Sunday, 28 February 2016

A Home Sold & A House Bought: Part Two

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 ;)

Saturday, 27 February 2016

A Home Sold & A House Bought: Part One

Let me just start with: I don’t know how we pulled this off but we had too and we did it. 

WE DID IT!!!!!!!!!! :D

Okay, enough celebrating (yay!), let me go back to beginning:

In the last post, I let you all know that the buyer had accepted a counter offer and our home was under contract. There were three conditions: financing, home inspection, furnace inspection. 

Step One: The financing. The Credit Union wasn’t an issue - the guy that bought our house has been a long time member and helps run the very successful family business here in town. Not a major risk. CMHC however stepped in. They wanted an appraisal of our property. Normally I would think this is routine but the following text from our realtor scared the shit out of me:

“Now you can start praying too. If this appraisal is too low (Buyer’s name) either has to come up with cash difference or you will have to negotiate a lower price for it to go through. (Buyer’s name) argument could be that no bank will finance it at that price. Just giving you the worst case scenario."

I didn’t sleep at all that night, lol. 

So the appraisal came and went. A few days later, we were told the financing conditions were removed. Huugggeeee sigh of relief. We actually just found out that the appraisal did come in under the purchase price (although we will never know what the amount was) but the buyer just put down more money. I guess that’s one plus about living in a small town with not a lot of good housing options: people over pay. We got $4000 more than we were expecting on this house (aka our bottom line) so it was a nice plus for us. 

So one condition down, two conditions left. 

Step Two: Furnace Inspection. Tuesday (two days before the conditions are to be removed) I get a text from our realtor asking if the furnace inspector could stop in a few hours to do the inspection. I'm not going to say no, we are running out of time to do all of this.

Wait - I need to you to also know during this hectic/stressful week was also the week my body decided to get the flu. I haven’t had the flu since I was a kid! I was off work for 4 entire days and technically should have stayed home an additional day because I had no voice from coughing and throwing up. I had an infection PLUS Influenza 1 - I lost a scary amount of weight in a short amount of time, I couldn’t stand up for more than a few minutes before needing to sit because my heart rate was so fast, and couldn't keep anything down. Not fun.

Anyways, so I was home (throwing up and on my death bed) and was able to let the furnace man do what he needed to do. That went well and passed - the furnace in this current house is old but still does it’s job. 

Step Three: Wednesday (one day before conditions need to be removed) we get another text from our Realtor asking if the home inspection can be done Friday morning. Sure…. but conditions are supposed to be removed Thursday with this contract. “Oh shit.” We said the extra day doesn’t matter to us, but we would like to negotiate our closing date. The original closing we supposed to be March 11th, this wasn’t going to happen realistically for us.

Wait! I need to explain a bit with how these RCMP transfers work. There are a lot of people you need approval from to go look for a house. We have our Brookfield rep, who has been awesome and answered every single question we had so far. Then there’s our … hmmm I forgot what she’s called, lets ask G:

Me: “(Name removed), what is her title technically?"
G: “Relocation something or other. The technical term for her job is useless"

We had a good chuckle. 

That woman, works for the RCMP and gives us approval dates for the House Hunting Trip. Then there G’s sergeant. Then there’s also our realtor, although she is very flexible with dates and my manger too. A lot of working parts here... Okay so we were looking at getting our House Hunting Trip approval the week after our conditions removed (oh I guess I should let you all know that Brookfield and the RCMP don’t see your house as ‘Sold’ until all conditions are removed thus leaving not a lot of time if you need a short closing), G’s sergeant stopped that request right away: not enough officers to cover. The soonest they could all make it work was this week (Feb 22-26). So we asked our buyer if we could push the closing date to April 1st to give us more time and we would approve a one day extension on the condition removal date. 1 days for 3 weeks: seems fair right?? Thank a higher power he is flexible with dates because he agreed no problem. Other huge sigh of relief.

And guess what? We went on Family Day to go look at houses anyways. G and I both had the day off and didn't feel like waiting around. I'm glad we did because THAT was a rough day and a huge reality check.

(To Be Continued...)