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¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltraDork
9/3/17 2:45 a.m.

A few months ago, facing the end of our lease, we decided to buy a place rather than find a house to rent in the same town for the third time. Of course, since normal is boring, we ended up with this:

On the left, a farmhouse built in 1860, and on the right, a former motorcycle dealership. I don't know much about the house other than that it's old and has walls like a bunker, but the dealership used to sell Triumph, Ducati, and Indian motorcycles, and was run by the couple who lived in the house. Neat!

The back of the house:

Behind the house is a small garage with an attached carport, opening onto a tiny quiet road. Also a small but fairly private yard:

And with all that boring bullE36 M3 out of the way, the real reason GRM might give a crap- the big garage/shop/former dealership/we haven't come up with what to call it but "grosh" is taken; front room #1:

Front room #2:

Full bathroom in the garage? You bet:

Storage:

Back room:

I believe that, in it's days as a dealership, room #1 was the shop, room #2 was the showroom, and the back area was where new crated bikes were stored. No, I haven't found any NOS 1970s dream bikes, but I haven't stopped looking for hidden access panels either

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltraDork
9/3/17 2:50 a.m.

The eventual plan is to put a lift in the back room, since it has the highest ceilings and is easiest to access from the house. It's also pretty berkeleying big, when we had hail a few days ago I fit Chief and both Merkurs in there with plenty of room to spare. This means I'll have to run wires to it at some point, since there's not much run back there at the moment- and the breaker box is at the exact opposite corner of the building, so that should be fun

The whole property has been behaving itself so far, although I did have a bad time finding out that very few of our screens fit the windows. This thread will be used to document repairs/upgrades and probably speculate and ask tons of questions- I understand cars and bikes pretty well, but buildings are a big scary unknown for me.

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett MegaDork
9/3/17 5:47 a.m.

That's awesome - congrats!

Woody
Woody MegaDork
9/3/17 6:52 a.m.

Wow! I love everything about this! Any idea what the name of the dealership was? Maybe some old signage will turn up at a swap meet.

EastCoastMojo
EastCoastMojo Mod Squad
9/3/17 6:54 a.m.

Wow, that's cool as f. Have you checked out the attic yet? Could be bike parts up there.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltraDork
9/3/17 7:20 a.m.

In reply to Woody:

There is actually still a sign on the front of the building but it's in sorry shape- apparently the local historical society has pictures of it in its' heyday, so at some point I might need to get in touch with them.

In reply to EastCoastMojo:

Funny story about that- the first night we owned it I covered every accessible inch of the house and garage looking for bikes/parts/cool stuff. Upon discovering a movable concrete slab in the garage bathroom, I greatly overexerted myself to move it (it weighs about as much as I do and needed to come up out of the floor like 4 inches) to find... our well access Sara knew exactly what was under there and told me I was an idiot, but I had to know- it could have been a secret basement full of Ducatis!

mazdeuce
mazdeuce MegaDork
9/3/17 7:23 a.m.

The more I looked at the photos the more I wanted to comment on each one, so I'm gong to.

How big is the house? Anything cool like old floors/woodwork? Are those old single pane windows with weights in the frames that take storm windows? I hope so, those are weird and I want to watch you take them apart.


What's with the addition? A porch that was enclosed or something more interesting?
Parking away from the shop is the new holy Grail.
Does that brick do anything, or is it just "morotcycles look good displayed in front of brick in 1982".


This needs to stay as a sitting room. The natural light through the door is amazing. I predict doggy naps in the sun. I was wrong, separate parking isn't the holy Grail, a shower in the shop is. I need more shelves. Agreed with the lift, but I'm totally lost by now. What is the room up the stairs? Your shop is so big I need a map.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltraDork
9/3/17 7:41 a.m.
mazdeuce wrote: How big is the house? Anything cool like old floors/woodwork? Are those old single pane windows with weights in the frames that take storm windows? I hope so, those are weird and I want to watch you take them apart.

1900 sqft divided into mostly small rooms. Old wainscoting and 2ft deep window sills mean that the whole place is like a jungle gym for the cat. Unfortunately it has wall to wall carpeting everywhere (the result of being prosperous in the 80s I guess) so hardwood flooring is something we may end up exploring later. The windows are old single pane but if they have weights they have long since stopped working, they're heavy as berkeley!

What's with the addition? A porch that was enclosed or something more interesting?

The kitchen and the house were once two separate structures- the addition connects them, and adds a breakfast nook near the kitchen and a mud/laundry/bathroom.

Does that brick do anything, or is it just "morotcycles look good displayed in front of brick in 1982".

There used to be a wood stove there, the chimney above it is blocked off now. The shop has its' own oil heat and I'm sure will cost a fortune to keep warm- we plan to see how expensive it is to just keep it above freezing in there.

This needs to stay as a sitting room. The natural light through the door is amazing. I predict doggy naps in the sun.

Yeah, the dogs agility stuff is in there as well as my drums/guitars. I do want to keep the middle open for overflow parking though, and if money gets tight(er) we may need to rent it out for storage.

I was wrong, separate parking isn't the holy Grail, a shower in the shop is.

Yeah, the shop has hot water, a full bathroom, heat, and it and the house both have provisions to run off a generator. I fully anticipate living in the shop for a while at some point.

Agreed with the lift, but I'm totally lost by now. What is the room up the stairs? Your shop is so big I need a map.

So, the shop is a giant triangle. If you walked through that door with the little staircase, you'd find yourself facing the shelf of turbos in the storage room, with the bathroom on your left, room #1 ahead and to the left, and room #2 ahead and to the right.

If you walked out the open wood door to the right, you'd be in the backyard.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
9/3/17 7:54 a.m.

Having seen this in person, I will confirm it is every bit as awesome as you think it is.

Ovid_and_Flem
Ovid_and_Flem Dork
9/3/17 8:12 a.m.

OUTSTANDING!

Huckleberry
Huckleberry MegaDork
9/3/17 8:48 a.m.

That looks a lot like my old stomping grounds. I used to live in Center Valley before the outlet mall took it over.

Do you live in the Lehigh Valley somewhere perchance?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltraDork
9/3/17 9:00 a.m.

In reply to Huckleberry:

Yep, on the outer edge of what is still considered Quakertown. Previously we've lived in New Hope and Bethlehem.

John Welsh
John Welsh MegaDork
9/3/17 9:14 a.m.

I remember back some time ago you said that buying this place might happen. Congrats to you that it did happen.

Tons of possibilities!

Huckleberry
Huckleberry MegaDork
9/3/17 9:27 a.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ wrote: In reply to Huckleberry: Yep, on the outer edge of what is still considered Quakertown. Previously we've lived in New Hope and Bethlehem.

Cool - you are within my day-trip distance if you have time for motorcycle rides with all the new digs to get sorted.

I love all the old brick and stone that everything in the valley is built with and that the roads are really twisty between all the little towns along the water. That is an awesome shop / home combo BTW.

GTXVette
GTXVette Dork
9/3/17 9:29 a.m.

Being Old and a Motorhead I think you Just Blew my Mind. Getting the House and Shop Warm My take a Bit of Power /Oil but Keeping it warm through the winter Should be Easy. And keep your Eyes open for another wood heater and a Chain Saw and a Spliter.

Ransom
Ransom PowerDork
9/3/17 9:30 a.m.

That is unbelievably cool. Congratulations!

Cool old house with massive shop... Sigh. We'll be house-hunting again in a month or so, but I can't imagine we'll find anything quite like that around here...

dculberson
dculberson PowerDork
9/3/17 9:45 a.m.

Swweeeet. You outdid me on the shop front. The exposed ceilings in the big room are so cool but are going to cost a ton to heat. What kind of shape is the roof in? If it needs replaced at some point you can add insulation under the roof membrane so you can keep the cool exposed wood ceilings but add a lot of energy efficiency. They can also add tapered insulation if you need better drainage up there.

NOT A TA
NOT A TA Dork
9/3/17 10:12 a.m.

WOW, awesome purchase!

GhiaMonster
GhiaMonster Reader
9/3/17 10:29 a.m.

That place is just cool. Enjoy learning about the buildings and have fun in the garage. If you are working in the shop I bet some previous customers come by with stories

Toyman01
Toyman01 MegaDork
9/3/17 11:13 a.m.

Nice!

simon_C
simon_C New Reader
9/3/17 12:17 p.m.

That dealership is like, my dream house. holy crap.

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
9/3/17 1:11 p.m.

I really miss living in that area.

Woody
Woody MegaDork
9/3/17 3:38 p.m.

Those heavy windows probably mean that the ropes connecting them to the weights have broken. Open up the sides and have a look. It's an easy fix. Either that or they have just been painted too many times.

Andy Neuman
Andy Neuman Dork
9/3/17 3:47 p.m.

Looks like the perfect place for you.

Basil Exposition
Basil Exposition SuperDork
9/3/17 4:06 p.m.

I'll bet you'll find some neat old floors under that carpet. Wall to wall carpet was a big thing in the 70's and 80's and many beautiful hardwood floors were covered up (and preserved). I had 50's house that I bought in the 80's. I ripped up the manky carpet and the floor was perfect hardwood underneath.

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