My uncle George just bought an old, turn-of-the-century style house on a cash sale for dirt cheap.
He was the winning bidder at a foreclosure auction, snagging the three-story house for just ten thousand dollars.
Uncle George is a retired carpenter and a marine veteran. He’s tough as an ox and is in better shape at 75 than I am at 25. Sadly, his wife—my aunt Marie—died last year from cancer. Uncle George was so tore-up over losing his wife that he immediately sold their home in upstate New York and went on a year-long motorcycle road trip. I didn’t hear from him for months, and many in the family feared the worst. Thankfully, Uncle George came back to us at last. And with this house, it seems like he’s trying to move forward with his life again. As brilliant as he is with his hands though, the house is in total disrepair. Aside from the broken windows, damaged sub-flooring, and lack of insulation in every square inch of the building—the tricky part for us is figuring out how to heat and cool this monstrous beast. Even though a family lived here as recently as 15 years ago, there is no central air conditioner or furnace inside. The previous owners had a window air conditioner on the base floor and another in the master bedroom on the second floor. Uncle George is working on obtaining estimates for a large central heating and cooling system complete with ventilation in every room from the ground level to the top. Then, he plans to acquire comparison quotes for ductless options—most likely mini-splits throughout the different zones in the house. My guess is that the central HVAC system is probably his best bet, but we’ll have to wait and see what kind of quotes we get back from the suppliers.