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What should I ask?

 
Posts: 81
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
6
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Looking at a home on 25+ acres off grid.
Here's what I do know..what should I ask? What should I look at?
Going to tour this homestead this weekend.
Experience off-grid living in rural Southern Oregon less than 10 miles from town. This tree covered property offers privacy and peaceful living! The custom lodge style home is off-grid, secluded and nestled among 25+ tree covered acres. Large area for gardening, water storage tanks, abundant wildlife and hiking trails for outdoor enjoyment! Merchantable timber includes cedar and fir. NOT A DRIVE-BY. LICENSED AGENT TO BE PRESENT FOR SHOWINGS OF PROPERTY & HOUSE. APPOINTMENT ONLY.
Property Features
Bedrooms
Bedrooms: 3
Master Bedroom Level: Main
Bedroom 2 Level: Upper
Bedroom 3 Level: Upper
Master Bedroom Features: Laminate Flooring
Bedroom 3 Description: Laminate Flooring
Bathrooms
Total Bathrooms: 2
Full Bathrooms: 2
Interior Features
Laminate Flooring
Vinyl Floor
Appliances
Free-Standing Refrigerator
Cooktop
Kitchen and Dining
Free-Standing Refrigerator
Vinyl Floor
Kitchen Level: Main
Heating and Cooling
Fireplace Features: Stove, Wood Burning
Heating Features: Active Solar, Wood Stove
Heating Fuel: Propane, Solar Off Grid
Water Heaters: Tankless
Other Rooms
Living Room Level: Main
Living Room Features: Sliding Doors, Laminate Flooring
Exterior and Lot Features
Garden
Outbuilding
Porch
Private Road
Yard
Covered Deck
Road Surface Type: Dirt, Gravel
Land Info
Lot Description: Secluded, Wooded
Lot Size Acres: 25.74
Lot Size Square Feet: 1121234
Garage and Parking
Garage Spaces: 2
Garage Description: Carport, Detached
Garage Features: Garage: Carport, Detached
Parking Features: Carport
Parking Total: 2
Home Features
View: View: Trees/Woods, View: Trees/Woods
Homeowners Association
Association: No
Calculated Total Monthly Association Fees: 0
School Information
Elementary School: Brockway
High School: Douglas
Middle School: Winston
Other Property Info
Source Listing Status: Active
County: Douglas
Source Property Type: Single Family Residence
Area: Douglas Co: Winston/southwest of Roseburg
Source Neighborhood: Douglas Co: Winston/southwest of Roseburg
Source System Name: C2C
Building and Construction
Total Square Feet Living: 2000
Year Built: 1974
Building Exterior Type: Lap Siding, Tongue and Groove, Wood Siding
Foundation Details: Pillar/Post/Pier, Concrete Perimeter
Property Age: 47
Property Condition: Resale
Roof: Metal
Levels or Stories: 2
House Style: Custom Style, Lodge
Total Area Main: 1000
Total Area Upper: 1000
Utilities
Sewer: Standard Septic
Water Source: Spring, Well
9FC0D083-3460-448D-A053-C275707A08B5.jpeg
House
House
505172D1-D3F2-431C-AC7F-DC93469646F8.jpeg
Kitchen
Kitchen
5AF2CBD7-14CE-4777-9622-2E4931605922.jpeg
Home Again
Home Again
 
gardener
Posts: 2850
Location: southern Illinois.
764
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Looks beautiful.  I ask about zoning, building permits, water rights, easements, chimney condition, wiring (if it has its own electrical), age of roof, water source, age of pump, plumbing, ... if there is a well, I would verify that it is a well.  Too often a cisterine is referred to as a well.  Check out the sewer system.  I would want to know what kind it is and where the parts are....and if it is legal.

To stress a point, just because the structure is there, it does not address if a building permit was required ....or issued.  I am sure I am missing a ton of stuff.
 
Susan Boyce
Posts: 81
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
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It has a well and septic and a spring and they had propane and solar for power but solar needs work or to be replaced and I'm not up on solar…yet!  They are checking on what kind..concrete/metal/plastic and the last time it was pumped, the roof is metal will need to look at it. Didn't think about permits..
 
Posts: 66
Location: Southeast corner of Wyoming
15
urban fiber arts
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if the solar is not working you want an idea how much propane they used in a typical winter.  For sure have a pro check out the electrical and plumbing.  Assume lead paint has been used in at least some areas.  Ask what is UNDER the laminate flooring, there is a possibility of vinyl asbestos tile.  INTACT, undamaged tile is fine but if covered up you have no way of knowing the actual condition....  
look online for an old house checklist  it could help you understand more about the possible problems so you are more prepared to haggle more effectually.
 
Susan Boyce
Posts: 81
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
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I'll make a list and see what I can get answered….I'm ready to move now!
 
pollinator
Posts: 1800
Location: Bendigo , Australia
118
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My input;
- look for rot or fungi growth
- I would expect the roof to be ok, I saw your note about needing attention.
- Thought about rainfall collection for household use. Look at my signature.
- Solar experts will help, but ask what is wrong?
- I expect the batteries may need attention, they have a life span of 10 -20 years depending on how they are used.
- batteries can be tested.
- driveway condition is important.
 
John F Dean
gardener
Posts: 2850
Location: southern Illinois.
764
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Check fencing.  Quality fencing is a huge plus. I would not freak out is there wasn’t any (depending on your livestock plans), but it is a good addition to your property.
 
Susan Boyce
Posts: 81
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
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I don't think there is any fencing..my plan is to use field fencing around the acreage then cross fence the house with wood or chainlink etc as well as garden area and chicken coop
 
Susan Boyce
Posts: 81
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
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Got so more info today..going to look at it this afternoon

This is a unique property so, I’ll share more details to make sure it’s a good fit for your clients. The location is remote and accessible by way of a dirt and gravel roads. Medicine Wheel Way traverses up the mountain. There is no electricity to the property, although a power unit is approximately 950 feet away. Power is supplied by a generator and the house is setup for solar. Seller discovered the solar system is not functioning properly and likely needs to be replaced. An auto-start control for the generator is located outside the backdoor. Heat is supplied by an old woodstove in the living room and an old wood-burning cook stove in the kitchen.
The well is located in the front yard and the pump is powered by the generator. Water is pumped to a 500/gal redwood holding tank above the house and gravity fed to the house. The redwood tank is setup to overflow to a 1,100/gal black holding tank. Overflow water is also piped to two holding tanks (each approx. 250 gallons) in the garden area below the house. Seller indicated the snow storm a couple years ago damaged the water supply line to the garden tanks. The main floor of the house includes the living room, kitchen, one bath, and one bedroom. The upper floor includes one full bath, two bedrooms, one of which is a large open room and is probably more suitable as a bonus room. The laundry closet is outside on the porch by the backdoor.
Due to the uniqueness of this property, the seller wants to be present for all showings and requires showings are to potential buyers that are qualified for a cash purchase. We have a timber cruise on file. Attached is a property information packet, for your information. This is a link to Drone video and listing photos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5w6FR0R1oA&feature=youtu.be
 
master steward
Posts: 4903
Location: USDA Zone 8a
1514
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I am assuming it is a cash purchase because it will not qualify for a loan.  I wonder why? Is it because the seller is asking too much or for some other reason?

It is a beautiful property and has a lot of assets.

Before purchasing, I would get an estimate to fix the solar system and the damaged water lines.

It also doesn't hurt to go to the Court House and look at the deed at the County Clerk's office for any deed restrictions.
 
John F Dean
gardener
Posts: 2850
Location: southern Illinois.
764
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If it is a cash purchase be sure, among other things, the legal description on the deed actually reflects the property you want to purchase.
 
Susan Boyce
Posts: 81
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
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Yes it will be a cash deal that's why they are having a hard time selling. I personally think the price is too high but knowing (so far) some of the things that are an issue like no permits on well or septic leave loan companies to say no. I will ask about the deed and specifics. Lots to think about….not even sure if they built with a permit…. is the water quality good? What would it take to be livable? I believe they want more because of the timber but without the timber I don't want to live there.
F6A3EF2E-BB48-4B4F-B094-EEA527799C96_1_105_c.jpeg
Home Among the Trees
Home Among the Trees
 
John C Daley
pollinator
Posts: 1800
Location: Bendigo , Australia
118
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Surely by listing as a cash deal, it means no vendor terms.
Most people would get a loan to get the cash.
I dont think getting a loan to pay for it will be an issue, providing you meet the lenders terms.
You may have misread it.
At the end of the day, you simply need to know you will not be lumbered with a big expensive surprise if you purchase.
By doing the research issues such as building permits etc will be covered.
Even if a permit was never issued, that is not always a problem.
Records are not always kept by the county.

If the well and septic are working I would not ask questions, you may just make it harder.
Its been there 47 yeras, had a couple of owners I think it is kosher.

If you dont have all the cash, maybe a small loan not attached to the title may be possible.
Think smart dont fall in love with it.
 
Susan Boyce
Posts: 81
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
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Well I took a look, the house is sound, well is good water has been tested, nice garden area but needs TLC the septic has never been pumped and its concrete. There are 3 roads going in 2 are from the neighbors one willing you to use it occasionally the other just put up a fence two weeks ago and says no one can drive through and both these roads are much better than the road I drove today got stuck and needs gravel. No easements with the exception of the crummy road. No one has lived there for 4 years. So it will take money and labor to turn it around again. Not sure if I want it unless I have more funds to work with.
 
John F Dean
gardener
Posts: 2850
Location: southern Illinois.
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It is my feeling that the most foolish thing a house buyer can do is to develop the mindset that they must have a certain house.  The pictures do look impressive though.  If you decide to walk, you may wish to consider an offer low enough to cover yours costs and headaches.  I have repeatedly seen houses sell for 1/3 the original asking price in my area.
 
Susan Boyce
Posts: 81
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
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Oh I would definitely offer a lower price, but after sleeping on it I decided to pass on this deal. I know I can find something better suited to my needs and wishes.
 
pioneer
Posts: 70
Location: Central Virginia, Zone 7.
18
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The outside photos of the house, look very nice.

And that's where the positivity ends for me.  Pardon my skepticism, BUT:

1.  
Seller:  I want to be there for all showings.
Buyer:  Why?
Seller:  Because of the uniqueness of this property.
Buyer:  Oh, ok.

Is that a good reason that the seller needs to be there?  Uniqueness?  I'm thinking no.  The house has been empty for four years, so there's no personal stuff there to neb through.  My opinion:  The seller doesn't want the buyer to look at certain things too closely.  If buyer starts getting too close to the closet of skeletons, they'll be shooed and encouraged to go look at something else.  As a buyer, I know I would not want the owner following me around, I would want to inspect things pressure-free.

2.  $400K sounds like a LOT for a house that needs so many significant repairs.  Holding tank damage, broken solar with panels that surely need replaced considering the age of the existing panels.  Technologywise, I mean, those panels (and there are just a few of them!) are probably less than 100 watts each.

3.  The septic has NEVER been pumped?  

4.  Crummy access road to the house.  May be a coincidence, but it sounds like as soon as buyer started looking at the house, neighbor #1 built a fence across their access road, keeping the buyer out.   And neighbor #2 said buyer can use their access road 'occasionally'.  Ugh.  I translate that as 'I don't want you to use my driveway, but I'll sound mean if I  give you a flat out No'.  So, buyer is stuck with a crummy access road ... no, buyer will need to improve it, buyer just got stuck on it!

5.  Just the fact that so many things need fixed that the buyer has to take care of, is a dealbreaker for me.  I've sold houses before, I always fixed things BEFORE listing them for sale.  Isn't that the way it's supposed to work?

G


EDIT:  Oh, I see you just said you passed on it.  Yay!  Excellent decision.  That house is a money pit.  And the neighbors don't sound friendly.  Sheez, look at me, I'm still trying to talk you out of it.



 
Susan Boyce
Posts: 81
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
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I can see why he wanted to be there to answer questions and show buyers areas etc they aren't sure of. The holding tank is fine the water lines to the other holding tanks for the garden need to be replaced and that cost is minimal. Not having the septic ever pumped is just wrong even with one person living there..too many years have passed so it does need to be pumped and access for a pump truck as well as access to fill the huge propane tank as well. The garden is too far away from the house. The house will get much lesson then the garden area as its nestled in between hillsides. No garage but a huge well built carport. No shop to work on things.  Regardless I've passed on this and know I will find something better. I got stuck on the road in and the owner helped me get unstuck.
 
Posts: 92
Location: Oklahoma Panhandle
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I see you've decided to pass on the place.

One thing I don't understand:  what is the problem with a septic tank not being pumped?  The house I living in has been here for over 60 years and the septic tank has never been pumped.  If it's put in right and not abused with harsh chemicals it should never have to be pumped.
 
Susan Boyce
Posts: 81
Location: Myrtle Creek, Oregon
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I'm only going by what I have been told I suppose it could be fine as it is. There was so much more that I wasn't attracted to and it didn't feel like home it felt distant and cold, just didn't resonate with me. I'm in no hurry to move and I am still preparing my current house to sell and its nice not being under a deadline. Last time I sold a house I had 2 weeks to move and find another house. Ended up staying with a friend for almost 3 months.
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