Social Question

Dutchess_III's avatar

Would you help me figure out what happened to my old house?

Asked by Dutchess_III (36041points) 3 weeks ago

The kids were brought home to 2722 Esthner, Wichita, Kansas after they were born, and spent over half of their childhoods there. It was built in 1979, we bought in 1983. I sold it in 1995.
My daughter drove by today…and it’s gone. The houses on either side are still there, the garage and driveway are still there but the house is gone. She said it’s just pristine lawn now. It had a basement which my ex and I had finished.
So many memories in that house. It’s really sad. I’ve been trying to find out what happened. Was it fire? Mold? I’m not finding anything.

As an aside, the house we moved into when we first moved to town, in 1995, was condemned last year and razed to the ground. It had so very many memories too. I’m feeling paranoid… :/

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

39 Answers

Muad_Dib's avatar

puts on research hat

I’m on it. Gimme a few. _

Muad_Dib's avatar

Oh wait, that’s the house across the street.
There is an empty lot across from that house. So it happened (whatever it was) before 2015.

Still on it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yes.
I did a small search but to be honest Im beat right now.

Muad_Dib's avatar

That address now belongs to that building across the street from the house I showed. There should be some public records. Still on it.

Muad_Dib's avatar

Wait – I was wrong. I just typed in the wrong number. OK, so that house, whatever happened to it, happened after September of 2015. Still looking.

Dutchess_III's avatar

You are awesome. I sent you s sad text.

Dutchess_III's avatar

The buildings across the street were part of a small industrial park. Big empty field behind it. The kids played in that field and learned how to ride bikes in the parking lot. I used to play tennis by myself against the wall.

Muad_Dib's avatar

Looks like the house might have been forclosed on. The listed owner is Fannie May, and they pulled a permit for a demolition on 8/15/16.

The house was worth $53,000 at the time – probably planning on auctioning it off/selling it as a fresh lot ready for a new up-to-date home, rather than trying to sell a 40 year old house for $75K+

link

Dutchess_III's avatar

I saw where it had gone into foreclosure.

$53,000 sounds about right for that area. I’m wodering if theyre even allowed by code to build there. Pretty sure the original developer was a shady snake in the grass.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’ll see what info I can get from FM.

Muad_Dib's avatar

$53K is the taxable value of the home, but not the market value.

Wow, they mowed the house down within a month of taking ownership.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Youd think that in 2 years they would put something if they were going to rebuild. I don’t think they can.

Muad_Dib's avatar

Well, it hasn’t been purchased by anyone yet. Fannie May isn’t going to just build a house for the shiggles and hope it sells.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I see. But no For Sale sign?

Dutchess_III's avatar

We paid $45 in 83. Dummy us.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I bet theyre just waitng to take the other properties and put up industrial building’s. You can’t have basements in that area.

Muad_Dib's avatar

It’s not listed on Homepath, which is the website for buying Fannie Mae owned properties. So I did some more digging and it looks like they don’t normally buy houses that aren’t structurally sound, and they don’t give mortgages on vacant lots.

I may ping my bestie’s mom (she’s been a realtor for over 30 years) and see whether she knows what they might be up to.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Awesome.

Pretty sure it was mold. Pretty sure all the houses fight it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

OK, back to my desktop for a second. The housing development was built in 1979. Some one who knew the area before then said it was really low lying. They called it a “swamp.” So this developer comes in, throws who knows what shit in to build the ground up and throws up about 50 houses, all 800 square feet. They all had basements. Pretty sure the logic was that anyone who bought it would reason that they could create a 1600 sq foot home by finishing the basement.
But then the laws change in about 1987, and you couldn’t count a basement as living area unless you had walk out windows. (6 children perished in a house fire the year before, all trapped in the basement.) Of course, our windows in our house weren’t walk out.
Our basement flooded a few times, and we had mold. I cleaned it up when it appeared, but we didn’t know then how damn dangerous the stuff is.
If someone lets it get bad enough, they will condemn a house.

So I’m pretty sure it isn’t cleared for residential building anymore. An industrial park is probably OK, I guessing.

God, that was a bad move. We could have done so much better than that. I wonder why the hell we didn’t? Why didn’t we move to the town I grew up in which is a bedroom community for Boeing? And my husband worked at Boeing! Why did we land in Wichita?? Just stupid. No one to advise us. At least, no one did.

SNL’s on, gotta go!!!

Dutchess_III's avatar

It was fun when it rained! Kids would swim in the street! I have a picture of it somewhere.

Muad_Dib's avatar

That’s always fun!

JLeslie's avatar

There should be information on what the land is currently zoned for. Not that it can’t change.

Do houses always have basements there? Or, can you build without a basement and just one underground small spot for a tornado shelter. That’s what I had in TN, that house was actually a slab foundation, but you can do it with other foundations too I would think.

Muad_Dib's avatar

It’s zoned residential. The land is just in a Twilight zone where it’s owned by Fannie may but doesn’t have a house on it, and Fannie may doesn’t sell empty land. Bureaucracy.

zenvelo's avatar

Wow, @Dutchess_III and @Muad_Dib nice investigation!

Dutchess_III's avatar

It’s @Muad_Dib @zenvelo. She’s a freakin’ genius! Something special, for sure.

@JLeslie I will copy and paste the response above that answers your question. Trust me. We in Kansas know all about hidy holes, but they are a recently new development. They weren’t well known in 1979, if they were even available. Tornadoes are not the main reason basements were included in the development anyway:
The housing development was built in 1979. Some one who knew the area before then said it was really low lying. They called it a “swamp.” So this developer comes in, throws who knows what shit in to build the ground up and throws up about 50 houses, all 800 square feet. They all had basements. Pretty sure the logic was that anyone who bought it would reason that they could create a 1600 sq foot home by finishing the basement.
But then the laws change in about 1987, and you couldn’t count a basement as living area unless you had walk out windows. (6 children perished in a house fire the year before, all trapped in the basement.) Of course, our [basement] windows in our house weren’t walk out.
Our basement flooded a few times, and we had mold. I cleaned it up when it appeared, but we didn’t know then how damn dangerous the stuff is.
If someone lets it get bad enough, they will condemn a house.
So I’m pretty sure it isn’t cleared for residential building anymore. An industrial park is probably OK, I’m guessing.

JLeslie's avatar

I read that already. I’m just asking if a new house is built, can’t they not do a basement and still have tornado protection. Since you brought up the water problem. Although, basements are also built better now too. You now have answered that question by referring to hidy holes. Most states that I know of the basement doesn’t count as living space if there is no ingress/egress to the outside from the basement.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yes. Of course they can.
From my post above.
But then the laws change in about 1987, and you couldn’t count a basement as living area unless you had walk out windows. (6 children perished in a house fire the year before, all trapped in the basement.)

JLeslie's avatar

I read all of that. You’re repeating yourself. I just didn’t know if they were doing those little shelters in that state. These sort of things tend to trend in various regions. In Ohio almost every house we looked at had a basement, and bunches of them had water concerns. It was annoying for me coming from states that either didn’t do basements, or did them, but didn’t usually have bug problems with them. I couldn’t understand why they kept building houses with basements that had problems. In TN I had the only house of all of the people I knew that had a tornado shelter, but mine was built by a guy from Oklahoma. Most people in Memphis had no basement and no shelter even though every spring there are always several tornado warnings.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yes. Those shelters are offered in Kansas today. They weren’t in the 70s and 80s.

They build houses with basements in areas that shouldn’t have basements because developers can be greedy scam artists, as the person who built the development we lived in was.
Tornadoes were not the main reason for him building basements in those homes. He couldn’t have given a rat’s ass about safety.

JLeslie's avatar

It’s the same in most places, basements are a cheap way I guess to add square footage.

I grew up with a walk out basement. That’s probably really really cheap to put in, because the alternative is to have a crawl space when a house is built on a hill. It was a townhouse actually in my case.

Muad_Dib's avatar

Well, it doesn’t allow square footage for terms of legal living space, but yeah, people tend to like basements.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I think zoning laws are more strictly enforced than they were in the 70s. No way in hell should houses with basements been approved in that area. Probably shouldn’t have been zoned for residential at all. As I said, I bet they’re just waiting for the rest to fall so they can put an industrial park in to match the one across the street.

I grew up in a quad-level house. The third floor was partially sunken and you could walk out. You could not walk out of the actual basement.

We like basements for a LOT of reasons! A lot of it is for storage space. I have a dirt cellar. There is a lot of shit down there that we don’t care about. I’d hit it in a heartbeat if there was a tornado though. In 20 years here I’ve only gone down for that reason twice.

My son has the BEST BASEMENT EVER!. It stays the same temp down there year around. It’s really nice and cool in the summer. Another reason we like basements.
When his house was built in 1981 the basement could be counted as living space if it was finished. Obviously it can’t be counted as living space now because the laws regarding access changed in the late 80s. It was a nice surprise for not being counted as living space! It is SO comfortable.

JLeslie's avatar

Another thing that bugged me was a lot of basements were only 8 ft ceilings when the rest of the house had ten foot ceilings. I think if they want the basement to not feel like an afterthought go for broke and dig an extra foot. I don’t mind an 8 foot ceiling when it makes sense, but in a place with very little light coming, in a big house, with high ceiling otherwise, I don’t like it.

Basements are good for saving on heat and air if you live down there.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@JLeslie The ceilings now have to be a minimum of 10 feet to be counted as living space. Things have changed.
I don’t think my cellar even has 7 foot ceilings. It’s cozy. And spooky.

JLeslie's avatar

Really? Minimum ten feet for living space? In TN and NC I think it was 6 ft at the lowest point if the ceiling is vaulted.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It was the requirement for the loan I got on my house. My son would have a very hard time with a 6 foot ceiling! But 6 feet where the ceiling meets the wall is a non issue. You couldn’t have A frame houses otherwise.
My house is over 100 years old. Upstairs in the hall, and in one of the bedrooms, there is a slant to part of the ceiling where it’s maybe 6, maybe 5 feet where it meets the wall, but overall it’s 10 feet so it passed.

JLeslie's avatar

I see. I’m still surprised it’s ten feet. That’s a high ceiling to be a minimum. Interesting.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It was the requirement for my lien holder to approve funding for the house, So I assumed it was standard. After some googling I learned it’s not. 7 is minimum.
Who the hell would want to live in a house with 7 foot ceilings?!

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther