Sunday, March 2, 2014

So Excited!

I got up this morning and was perusing the local Sunday paper when my eye spotted something on the Classifieds/Real Estate section.

You see, I have always had this dream of taking an old building and turning it into a home.
At first, this dream revolved around taking an old barn and restoring it/converting it into a house.

And then, since we live in an area without many old barns, the dream changed into taking an industrial space(old factory, school building, etc.)and turning that into a home.

But old industrial spaces are mostly much too large to do this with and necessitate turning into multiple units of housing, like condos or apartments.  Since I don't have the resources(either financial or construction skills)that idea quickly faded from becoming a reality.
Since the last 10 years or so around here, as the population  has decreased, the Catholic church in this area has been closing and consolidating parishes and church buildings and then putting said real estate up on the market for sale.
So the dream changed to buying an old church property and making it into a home.

This morning the stars may have aligned on this dream.

Hubs and I are within 4 years of his retiring and 4 months within having to remain living in this school district anymore.
We preferably wish to retire to someplace warmer but the place I found may work anyway.

I found a property for sale.
This one.....

It isn't brick but it's smaller and in fairly good shape.
It's in a small community, on the main road and not one of the large cities around here.
But it's accessible to the larger cities.
And even better, this also comes with the church......

It's the old rectory, a 2 story home with a garage behind.  You can see the side of the church building to the right in the photo.  There are mature trees and bushes and a small garden area between the rectory and the church.
The size of the land these buildings sit on  looks to be multiple city lots...3 or 4 lots.

It's the price of this property that had my juices flowing.
It's being offered for $49,000 for all.

The real estate tax information is not available, since this is a religious property and wasn't taxed by the state/municipality but similar homes for sale in this area have estimates of $1,200 a year.  I am figuring double that since this listing contains 2 buildings.

The church obviously will need remodeling/renovating to turn it into a home space.
The rectory house will need extensive renovation as it has been basically gutted from what I read.
While it's not going to be cheap(hell ya I can do this on the frugal side though!lol), it's sort of like getting a "new" house, except that the outside structure is already in place and old.  I can get the kitchen the way I want it and lay out the interior space/rooms as I want in the church.

The initial plan is to remain living here(it's only 11.5 miles away), renovate the church building, then move in and then have the last of the work done here and sell our current home.
Once we move to the church, Hubs can still commute to work from there.  It would add an additional 10-15 minutes on his commute but doable for the 4 years he has left to work.

Once we move and sell, we can work on getting the rectory house livable/renovated.  After that, we can either sell or rent it out.  Since the property is zoned R2, we also have the choice of turning the rectory house into a duplex and renting or selling it as that type of housing situation.
After we sell or rent the rectory house it will help us recoup any money we invested into the reno and help pay the taxes.  Eventually when we recoup the money invested we can have an income stream in retirement from it.  8-)

As for Winters living in this church, once Hubs retires, we will buy a used RV and spend the ugly months of ice, snow and cold in parts South of here, either visiting our children or bopping around to wherever we feel like going.

I am trying not to get all excited but it's hard not to!
I've already contacted the agent and am working on going to have an "in person" look around and ask a billion questions about this property and snap my own photos.
After that and having a discussion with Hubs on this I'll call a construction type person for a consult and some advise on whether this is a plan I can green light or not and proceed to talk money with the realtor.
We would be paying cash for this of course..... ;-)

One step at a time, trying not to get my hopes too high at this point, but thinking this might be the way we need to head on down the road to retirement.

So what do y'all think of this?




  1. I have always thought renovating a church or old one-room school would be great. The only problem I would have other than money and skills would be the high ceilings and heat loss upwards. I know there is an answer to that, just don't know what the answer is. But, I am with you on having the kitchen the way I want. I planned this one when we moved into a house with nothing in the kitchen. I love your plan. I know you will take lots of pictures.

    1. If this works out, we would have to put a new heating/cooling system in no doubt. No clue on what is there now yet(one of the many ?s for the realtor). Solar panels on the roof, geothermal might not be possible? Still exploring ideas. Definitely would need ceiling fans to move the warm air down in winter, up in summer.

  2. Interesting option. I like the idea of renovating the rectory into 2 homes and collecting the rent off of that. Have you been a land lord before? what are rents going for in this community? how upscale should the reno be in the duplex? Are white applicances OK, or is SS expected? Asbestos? lead paint? septic? electric-any knob n tube? "critters"? Do your homework, to be sure! I'm curious to see what you learn about the place. When can you get in for a look?

    1. My mother did some landlording as did Hub's brother so I have an idea of the headaches of it and Hubs isn't to fond of the idea of being one. I am hoping one of my kids would take the opportunity to move back here to live in

      It's a funny area because of the history. Started out as a company town and controlled by coal company until the 1960's/1970's.
      Now the town is pretty much abandoned and ready for renewal so we'd be getting in on the ground floor. There are NO rentals in this town other than the high rise apts. for the senior citizens put up about 20 years ago. No businesses left either. Most houses dated from 1930's at the NEWEST and are double homes(duplexes)with family living on each side. Families that have lived here for generations...even with the depressed economy families remain here in poverty rather than leave, which I don't understand. There are scads of rentals 15 min. away in the larger city next door. Any sort of reno wouldn't need to be fancy granite, hardwoods or stainless steel. If we plan to rent, the rectory will be clean and nice but not opulent. I am sure there will be asbestos in the house so we are planning for hazmat expenses there.
      Just so much to consider at this point.

  3. That is so exciting!! Do you know when it was built?

    1. The "church" community started in 1879 but not sure when the building was put up but it was shortly after that so 1880's? The rectory house, included next door, was put up in the 1930's. The church was closed in 2002 and is used by community groups for meetings.

  4. Very very cool thing to do. Just FYI search early for insurance as you may find many insurance companies will not want to insure it as difficult to rebuild(I used to work for an Insurance Company as a property underwriter) - but - I think the plan is fabulous! What a neat home it would be.

    1. Yes, as soon as we'd decided to move forward getting it, I'll be calling our insurance guy to discuss the joys of insuring these buildings. fun time...hahaha

  5. I love it! It'd be very cool to live in...

    1. Cool as long as folks didn't try to just barge in thinking it was still a church. lol

  6. Sounds AWESOME!!!

    Peace <3

  7. I got excited just reading this! I hope it works out - I'd love to follow you as you lived out your dream.

    1. Well the dream all depends on Hubs going along with this, which he hasn't been inclined to do up to this point in our married life. If it happens I'd definitely blog about it so much everyone would be sick and tired of me. 8-)

  8. Fun! Fun! I was raised in a converted was huge and awesome...My brother and his family live there now. My dad paid $10,000 cash for it and did all the work himself turning it into a home...great memories!

    1. Sounds so interesting! We wouldn't be able to do much of the "real" work to convert it....just the lightweight stuff like painting, etc.

  9. As long as its not Berwick you should be good :)

  10. Oh this looks like a ton of fun!!! And I love the idea of the RV. That's our plan too. But not for many years. Sigh.

  11. That is quite the big development. I am not sure, never considered such an endeavor myself, but if you and the hubby think this is a good opportunity and a good plan for you all, so be it! Upward and onward!

  12. Awesome, AWESOME, Awesome!!! Looking forward to updates!!!

  13. So what's going on with this? I'm dying to know!

  14. I saw your post on FB about this and think it sounds amazing. What a great price, too!


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