5 weeks had passed since we made our offer on the property, and it was accepted. We met the Realtors, signed the paperwork, and the property magically transferred to us. We wanted to walk the property and start getting ideas of how we would work the land. Upon arrival, we were shocked to find the entire property completely overgrown. Some of it was covered with vegetation over 7' tall! There were areas we couldn't even access because the vegetation was so tall and thick.
We Were Overwhelmed
The problems associated with this jungle of growth became quickly apparent. We had a riding lawn mower we had purchased 5 years previous in preparation for owning land. We didn't expect to ever get this much property, though. And we really had no plan at this point of how to deal with the vegetation issue. Our Craftsman riding lawn mower would not even begin to mow down the overgrowth.
Our Mower Was Insufficient
A week later, we returned to the property with a load of tools. We brought the Craftsman to try and mow what we could. The only parts of the property the mower would work for were just alongside the driveway and the immediate area surrounding the house. Our mower was simply insufficient for the task at hand. Something else would have to be used to get the vegetation under control.
House Needs Some Work
The roof of the house had 3 shingle overlays on it which had to be replaced by the seller according to our sales contract. It had been replaced the week before and looked great. Raccoons had broken in the attic sometime during previous years of the house being abandoned, and I would have to repair the holes in the gable. A professional pest control company worked for almost a week to vacuum out the attic, disinfect it, and re-insulate it. Once finished, our attic space and roof were completely new at this point.
The old federal electrical panel was in bad shape. That company lost its UL license because of its panels catching on fire. It would have to be replaced. The electrical feed to the house from the meter was only 65 amps. Because the house had been converted to all electrical in the distant past, the amperage was barely enough to power the house. When the A/C came on all the electrical would surge until it stabilized. The house needed a complete electrical circuit upgrade to power all of the appliances a modern house needed.
The Main Issues
The roof and raccoon damage were the main issues. The electrical was a major issue that I would have to resolve. Outside of that, the other issues were really just cosmetic upgrades we wanted to do. The water heater needed to be replaced, but the plumbing was fine. We wanted to install new flooring, remodel the kitchen and baths, and replace the garage doors. These were tasks that would take place over the next 6 months to a year.