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Free Historic Home !

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Fred
Fred Member Posts: 8,542
edited May 2019 in THE MAIN WALL
I'm working on finding a new owner for one of our Historic homes, formerly lived in by Ohio Governor James Cox
Check out the local Newspaper article:
https://www.dayton.com/lifestyles/historic-dayton-mansion-governor-james-cox-once-lived-free-good-home/ai42HhRDRRR13E8ElyblIN/
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  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,899
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    What kind of heat does it have?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
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  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
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    Steamhead said:

    What kind of heat does it have?

    Unfortunately the steam was removed at least 30 years ago. It has two antiquated FA furnaces now.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,784
    edited May 2019
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    > @Fred said:
    > What kind of heat does it have?
    >
    > Unfortunately the steam was removed at least 30 years ago. It has two antiquated FA furnaces now.

    Pass
    :p
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    ethicalpaulSuperTech
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
    edited May 2019
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    @ChrisJ , the price is right. Steam is an option! Some of us see things for what they can be, not what they are.
    egansen
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,784
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    > @Fred said:
    > @ChrisJ , the price is right. Steam is an option! Some of us see things for what they can be, not what they are.

    I don't know, 1905 is awfully new....
    That and the forced air kill it for me. The commute seems reasonable though.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
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    LOL
  • Leonard
    Leonard Member Posts: 903
    edited May 2019
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    Free house......... first thing I'm thinking is check real estate registry of deed house for liens/judgements. I learned a lot doing this before I bid on a bank foreclosure commercial property

    Possible there are more liens on property than it's fair market value ...... unpaid real estate tax liens, maybe IRS tax liens, contractor liens, court judgement lien against former/current owner. Also divorces , death of wife (probate court). Here property transferred by probate court is recorded in probate court , not real estate registry of deeds house.

    Check for heating oil contamination of soil too. Heard of cases of old large oil leaks several blocks away that have flowed down hill to a property further away.

    When you become owner of real estate you also become owner of ALL it's per-existing problems and debts.

    Have a PROs research the deed and ground water in area before accepting it.
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
    edited May 2019
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    @Leonard , No liens, clear deed. Property taxes are even current. Property never had oil went from coal to gas. I just sold a nearby property for a new super market. Phase I and II environmental tests completed and both came up clean. I'm sure this property is clean as well.
    The current owner bought it a couple years ago, He lives out of state, decided he could not manage or afford the work it needs and asked if I could find someone to take it.
    I live in the Historic District, maybe 300 ft from this house so I know the area well. I don't get involved in deals that aren't as they appear.
    ethicalpaulRich_49vaporvac
  • Leonard
    Leonard Member Posts: 903
    edited May 2019
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    I apologize, I didn't read post that carefully, thought you posted a newspaper artical you found.

    When I read FREE house my red flag went off, and I started typing.
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,646
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    I'd take it on if I were in the market. A dozen ornate radiators and a lot of pex and a mod-con would fill the heating needs. Updated electrical, modern heat, and more charm than one can muster!
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
    SuperTech
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 6,505
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    Unfortunately that house will need a village, or a wealthy benefactor. You’re easily looking at 750k and up to restore it back to its original glory.

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,646
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    That depends on how much you do yourself.
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
    Canucker
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
    edited May 2019
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    @STEVEusaPA , no where near that much. It is actually in better shape than mine was when I bought it and about 2/3's the size of my nearby home. I know what it takes. Determination and stamina, more than money.

    @Solid_Fuel_Man , Since this article was published, I now have a list of 54 candidates, many who live in other local historic Districts and are chomping at the bit to be the "One". I am planning a full walk through for them early the week, after next, affirm each one remains interested and then we (me and hopefully some of my neighbors) will start the screening process and select the lucky new homeowner.
  • Intplm.
    Intplm. Member Posts: 2,006
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    Sounds like a great project for the folks at "This Old House".
  • Erin Holohan Haskell
    Erin Holohan Haskell Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 2,326
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    @Fred, thanks for helping to preserve this beautiful historic property. If you find someone willing to restore it, can you share photos when it's done?

    President
    HeatingHelp.com

  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,742
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    The only problem I see with this deal is having to be Fred’s neighbor. ;)
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    Solid_Fuel_ManethicalpaulIntplm.vaporvac
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,784
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    KC_Jones said:

    The only problem I see with this deal is having to be Fred’s neighbor. ;)

    I didn't even think of that.
    That's a huge reason, along with the constant smell of cooking tar.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    vaporvac
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,646
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    Well you'd know what he'd bring over as a "house warming gift". Oh a blueberry pie? NO! A TAR pie!
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
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    @Erin Holohan Haskell , I will do that.
    @KC_Jones , there is a "cloud" with every silver lining!
    @ChrisJ and @Solid_Fuel_Man , GO AWAY! :D
    Erin Holohan HaskellSolid_Fuel_Manvaporvac
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,735
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    The owner didn't know he was buying a home in a historic district?? Is that even possible?
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 6,505
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    Fred said:

    @STEVEusaPA , no where near that much. It is actually in better shape than mine was when I bought it and about 2/3's the size of my nearby home. I know what it takes. Determination and stamina, more than money.

    Maybe for repairs, but not a historic restoration. This property is a huge money pit. Beautiful no doubt.
    Back in my 20's and early 30's I did my share of historic restoration in and around Philadelphia.
    For starters, removing and replacing all the cedar siding shakes is quite costly, and disposal because of lead based paint. Once you get the siding off, repairing structural rot. You're looking at 20K just to paint/stain the exterior.
    The roof is asphalt. Tearing that off down to the skip sheathing and re-shingling probably with cedar, and all copper flashing.
    You could drop 100K on the dilapidated garage alone, bringing that back to it's former glory.
    Rebuilding, not repairing the windows/sashes, etc

    Can't buy a lot of material and labor with determination and stamina, takes $$$.

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

  • Intplm.
    Intplm. Member Posts: 2,006
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    The owner didn't know he was buying a home in a historic district?? Is that even possible?

    A good realtor would be of some help there.

    It is possible in some circumstances @ethicalpaul. Houses in some neighborhoods are mixed in history in the century or time that they had been built.
    Zoning regulations can play a part in some areas of the country.

    There is also a National Registry of Historic Places that has a set guidelines that are followed.
    ethicalpaul
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,441
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    If the house is in a registered historic district -- or even better, on a State or the National registry itself -- there are both guidelines for what you can and cannot do, but also in many States there are grants available to help with some (or sometimes all) of the restoration costs (if the guidelines are followed!) or to provide tax abatements. Worth looking for.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Leonard
    Leonard Member Posts: 903
    edited May 2019
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    Thats the problem with being in a historic district....... Lot of rules that you have to keep house the same look even if it costs $$$$$$$$$$$$$

    Here near a brook is a house with a falling down old rotted shack ~ 15x 15 ft, maybe was a grain mill, in almost a swamp. Owner didn't want the shack. Town declared it Historic site. Leaking rotted roof ,so town made owner put a new roof it. Along comes a wind storm and whole rotted shack is now leaning , town trying to make owner fix the structure before it falls over. Too bad the wind wasn't stronger.

    Owner doesn't want the rotted shack, town is insisting he spend $$$$ to protect it. And pay extra real estate taxes on the shack

    Place is surrounded by gas stations,strip mall and super market.
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
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    The owner didn't know he was buying a home in a historic district?? Is that even possible?

    When you live out of state, yes, it's more than possible.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,441
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    Yes, sometimes designation as an historic property can be a nuisance to the property owner. Agreed. In fact, if a property owner wants to tear down an historic structure, it can be a real hindrance -- which, of course, is the whole idea. In the case of single properties, I feel that a purchaser of the property should be aware of the listed status, and adjust their expectations accordingly. Not all are, or do (this, of course, applies to many other kinds of easements as well!). In the case of an historic district, however, there is usually a board involved -- and these can be either good and helpful or, frankly, flown with power and a real hazard (just like any homeowner's association in that regard).

    The factor of cost is often raised, but my experience in maintaining historic properties is that the cost of correctly maintaining a property is only rarely significantly greater than the cost of doing a repair which does not respect the property. Almost always the problem isn't the cost -- it's simply that the property owner doesn't want to do it that way.

    An historic property in an area which is changing character -- such as a residence in a district which is transitioning to commercial, or which is gentrifying, or an older, often smaller house in an area which is being developed to McMansions, is under particular threat, since the potential offering price for a teardown and future development is often very attractive indeed.

    You also mention real estate taxes. In principle, these are usually based on "fair market value", which should take into account historic listing (or other easements) but which very rarely do. Instead, despite pious ramblings about preserving heritage (or, more often and worse, open space or agricultural use), the assessment is based on value as a development property -- which can, in some cases, be an order of magnitude or more higher than the actual value of the property. Don't get me going on that...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    Solid_Fuel_ManSuperTech
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
    edited May 2019
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    A lot of discussion on the topic of Historic designations here today and I have to say, I got some excellent news this morning on a very large urban parcel I have been trying to acquire so I can't think of anything, shy of death that will bring me down today. Tomorrow may be another story??
    I want to make a few, very basic points:
    - Here in Dayton, we have 64 planning neighborhoods, 14 of which have historic overlays and have both local and National Registry designations. That's almost 25% of our neighborhoods.
    - I have lived in one of our Historic Districts for almost 30 years now and in a 110+ year old home for the last 50 years of my life. Wouldn't have it any other way.
    - I have been on the City's Landmarks Commission for about 25 years and Chair of it for the last 6 or 7 years.
    - Historic designations do have restrictions on what and how restorations/renovations can be done. While people gripe about it, there is a huge population of preservationist out there who really care and, at the end of the day do what it takes to save a piece of our architectural, construction and design history.
    - I can't speak for every city but for us, homes inside these Districts appraise and sell for about 25% more than a comparable home outside the District. There is a huge demand for these properties and we all know the principles of Supply and Demand.
    - In my life, I have restored 20+ Historic homes. People can say whatever they want about the cost of renovation/restoration but I agree whole heartedly with what @Jamie Hall said, in his post. Typically the cost to repair a historic home is no greater than any other and when your done, if it is your cup of tea, you have something worth owning and that will continue to outlive any new structure with new growth sticks.
    - There are those who say they are money pits. They require the same attention any home requires. Slack off on the maintenance and any home becomes a money pit.
    - There are those who suggest you need to take all the siding/cedar shakes/whatever off of a structure to call it a restoration. Not so. As a matter of fact the SHPO (State Historic Preservation Office) recommends not taking that approach. It is essentially an organized demolition. Insulation and rot can be added/corrected in other ways. In most cases, maybe 10% to 20% actually needs replacement. Why tear off 100%. Does it make you feel like you accomplished something better?
    - I'm not a wealthy man but I can tell you what little money I have or have had is better spent on one of these antique homes than it is in a bar or on some video game or other recreational nonsense and the return is far greater, both financially and in ones own sense of accomplishment. I have turned a profit on every one I have sold and I have also completed several for family members, all of which still live in them 20 years after the restoration. If I had another family member interested, I would not hesitate to take this Cox Mansion on, even at my age.
    - Not everything is for everybody and that's fine but when something works, financially, ecologically and socially, its probably a better option than most other vices.

    Now, I am going to be "Happy" some B) more.
    Oh, and BTW, Stamina and Determination are the greater part of a successful restoration!
    -
    ethicalpaulSeanBeans
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,899
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    You mean "hysterically", right? A hack job like that does not deserve any protection.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,441
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    Well that's a mess. It may be old -- even to the strapped asbestos on the "header"! -- but that doesn't mean it's protected. For the record, upgrading utilities or replacing failed utilities is always permitted, providing only that the character is not altered (for instance: you can't replace steam heat with forced air in a listed structure -- you can add forced air, if it's very very discreet such as high velocity systems -- but you can't take the radiators out)
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
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    All,
    Just a brief update. After we advertised this property, free to the right preservation minded owner, we had 67 interested parties apply to take on the challenge. Of those 67 interested parties, 30 showed up for the walk through and 12 left still interested in tackling the restoration. We then followed up with a request for additional personal and financial information to ensure we were selecting a new owner who could and would follow through. As of this morning, and after a complete title search, we actually closed on the property this morning and the new owner is anxious to begin work! I will post pictures as that work progresses.
    ethicalpaulratioSolid_Fuel_Man
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,441
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    Hooray! Good for you!
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 6,505
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    Good luck to them! Hopefully they will take lots of pictures and show their progress.

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

  • Erin Holohan Haskell
    Erin Holohan Haskell Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 2,326
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    Wonderful news! Can't wait to hear more.

    President
    HeatingHelp.com

  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,646
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    Maybe some period correct radiation will be put back in?

    Nice work @Fred

    Any tar around?
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
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    Good luck to them! Hopefully they will take lots of pictures and show their progress.

    They will and I will post a few as they progress. They actually started clearing the house out after closing today.

    Wonderful news! Can't wait to hear more.

    I'll update soon.


    Maybe some period correct radiation will be put back in?



    Nice work @Fred



    Any tar around?

    I doubt that there will be any radiation. It looks like the house started out with gravity hot air. Unfortunately no
    fresh" tar to snack on >:)

    Erin Holohan HaskellSolid_Fuel_Man
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,441
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    Ductwork still in place and repairable? Does your climate lend itself to heat pumps?
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
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    Ductwork still in place and repairable? Does your climate lend itself to heat pumps?

    Ductwork is there. It has been replaced, probably when the newer furnaces were installed. They are about 30 years old and will be replaced with this restoration, I'm sure they will include central air. The old gravity furnace was replaced with two smaller forced air furnaces, side by side. One does first floor the other does second floor. I suspect the original ducts remain in the walls and just the exposed basement ductwork was replaced. The only way I know the original system was gravity is because each room still has the original registers, all in the walls, a few in the floor on the first floor. Some are in the wainscoting and trimmed out like the other ornate trim in those rooms. We do have some heat pumps in the area but they are not that popular here in Ohio. I believe our design day is 0 but we do get maybe ten days or so at subzero. -15 would be about the worst.
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
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  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,441
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    The thing about older gravity hot air systems is that the duct work is -- relatively speaking -- huge. This allows for very low velocity and, as a result, very quiet and draught free operation. One does need to take some care to silence the blower itself, but that's feasible.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England