Well, we might be nuts, but we've set up an appointment to check out the house with 19 acres. I'm of two minds about it. On one hand, if it's a dump I can stop thinking about it. On the other... If it's livable and has potential, I'm going to drive myself more crazy than I already have been.
Here's the Good: The property itself is pretty much everything I could want. With 19 acres, there's plenty of room for a pond, livestock, outbuildings... whatever. With the little barn and the littler barn, we could get some of those livestock without having to build anything to house them. Two car garage, trees for shade, and no neighbors. The closest one is about a quarter mile away. No more bar, no more trains, no more Metallica at 2:30 am (Nothing against Metallica, but I don't like it blaring in the middle of the night when I'm trying to sleep). There's also a fireplace and a big mudroom/laundry area. It's within the 5 mile radius of town that allows Shayne to keep his take-home car, and it's also near the highway that goes into the city for easy shopping. Even though it's about 7 miles further out than our current house, they're all highway miles so it wouldn't be a hassle to run errands.
The Bad is that the house is quite probably a little smaller than the house we're in now. Only a partial basement, but there is a walk-up attic. No workshop outside, and I'm not sure there's space for Shayne to have his "Man Cave"/LED workshop inside. It's also a 1950s house, which here in backwards Indiana means it looks like a '40s house. I don't have a huge issue with that, but it just doesn't have the character of a bungalow. But since this house is in need of updating anyways, I could always add architectural details. And maybe raise the roof and finish the attic.
The Ugly: the septic. Just having walked around the property, I know the septic needs to be updated/replaced. The existing one is concrete block-lined holes in the ground. I know that's pretty much what we have in the Prairie Box, but at least ours is buried. These you can see into from the yard. Yeek...
I dunno if this house is "The One". But it's definitely got me motivated to finish work on the Prairie Box so that when The One comes along we'll be ready. It's also really solidified in my mind that I want a farm. My mental picture is of an old farmhouse or bungalow amidst rickety old outbuildings, but my logical side knows that would be too much work. A guy I work with bought a house with an old barn. The barn is in good shape, but there are lots of gaps in the siding where the boards have shrunk. The cheapest estimate to make it weathertight again?? $13,000. So large barns or many buildings would be very expensive to maintain, and aren't really worth the postcard look.
And as much as I love old houses, and am dying to own a bungalow or another foursquare, I'm willing to compromise if we can find the right piece of property. You can always change a house, but you can't make a piece of property bigger, or change the neighbors, or its proximity to bars and railroad tracks. When they say that location is everything, they ain't kidding.
Ugh. Lots to think about. I'm looking forward to Monday, so I can see what this stupid house looks like and get my head together. Even if I still want this property, at least it'll be with full disclosure instead of all this wondering.