In April of 2009 my fiancé Katherine and I bought a 1917-ish Craftsman style house in the College Hill area of Wichita, KS...well okay, we're not technically in College Hill, but we are most certainly in the area--we walk there all the time. It was a foreclosed property that had sat for at least a year, and we bought it "as-is;" which, in retrospect, isn't really something I'd recommend to most first time home buyers, but we did it anyway, and for the most part it's been okay. We probably overpaid a little, but our mortgage payment is still half of what we would have been paying to rent a home with half the space, and it was still well within our budget.
Here's a list of problems encountered when we moved in:
The old boiler and radiators were toast--left full of water and improperly winterized while the house sat uninhabited. The foundation leaked when it rained heavily; although, the water formed a few streams that lead directly to the drain. The yard was rough, mostly dirt and stumps. A few windows were broken. The bathroom ceiling was cracked. The water heater needed a new flue. The electric stove that was in the kitchen was fine, but there was no 220V outlet for it. There was no washer or dryer; although, the previous owners had at one time kept them in the basement. The soffits on the front needed repair. The house should eventually have a new roof put on, which will involve stripping it to the rafters and installing decking. The front wall underneath the porch needed to be rebuilt. And the garage needed to either be torn down or fixed up; it had no doors, the floor was cracked, and it was full of dirt and plaster that had fallen off of the walls.
So why did we buy it? Well, several reasons. We were getting married and needed somewhere to have it. My fiancé had to find a new place to stay since her apartment manager decided to evict her for owning a dog (which she'd had for a year and they had been made aware of). It was a good price and we could afford it, even with everything wrong with it. My fiancé's parents graciously offered to help work on it (they'd just finished remodeling their own house). And, despite my grim description of it, it really is a beautiful house.