Bob & Ellen's Excellent Adventure

Black Sheep Tower House

The Waiting Game is Over…

A photo from the listing of the rear of the house

May 29, 2020 – We did it! VERY excited and slightly horrified at ourselves for taking on this HUGE challenge, buying a largely abandoned and unfinished house during Covid no less! We waited the full 72 hours (not including the holiday) for them to refuse our initial offer and counter-offer on Tuesday, and we countered back on Friday. By that point we knew several things of importance, due to a lot of investigation and assistance from different entities (shout out to Bill and Caren from the Town of Lee, who were extremely helpful!). The 10+ acre lot was not sub- dividable due to ledge and woodland wetlands, so developers were not interested. The house had a gash in the tower from a lightning strike and had been badly leaking for years, the infrastructure was basically sound, but some BIG unknowns were the septic system, water, electrical and heating systems, and the presence of many 55 gal barrels of Valcool cutting fluid from the machining process used by the former owner (not quite haz-mat but not something you can blithely take to the dump). Being sold “as-is”, we knew there were some expensive fixes before us, not even including the cost to finish the interior of the 40′ tall great room in the main house, for example. Sadly, through a set of unfortunate circumstances, the house and garages had started deteriorating in a number of ways. Let’s face it, we were the ONLY interested buyers.

We drafted another letter outlining our concerns and offering an amount in-between, which was accepted. As they say, if neither party is happy with the final price, then it was probably close to fair. 🙂 I am sure they wanted much more, and we thought we paid too much, but it got done! They accepted within hours, and before COB on Friday, so it would be ours, if we could pull together the cash! (What bank would write a mortgage if they saw the pictures? :-))

A drone view from above the tower, you can see the lightning strike on the left side under the hatch, but how cool is this tower??


  1. Terrell

    Did you guys get financing for the tower? I wonder if a FHA 203 loan would’ve worked given the condition?

    I’m wondering if the cost to fix the home, Exceeds the cost of the home? Pretty close

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