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This house is in an Ohio/Pennsylvania border town (frontier enough for you?). It's about 3,200 square feet - but if you include the third story and basement, it's closer to 4,500.

 

Obviously, this home - built in 1892 - needs a lot of TLC, inside and out. The kitchen is a heinous 1970s disaster - cheap pressureboard cabinets and a dark hunter green Formica countertop. The cabinets appear to be coming off the walls (which is what you get when you use cheap things) and the fridge, smaller than an apartment fridge, is for some reason covered in rust. Obviously, the kitchen is not original!

 

There's only one tiny bathroom that's upstairs, with barely enough room between the sink and tub to get to the toilet. Not good for older folks.

 

Honest to goodness, if HGTV or something would help us out with some of the things that need to be reworked - the kitchen, adding a bathroom downstairs, anything - I wouldn't be so hesitant. But I figure (conservatively) that bringing the home up to standard - it needs new windows and electric, too - would cost about $70,000, at a bare minimum. And we're talking IKEA kitchen. ;)

 

Other than that, and some general cosmetic and exterior work (check out the mostly slate roof), it's a gorgeous house. Six fireplaces, a basement big enough not to just stand up in (apparently a rarity in this part of the country) but to put a four lane bowling alley in and still have room for a laundry, large pantry, and walk-out basement studio. The yard is gigantic - we could easily have a couple of large dogs - and I'd finally be able to have a real garden (Veggies! Herbs! Flowers! Fruits!).

 

In my native Michigan, this house - even needing some TLC and in a state with a strangled economy - would go for about $350,000 - $400,000; it's not even close to that here.

 

My husband really, really wants to buy this home, but it's about an hour away from Pittsburgh and any city of importance (read: no grocery stores, no pharmacies, although there IS a Dairy Queen). I love the countryside, but there isn't even a gas station for about fifteen miles. Worse, it's a really quiet neighborhood with no people, and I need people around just to have the knowledge they're about should I need help or want to invite someone over for lunch, or to chat to as I walk the dog. The town - what's left of it - is pretty dead, and one of the town's two churches is actually for sale.

 

I have to say, I liked Queen Anne-style homes when I was a teenager, but now I'm more of a Craftsman kind of girl, although my affection for English manor-style homes has never died.

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Taken on March 25, 2007