After reading through a few of the comments we wanted to write one final note to everyone here on this thread.
Here is more background on our purchase:
We purchased this home with the intent of a major remodel, interior and exterior — updating the house and making it more contemporary. Historical restoration was never our intention. Our original plan was to use the existing foundation and frame, and maybe extend the patio more into the yard area. There are several other contemporary homes in the neighborhood that blend in beautifully. That's how we saw ourselves integrating into the neighborhood.
Going into the purchase we specifically checked to make sure that the home was not listed on the National Historic Registry, or the Portland Historic Registry, if listed, there are major restrictions on changes/additions. We’re not here to destroy a historically significant house. The word came back that it wasn’t on either list. If it had been on either official registry we would have stayed far far away ... end of story.
There is a 3rd list called the Portland Historic Resource Inventory List, this is a list of “potentially significant structures”, it was listed here, so we had an architect and contractor inspect our property, they assured us there is nothing historically significant, thus the reason it had never been added to the two lists above. This list is voluntary, so we simply asked to have our name removed.
After the inspections we were properly alerted to several areas that needed to be addressed. Electrical, plumbing, foundation/basement work, and asbestos. It was clear this was going to be a large project, but one we were willing to take on, as it was “an old house with good bones”. We then had four remodel options mocked up and had three contractors give estimates. The costs were higher than we anticipated, and we knew we could never recoup that kind of money on a 100 year-old house. We then explored new construction, as it was clear to us that the cost of repairs was outweighing the cost/benefit of building new.
We never intended to deceive anyone, as some of you have accused. We simply wanted to create a beautiful home for our family. So where do we stand? We’ve offered the house back to the original seller. We’ve encouraged him to take back the house, fix the asbestos and other issues, then resell it. If that doesn’t happen then we’re going to proceed forward with deconstructing and donate everything to charity so that it can be reused and live on.
Thanks for listening,
Kevin & Darya