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Hot Rods Considering living in an old service station....

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by BigO, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. kursplat
    Joined: Apr 22, 2013
    Posts: 290


    i keep looking at old fire stations. already have living quarters and a drive through garage
    Unkl Ian likes this.
  2. The temp range around here is 98 for high and 28 for low through ou
    Thanks, that's another thing I need to keep in mind.
  3. That's kind of what I'm hoping for, just something small outside of town. Thanks
  4. Not a problem, just open a window. :D
    dana barlow likes this.
  5. Sound like a great idea, be fun to organize the shop and living space! If you decide to buy the property, cover yourself legally concerning buried tanks and EPA cleanup! This could be a really great place to live.
  6. partssaloon
    Joined: Jan 28, 2009
    Posts: 455


    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
    BigO likes this.
  7. Metaltwister
    Joined: Jul 10, 2007
    Posts: 891


    That would be a close second to the smell of coffee in the morning!
  8. R A Wrench
    Joined: Feb 4, 2007
    Posts: 457

    R A Wrench
    from Denver, Co

    Some years back, a friend in No.Dakota bought a nursery. (trees, plants, etc) Had to get the ok from the city and converted it into a one bedroom apt and a LARGE garage. Had two alignment racks & a ton of room. In the apartment he combined the two rest rooms into one bathroom, the main office became the bedroom. The front showroom was a roomy living room/kitchen. Oh yeah, he was & is still single.
    BigO likes this.
  9. Another thing to consider even if the old station has a clean bill of health, the building itself may have a lot of accumulated hazards from fumes and other car related stuff.
    I have a buddy who grew up in family owned service station and he's got all kinds of health problems. Another guy I knew lived in the garage of his house as a teenager. He had issues too.
    It may speed up God's decision to knock on your door.
    rjones35, H380 and BigO like this.
  10. 5window
    Joined: Jan 29, 2005
    Posts: 7,609


    Absolutely. It would take a lot of clean-up to be secure-brake dust/asbestos paint/petroleum distillates. Add to the fact that you as the current owner are likely responsible for whatever contamination is on the property and it could be dicey. Old fuel, leaking into the groundwater, is your responsibility, even if it wasn't your fault. Add on zoning and it might be cheaper to start anew and build it to look old.
  11. rjones35
    Joined: May 12, 2008
    Posts: 865


    Go for it!! An old fire station would be cool too!!
    BigO likes this.
  12. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 6,876

    Bandit Billy

    You paying cash for it? Cuz you aint financing it with a mortgage. Major issues are;
    Under ground tanks, not allowed by FNMA/FHLMC, FHA/VA/USDA unless they are slurried and the dirt around them tested for seepage.
    Zoning is next. You cant mortgage a property on a commercial lot without a letter from the municipality that assures that in the case of 100% destruction by fire or other means, that the building can be re-built as a residence.
    CCRs: Codes, covenants and restrictions. Neighbor hood rules that establish rules that require conformity so as to protect home values.
    Highest and Best use: Even with the rebuild letter if the appraiser notes, even if it is a residence currently, that the highest and best use of the property is commercial then no mortgage.
    Conventionality: You cant mortgage a one bedroom house for example. A one bed room condo may be possible if there are comps. You cant mortgage "unique properties" like log homes, geodesic homes, berm houses (built into a hill) , a shop with an apartment above it, or a house that looks like a service station unless there are like comps and that is typically a deal killer.
    Appraisal Comps: assuming you made it through the other conditions, you can only mortgage a property if there are like comps. Comps (comparables) are at least 6 homes in the immediate are with similar features, square footage, lot dimensions, zoning, room count, etc. 3 have to be recent closed sales, 2 pending sales, 1 listing. This won't happen on a gas station turned residence sadly or a residence that looks like a gas station that lacks 3 bedrooms and 2 baths, closets, conventional kitchen, etc.

    I hate to be a buzz kill but 28 years of mortgage lending gives me a unique view of real estate. Even if you pay cash for it, remember when you sell it you will have to find another cash buyer.
    47ragtop and Chrisbcritter like this.
  13. SR100
    Joined: Nov 26, 2013
    Posts: 828


    Three things come to mind (beyond the good advice above):
    Environmental regs are a moving target. It used to be that you could simply fill the old underground tanks with sand and be compliant. Now, as mentioned above, full remediation is mandatory, at the owner's expense.
    If the building is considered 'historic' you may be limited in the changes that you make. Converting one of the restrooms (and giving them inside access) may not be allowed. If you are renting, how much are you willing to pay to make the place livable?
    Live too cool of a life and you might not be single anymore...
    BigO likes this.
  14. Damn right, nothing like the smell of coffee and exhaust fumes in the morning.;)
    OahuEli likes this.
  15. Info like this is why I asked, you and others have no personal involvement with this and will tell it to me straight, I'm so glad I decided to ask you guys before getting to far into this . A lot to think about, but now I won't jump in head first because it might look like a cool place, thanks again.
    Bandit Billy likes this.
  16. blvdbill
    Joined: Feb 2, 2010
    Posts: 337

    from California

    Just do it .Bad ass
    BigO likes this.
  17. exterminator
    Joined: Apr 21, 2006
    Posts: 1,513


    An of fire station sounds better and better.Extreme homes on HGTV years ago had a episode of a old firehouse converted to a home.
    Unkl Ian likes this.
  18. There was a really nice one (firehouse) for sale in Wilmington, NC when I lived there in the 80's but had no interest at the time, just loved it because it was cool.
    chevy57dude likes this.
  19. H380
    Joined: Sep 20, 2015
    Posts: 445

    from Louisiana

    Underground tanks. Around 2002 in Huston, TX at least. To install a tank underground took $25K bond per tank in the ground. After all the inspections and site surveys. The state keeps the $25K until you remove the tanks to the EPAs satisfaction. If OKed you get your bond back. The money is supposed to cover dead beats abandoning the tanks and a mess for the next guy or the state.

    So if you suspect tanks in the ground contact the right people. The state may just pull them out for free.
    BigO likes this.
  20. trollst
    Joined: Jan 27, 2012
    Posts: 1,789


    Got a friend who owns a warehouse in a warehouse complex, he "stores" his travel trailer in there, goes south for the winter and "stores" his trailer in the warehouse the rest of the year. Builds cars beside his trailer, uses the built in bathroom, every warehouse has one, pretty smart guy. Warehouse space is way cheaper than residential property, he's been inspected, but because the trailer is in storage, the door is closed and nobody is the wiser.
    There's always a way.
    exterminator likes this.
  21. chevy57dude
    Joined: Dec 10, 2007
    Posts: 5,781


    Moving into such a place would elevate you to hero status in some circles.
    How about a few pics to inspire?
    47ragtop, dana barlow, BigO and 6 others like this.
  22. chevy57dude
    Joined: Dec 10, 2007
    Posts: 5,781


  23. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,263

    Atwater Mike

    Can't do that in California... HAH!
    1976...Ol' partner Gary and I found a building in Campbell, Ca., the old 'Industrial' part of San Jose, 2 miles out of S.J. City limits...there were machine shops on our street, it was good. Wife had left, I was 'free'.
    Well, things 'progressed', Gary didn't work out well, so I seized the opportunity to rent a 50' X 50' half a corrugated building for all my car stuff. The situation was unique: Building was one of 4 in a row, on a private 'street'...(2 lane 'driveway') with a railroad spur. (this was a live center for dry goods in WWll) It was NOT available, but the lessor was a friend; he was on a 30 year lease (gov't) with the agreement that, in case of another war, the buildings would be handed over to the Military. (real cheap rent)
    I moved in, and there was an inner building formerly used for storage of oxygen tanks (!) Nice, stud construction with 3/4" sheet rock in and out. I converted it to my office, (15' X 18') nice professional door.
    Then I added the second story. Superb 'bachelor suite', shower/bath downstairs. I did add a brass pole from the ceiling of the bedroom to the floor of the office downstairs.
    Trap door in ceiling, it was functional. Took it down after beautiful young fiancee' moved in.
    Heaven? Close to it...
    We finally moved, 6 years was almost enough.
    Hot rods, control line model airplanes, the pie!
    But daytime, the Porsches, BMWs, and Ferraris...
    Most were a breeze, but there were 'some customers'...and that WAS enough.

    Now, we live happily ever after in a 3 bedroom house, 2.5 car garage, and a 25' X 25' shop with dogs, hot rods, and a cat named Murphy.
    We both miss the shop...
    El Camino Kid and BigO like this.
  24. upload_2018-7-11_17-41-4.jpeg

    This is the first one I thought of. It's in Williams, Az. The original office seems to be off limits, and I believe he stays there part of the year. The middle bay is the museum stuff, and the far pay is where he sells the tourist-y items.
    The guys said in the summer season, it's standing room only in there. I think he said he goes down near where I am when it gets too cold. I'm sure the Rte 66 town folk are thrilled to have him there.
    In my first post, I was saying that this kind of stuff is more likely to work in the SW..specifically the "red" state of Az. Without getting too political here, I see the big time zoning and gov't regs more prevalent in the coastal "blue" states.. That includes helmet laws too. Check the map.
    28rp, dana barlow, BigO and 3 others like this.
  25. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 13,785

    from oregon

    An extra benefit would be not having to put the toilet seat down!
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  26. Denny, If you saw the tourists that come through Williams, from all over the world...I'd be like Yes, dear whatever you like , honey.
  27. I would consider a old fire station to.
    BigO likes this.
  28. bigdog
    Joined: Oct 30, 2002
    Posts: 564


    I'd do it in a minute. For years I've said if I if I relocate I'd build a big shop with a small living space at one end. Old gas station would be way cooler.
  29. williebill
    Joined: Mar 1, 2004
    Posts: 2,607


    Hmmmmmm .... G/F left my house pissed off 10 days ago, haven't heard from her since, beat cancer this year, thinking about retiring, think it's time to look at commercial property. I really like the firehouse idea.
    BigO likes this.
  30. 55Deso
    Joined: Nov 7, 2015
    Posts: 244

    from Wyoming

    My kid sister lives in Wilmington, gonna have to go visit one of these days.

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