Small house = good?

Posted: August 15, 2008 in Home
Tags: , , , ,

I am proud of the fact that I have a small (1500 sq. ft.) arts and crafts bungalow built in 1925. Yes it’s small, old, has a moist basement, and non-insulated walls, But it was built to last by people who took pride in their work. I read an interesting book that had a chapter on this very subject a while ago. It is “Crunchy Cons” . I have a review of it below. The other good thing about my house was that even though we qualified for a $300,000 loan, we got it for a whopping $58,000 and have since put $12,000 into it as a 95% efficient furnace and insulation. The winters can get cold here in upstate NY. Plus it’s within the city so I only have to ride my bike two miles to work instead of a long commute from the suburbs.

  1. drcorner says:

    From the picture it seems like you have a lot of privacy (which is something I really like in a home), and the hill looks to be on a good slope (really good for rain runoff). I like the style of the porch, kinda like the ole’ early 1900’s styles you’d see in movies…where you can just kick back and enjoy the breeze. From the outside it looks to be in decent condition too.

    Yeah, in upstate NY you can get some awesome deals on houses, but it’s good to get a lot of inspection clauses with your contract because many of them were built a century ago and can just be flipped for aesthetics while still having a lot of underlying age issues with them (ie: termites, water damages, code issues, etc.)

    One of the great things about buying at those prices (and getting deals like that) in upstate NY is that it leaves you a lot of money to renovate or bring the house up-to-date but doing so in your own style.

    I really like that overcast tree on the left, they should provide a lot of shade in hot summers, and help cool the home too. If you don’t mind me asking, what area upstate did you guys go with? Schenectady? Syracuse? Farmingdale?

  2. alpinmack says:

    We live in Syracuse where we both grew up. Our families are close but not too close. And yes that tree gives us a lot of good shade in the summer. The house is consistently 10 degrees or more cooler than outside. Our inspection revealed a lot of minor problems but nothing huge. The construction is solid. We do enjoy our porch quite a bit and have dinners out there or just read in the hammock that I slung up from the rafters. We are in a transitional neighborhood though. Right at the bottom of the hill is what many people would call “the ghetto”, but just up the street, are fairly affluent families with beautiful old houses. The big reason I got this house it that it backs onto Onondaga Park which is a gem in the city. The old boathouse and gazebo set off Hiawatha lake perfectly and there are huge expanses of grass that I don’t have to mow that are just begging for people to play frisbee on them. We go for a walk around the lake almost daily and the sense of community the park fosters is just great whether it’s seeing people at the Firebarn Cafe which has free bagels and coffee every other Saturday or enjoying the free concerts that happen weekly in July.

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