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Old 06-27-2011, 10:02 PM
 
Location: Boston Suburb
1,984 posts, read 4,441,128 times
Reputation: 1392

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I found another house that I'm seriously considering putting an offer on. I'm attaching pics and hoping to get some input from you guys here.

It's a newer house (built in 1997) and in good condition, which is a rare thing in my area (Boston Suburbs). The downside is that it's built on a hill with the backside of the house against the hill (see pics). However, the backside has nice stonework to make the most use out of it.

I don't mind not having a level yard and having to deal with the stairs whenever I get in/out of the house. Iit'll be annoying but I can get use to it. The thing I worry about is potential water issue with rain running down that slope towards the back of the house.

Is this a valid concern? We had lots of snow this past winter and lots of rain this spring and recently. Would it be safe to say if there's damage or problems due to this issue, the problems should be obvious now that the house is 14 yrs old?
Attached Thumbnails
House on a Hill... Good idea?-hillside.jpg   House on a Hill... Good idea?-hillside2.jpg   House on a Hill... Good idea?-house-front.jpg  
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Old 06-27-2011, 10:05 PM
 
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I'd buy it!!!! If you're worried knock on the neighbors doors, and ask them.
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Old 06-27-2011, 10:31 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
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I can see it being a royal PITA having to shovel out the gap between house and cliff after every snowstorm. A blowing snow could cause drifts six or seven feet high back there.
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Old 06-27-2011, 10:39 PM
 
Location: Boston Suburb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
I can see it being a royal PITA having to shovel out the gap between house and cliff after every snowstorm. A blowing snow could cause drifts six or seven feet high back there.
At the place I currently rent which is on a relatively level lot, we never shovel around the house and the snow just piles up and melts naturally. There hasn't been any problems and we had tons of snow this winter. With the slope here, I wonder if the melting snow will run into the foundation causing problems (wetness in basement), or whether the flat area is enough of a buffer to let the water find the easiest way down (which would be around the sides of the house).

BTW, the back side of the house is south facing. So I'd think most of the snow should melt pretty much naturally between the house and cliff.

Last edited by mmyk72; 06-27-2011 at 11:37 PM..
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Old 06-28-2011, 07:36 AM
 
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Imagine lugging 10 bags+ of groceries up all those stairs from the garage or the driveway. Imagine lugging 3 kids and all their STUFF up all those stairs. Imagine Grandma with the bad hip getting into your house up all those stairs. Nope, wouldn't buy that house, let alone the run off of the water from the snow melt into your basement with the hill, rock and patio--all hard surfaces with no place for the water to go. Nope, not in this lifetime.
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Old 06-28-2011, 07:37 AM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
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If you have kids you want a flat street. Kids have a hard time playing with other kids on hilly streets. Harder to skate, harder to play basketball or baseball, etc.
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Old 06-28-2011, 09:30 AM
 
Location: Boston Suburb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
Imagine lugging 10 bags+ of groceries up all those stairs from the garage or the driveway. Imagine lugging 3 kids and all their STUFF up all those stairs. Imagine Grandma with the bad hip getting into your house up all those stairs. Nope, wouldn't buy that house, let alone the run off of the water from the snow melt into your basement with the hill, rock and patio--all hard surfaces with no place for the water to go. Nope, not in this lifetime.
Yeah, all the inconveniences are my concern too. But I was thinking it's no different that living on the 2nd floor of a 2 family apt/condo, which would be my next option. I'm currently living on the 1st fl and swear will never do that again.... I can hear people thumping on the ceiling all the time.
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Old 06-28-2011, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
15,408 posts, read 46,475,246 times
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I know the place looks like heaven compared to where you might be now, but you need to look with a cold critical eye, as if YOU were trying to sell it and disguise the bad points. My guess is that it is two stories over a garage and giant boulder in under the house part. If that is the case, it would be a year of your playing "Cool Hand Luke" if you needed more space. Stairs are, IMO, a big detriment in a house. Everything is on the wrong level. Bedrooms upstairs, laundry on the bottom level, and so on. To be blunt, it also has the eye appeal of two refrigerator boxes stacked one on the other. The outside front stairs are a liability. Too many, too high, that style for keeping people out is second only to a moat. The front door is functionally useless and there is no lower story entrance other than the garage.

I can just about bet what happened. A builder found a cheap lot, didn't have the money or permits for blasting or rock removal, took a standard two story cookie cutter cheapie house plan, stuck it on a half basement, built it, slapped on vinyl and called it a day.

I know Boston is a tight market, but if this home was in another location it would sit for months and sell for well under $200K.
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Old 06-28-2011, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
1,123 posts, read 5,321,347 times
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I would be curious what happens back there during a heavy rain...I could imagine it cascading down those rocks and pooling on that patio up against the house. Could cause major issues. Also, for me, I would get sort of depressed looking out at a big gray rock wall all the time...even when I'm outside.
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Old 06-28-2011, 10:33 AM
 
Location: Boston Suburb
1,984 posts, read 4,441,128 times
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Thanks for you feedback. In the past, I actually had the exact same thoughts.... believe it or not, after a lot of failed attempts at buying something over 2+ yrs, I've lowered my 'pickiness'.

There were 2 other houses in that neighborhood with exactly the same features (back to a hill) that just sold. One closed at full asking price, the other went under contract within 2 wks. That's why I went from.... "there's no way in xxx I'll buy that" to..... Well, it's tolerable and the house itself is better than a old and ugly one that needs an extreme makeover which is common around here.
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