House #17: Rehab Update

April 7, 2010 · 6 comments

We’ve been working on the rehab of The Escher House for about two weeks now, and progress is tremendous (despite one surprise that I’ll mention below)…

The exterior is nearly complete, with a new roof, mostly new siding, new gutters, a new front deck, new windows, new garage doors and a fresh coat of paint. The interior is demo’ed, some of the floors have been leveled, and we’re starting to prep the walls for new paint. Hopefully that will be completed by the end of the weekend, and next week we can focus on getting the new cabinets in, getting all the new lights and plumbing fixtures in, getting the flooring in (including hardwoods in a couple rooms), and all the finishing touches.

The goal is to have the house on the market by the weekend of the 16th, to give us a couple weeks to market the property before the tax credit expires on April 30. In fact, even if the house isn’t completed by Friday the 16th, we’ll probably take pictures and list it on the MLS just to start getting some traffic through it.

We have also decided to spend some money improving the back yard, which is large, but currently is not flat. We’ll likely get a bobcat to move a lot of dirt around, flatten out a relatively large area immediately behind the back deck, and then build a retaining wall to support a second tier of space farther back in the yard.

We have had one surprise on this house that we’re currently working through. When we originally had our inspection, it had been raining almost continuously for well over 2 months; we noticed a good bit of water around a couple areas in the front yard, and also some water coming up through a crack in the driveway. Everyone (including the inspector) assumed all the water was due to a saturation of water in the ground, as well as to water draining from the back yard down into the front yard (there is a slope from back to front).

Now, after about a week of sunshine, we’re still seeing standing water in two areas of the front yard, and there is still water slowly flowing from the crack in the driveway. We’ve had a guy from the county confirm that it isn’t busted rainwater line, and we’re all-but-certain that it isn’t a break in the main water line or the sewage line. We’ve had our landscaper take some soil samples and he’s confirmed that the ground is very wet for about a foot down around those areas, but deeper down it is surprisingly dry.

Given that there is a creek that runs along the side of the house, the best theory we have right now is that there is a tributary (or multiple tributaries) that break off the creek and run underground through the front yard. I’m not really sure how we’ll be able to figure this out for certain, or what we could do about it once we did figure it out. But, we’re planning to get a couple more opinions and perhaps try to find an expert to give us a hand.

I don’t think the water will pose any problems to the property structure, but if it’s causing damage to the driveway, that could require an expensive fix down the road for the future owners. So, if we can figure out a reasonable solution, we’ll give it a try…if not, I don’t expect that any buyers would consider it a big deal.

I’ll try to post some rehab pictures later this week…

6 responses to “House #17: Rehab Update”

  1. Uncle Jeff says:

    Suggest you advertise as free, no maintenance, underground lawn irrigation system.

  2. Mark-In-Fl says:

    It sounds like what they call a springhead around here. It will be interesting to see how to fix it.

    You know the old real estate axiom, “if you can’t fix it, feature it”.


  3. J Scott says:

    Hey Mark –

    If it weren’t for the water coming up through the driveway, we would certainly figure out a way to feature it!

  4. Uncle Jeff says:

    …with self-cleaning driveway.

  5. Mark-In-Fl says:

    Come on, I can see it now: A fancy round fountain sitting in the middle of a brick paver driveway.

    I don’t know, I have faith in you to figure it out.

  6. J Scott says:

    Mark –

    I love it!!! 🙂

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