Every one needs to buy and restore a home built in 1865 at least ONCE!
In the mid '70's we had been transferred from Nashville to Charlotte N.C. Not wanting to live in Charlotte, we looked at all of the little towns close by for a home. After an exhaustive search, with various real estate agents we were about to give up. The evening before we were to fly back to Nashville, we were driving around the little town of Mt. Holly, and Bam, there it was! We called the listing agent the next morning and found out the home was being sold by the relatives of the original owner, and very little had been changed since it was built! We met him at the house about noon.
The place was single story and huge. The central hallway was 18' X 50', looked like a bowling alley.
The bathrooms and kitchen were added in the '30's, after the detached kitchen caught on fire and burned up not only the kitchen, but the smoke house and outhouse as well. Every room had a fireplace with an attached woodbox closet. The porch went around two sides of the house. The place had good bones, but the 50 year old paint job on the whole outside, was a little faded or missing! The owner was with the agent and gave us the history of the house. The place was at a give away price so we bought it!! The movers saw what we left in Nashville and couldn't believe what they were moving us into! It was rough, but all I could see was dollar signs after we would eventually fix it up. The neighbors were very supportive of our efforts in fixing up the neighborhood eye sore. The well over 60 gallons of exterior paint made it go from "Faded Glory" to a show stopper! The 1920's wiring blew fuses on a regular basis, and the plumbing was unreliable at best. We were there for two years when we were transferred back to Nashville! When we put it on the market we got lucky in that the folks that bought it had just finished restoring an old home in N.Y. state and understood the work that yet had to be done on the house. We made a huge profit on the home, despite the money pit it turned out to be. I had the opportunity to go back to Charlotte on business a few years later and made a point to see the old house. The people had done a fantastic job on it!
Every one who gets inspiration from the TV show "This Old House", needs to think again! It was fun once, but never again!!!