In 1986 my wife and I purchased investment property in Jackson Township, Clermont County, Ohio. It was our intention
to move to this property, build an addition onto the small brick cottage and live out our retirement years on this six-acre
My wife and I worked for a large municipality and, as a condition of employment, could not live outside its
corresponding county. After doing the math, we realized we could save money by buying property and charging a reduced rent
in trade for partial care of the horses instead of paying boarding bills!
Over the years, everything we planned started
to fall into place. We built a new barn for improved horse stalls, paid off the mortgage, and prepared ourselves for retirement.
And then, like an unexpected clap of thunder on a clear day, it happened .... the old farmhouse we must have passed
a thousand times, and said to each other a hundred times, "Boy, wouldn't you like to get your hands on that place?" Well,
it was made known to us that if we wanted it, we could have first turndown on the old place.
It turned out, in
a chance meeting with a lady at work, my wife found out the womans' mother lived down the street from our rental property.
When my wife found this out, she made it known that if the house ever became available, please contact us. We
soon received a call from the son-in-law to let us know that she was interested in selling. When we asked her price,
she gave us a very reasonable figure that was quite acceptable to us. The next day we found ourselves touring a house we never
thought we would ever have a chance to see.
And what a pleasant surprise the interior of the house was! Although the
exterior has been somewhat neglected over the years, the inside was nicely kept. The living room retained original walnut
paneling, mantel and enclosed shelves. We found three bedrooms upstairs, a kitchen, bathroom, mudroom, entry and living room
downstairs. The living room was once divided by a wall that divided it from a space the owner said was once called "the library."
The wall had been removed before she and her (deceased) husband bought the house in 1960. And, of course, it had been a load-bearing
The house was built around 1809 from hand made bricks fired in a nearby town or possibly on site.
The original owner is listed as the fifth pioneer to settle in Clermont County. Considering its age, we found the house was
in admirable condition. There were some major issues that we found that must be addressed in a timely manner, but the charm,
feel and aura of the place made us only want it all the more. A big surprise was the northern-most property boundary was our
current investment property's southern boundary!
Some of the things we noticed on that first inspection:
We believe the rear windows (nine lights over six) are original to the house. The front windows (weather side) are very old,
but are completely different than the rear ones. All of the windows are in dire need of repair or replacement.
The mortar between the bricks is in an advanced state of deterioration (and causing moisture to get through to the interior
plaster walls in various places).
> An interior load-bearing wall removed over 40 years ago must be rebuilt.
All of the outside wood trim must be painted; parts of it will have to be replaced.
> A weak addition on the rear
of the house must be torn off and re-built. We want to add an addition from this area.
> The roof should be replaced.
> The electric and HVAC must be modernized. The kitchen is very basic. We want a modern style kitchen, so that
is an issue that must be addressed.
> A lot of basic remodeling issues: plaster repair, new paint/wallpaper/flooring