I would love to hear your impressions or suggestions.  Thank you folks, and looking forward to spending time here.


 w*.  I would definitely look for something that doesn't require a major overall.  In depth renovations can be real daunting especially if you lack some of the basic skills.  If you have to contract several aspects out then your budget will be shot and the residence will not be completed.  To say the least your interest in your project can dwendle as well.  Good luck on your search.


Thanks for the reply!  I have been looking for places that I consider "functional" but primarily need updating more than anything.  Old carpets torn up and replaced, maybe ripping down paneling and putting up new wood walls, that type of thing.  I have gotten involved in some in-depth vehicle restorations and learned the hard way  d* that starting with nothing and building from there is much more expensive long-term than starting with a decent car that just needs "freshening".  I have applied the same logic to houses in the past.  I eventually want to build a cabin by hand, but I plan to do so and use it as a guest house when friends/family come.  That way, I can complete it at my leisure instead of having to complete it so I have a place to live.

John Raabe

 w* to the forum

Your strategy of a functional but worn house that needs updating is a time proven way to add value to a property.

Often there are simple things such as landscaping changes, walkways, patios or small additions that can inexpensively renew the use of a place.

See if there are any helpful materials here: http://www.countryplans.com/tools.html. There are also lots of ideas in the Gallery and forum posts.

John Raabe
None of us are as smart as all of us.


I guess I'm a bit leery of transmission shops and home inspectors and both for the same reason, they're always going to find something. It does sound like you've got enough basis to know what is critical. A home inspector is another set of eyes though and might help keep you from getting stuck with something that needs a whole lot more than just window dressing.


It is a most beautiful area.  I lived near and the winters were just great, with lots of snow in winter and sunny alternating rainy summers.  Moisture, freeze, and thaw, are the enemies and what homes are up against there.

I remember the Scott and Helen Nearing had a lot to say about the immediate area, and about fixing up old houses there, in their first book: "The Good Life: Helen and Scott Nearing's Sixty Years of Self-Sufficient Living".


They were squarely against fixing up houses in that area, because of the inherent rot.  That said, the old houses are wonderful.



thank you for the reply.  I will surely be ordering a copy of the book to get some additional info and tips.  Thanks again and I will update if things start taking shape.