I am considering purchasing a 1880s Farmhouse in the country. I believe it would be considered Second Empire style (correct me if I'm wrong). The exterior has already been restored and only needs a few small repairs, and it has a new roof (asphalt). Sandstone and stone foundation. Interior still retains all original woodwork, doors, hardware, etc. Most woodwork downstairs is still in original condition, unpainted. Most original windows remain, a few have been replaced with junk vinyl (maybe around 7 of them).
The house is enormous, over 3600 square feet. The back half of the house (shorter section) is the servant's quarters. It has a butler's pantry, servant's staircase, and bedrooms above. The front half of the house is the main part of the house. There are 2 sets of giant pocket doors (unpainted). The staircase, which is in the foyer, is still in original condition as well, with a large newel. There are two marble fireplaces.
The kitchen is not original but the cabinets in the butler's pantry are. The cabinet doors were removed but I found them in the attic. Could not find the original window sashes though, which is what I was looking for.
The roof originally had the wrought iron around the roof, as is typical of Second Empire style. The iron work appears to be in the attic. Also, there was a doorway from the attic to the rooftop which was closed off when the new roof was installed. The house has original, functional, wood shutters (the missing ones are in the shed).
It sits on over 2 acres of farmland, surrounded by crops, with an enormous original barn (which needs some structural repairs to the front foundation wall and support beams), with original slate roof, and a large storage shed.
It is on short sale for around $100k. It would be a sound investment. Another nearby historic property, 1910s, similar size, smaller lot, no giant barn (but large garage), completely renovated without all the original woodwork inside, is currently on the market for $400k.
It would take a lot of work, mostly cosmetic from what I've seen so far. I did go through it already but need to go back with a fine tooth comb before deciding for sure. I've already been approved for the loan. I can support both mortgages, but would be renting out my current foursquare. The income generated from renting my house would cover both mortgages.
I'm really on the fence about it. There are a lot of pros, most notably, living in the country, in peace and quiet. I've been a horse lover my entire life and always wanted one. The barn has a full stable with many stalls on the basement level. The exterior of the house, with a historic color scheme, and the wrought iron re-installed on the roof, would look amazing. Also, I'm willing to bet there was originally a front porch, I'd rebuild that. The cons are that the interior of the house is a total mess right now. Every single room needs work. Flooring needs major attention, walls and ceilings need repair. But the biggest issue, the biggest thing holding me back, is the sheer size of the house. I have no idea what to do with a house 3x bigger than my current house. And I can't even fathom the heat bill, especially with a propane tank. It was clearly a problem for previous owners because every window is covered in plastic, pocket doors were sealed with insulation tape.
Anyway, I'm open to any opinions, ideas, suggestions. I'm really flip flopping around about it.