If you didn’t read Part One of this post here is the link.
I’m so glad we went on our own that day, I really needed the time to mental regroup. We looked at every single house that seemed promising - over 15 houses. Two that we really wanted to look at - we couldn’t get appointments for that day.
- I’m just going to add a little side bar here: I know that doesn’t seem like a lot of houses but it was ALL of the houses in our price range. We are transferring to another small town so that was pretty much the majority of the housing market.
Out of all those houses: only one was left on our list (plus the two houses we couldn’t get into). I have never been so defeated in my life. When we go home to our little sweet old home that night I started crying. We weren’t going to find a home within our price range that was livable. Time was running out, I was exhausted, still sick and stressed. Thank god for G because he calmed me right down and promised me we wouldn’t be homeless (lol).
So the week goes by, we get pre-approved for a $250,000 mortgage (out of our price range/comfort zone). We also finally get approved for the House Hunting Trip. So beginnings lots of conference calls, reading of policy, asking questions, referring back to the policy when answers are slightly confusing. I shouldn’t complain because there are a lot of perks that come with a transfer - which I will get too - but oh my gosh is there a lot to take in.
So fast forward to this last Monday, three houses left.
House Number 1: Slightly out of our comfort zone but if we got it for the right price it would work. A few issues with it that we would need to fix but awesome for resale (remember we aren’t only trying to find a home for us but G will get transferred sometime in the next 5 years so we need to think about resale too). Any changes we do to the property won’t add anymore value, since it’s pretty much all done. Hmmm, something to think about. We get a text from the realtor who is selling the property: very motivated sellers. Hmmm.
House Number 2: This is the only property that made the cut during the first house hunting trip. The realtor (different from House Number 1) texted our realtor and let us know that the seller was flexible with the price. Hmmmmmmmmmm.
- Side bar (again) - You might be thinking “Wow. Desperate much?” Yup! We are buying not only a buyer market but a depressed buyers market. In the last 7 months: only two houses have sold and they sold for way under the asking price. So many of the houses we looked during our first trip were vacant, because people up and left due to the downturn in the economy there. It sounds evil but during negotiate we used this to our advantage.
House Number 2 (cont): Okay, price thing shoved to the back of my mind I needed to focus on the property. It currently is a rental but the people were starting to move out and it would be vacant for March (so might be available for a quick closing). Kitchen is beautifully upgraded, new furnace, brand new fascia, soffits and eaves, new washer and dryer, attached garage with huge workspace for G, very family friendly. The bad: the bathrooms need a complete gut job, the roof is old (no leaking yet) but will most likely need to be replaced soon, the renters completely destroyed the place… It was so dirty, they had a puppy who chewed on the stair railings. I guess the owner didn’t even know about all this and when we texted the realtor to let her know it was disgusting she was shocked. The renters had only been there for two months… Oi.
House Number 3: This house is a foreclosure, title already had gone thru the court systems and is now owned by a local bank. It has been on the market for over a year, just sitting there empty. G was so excited about this one, it has so much potential! Amazing price, 150k below what the other houses around it were trying to sell for. But once we got inside I understood why. So much work, it wouldn’t even be livable right away. I tried to open some of the kitchen drawers and they wouldn’t open because the tile on the kitchen counters was blocking the drawer from opening… LOL I was just laughing at this point and saying nope nope nope nope nope. Surprise: this isn’t the house we chose. That tile mistake wasn’t just in the kitchen, same thing in the bathroom! The bedrooms were so small, only a twin would be able to fit in two and maybe in a double for the master. And the real kicker: some of the siding was already falling off. Like one piece was crumpled on the ground. Really?
So while we were in House Number 3’s unfinished basement we discussed our options and made an offer one of the houses. (HGTV's House Hunters Theme Song): Did we choose:
House Number 1: The finished, slightly-out-of-comfort-zone-priced property with the motivated sellers but no room to make money?
House Number 2: The dirty formal rental that needs some work with the good bones but also potentially expensive fixes for the future?
House Number 3: No, just no.
Stay tuned to find out ;)