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LewisLegion
04-17-2009, 01:45 AM
I really haven’t fallen off the face of the planet or anything, I swear. What’s happened is thusly:

My best friend and her husband came and visited me in October. She’s closer to me than some of my own sisters…in fact, pretty much all of my own sisters. I’ve known her for a decade. They live in PA though she has come to see me several times.

Anyway, they hate PA. She has very little social network or structure there, her family being…dysfunctional at best. Her husband as well is sick of the area.

My family loves her. They love this area.

So we made a plan.

I would buy a house (something I was intending to do eventually anyway)…a duplex or a split level or something of that nature. Once the house was secure, they would come cross country and move in with me. We would split the mortgage and they would stay as long as they needed/wanted until they found (felt the need to) move into their own place.

So anyway, I’ve been on the house hunt now officially for about two months. I’ve been working extra-uber-overtime to get the down payment and stuff ready and I am out looking.

This is my first house. I’m working with a fabulous realtor and banker but man…I’m about going insane! I get a lead on a house that will work, that we like, go and see it and it’s either a) crap or b) some other wall jumps in our way.

For instance, found a duplex that would work beautifully, gorgeous pictures…only it needs repainting in and out, windows replaced, entry floor rebuilt, tubs resurfaced, all plumbing fixtures replaced, fenced, flooring replaced, porch steps rebuilt, and the basement floods. Basically it would need 20-50 thou more after we bought it to make it ‘ok.’.

So scratch that.

Found a rambler that we all liked, big yard. Not EXACTLY our perfect ideal…but workable. Little bit of fixing up. Nothing we couldn’t handle. Ten thou under my max affordability. Decide to put an offer in, the listing agent calls us before we do and basically laughs, says don’t bother, seller’s ready to walk away, another offer is in anyway, blah blah blah. So I told my agent ok then, don’t bother.

Next day the listing agent calls my agent again and says ‘what happened to your offer? We really want to sell this place…” And my agent told him in no blunt terms why exactly our offer hadn’t gone in. The house is still listed for sale and I may reconsider it again at some point, but I don’t play those games.

Find two houses in a rural area where the pics are GORGEOUS. Again, the pics lie on the first one. It’s garbage, roof needs replacing, windows broken, next to a very LOUD train that runs every hour, and on the riverside that FLOODS. Scratch it off. *sigh*

Another one that IS in fact gorgeous but it’s a short sale. Put an offer in last night, this morning the agent laughs, says I need to put my ‘best foot forward’ if I want the property…I put in my max offer. That WAS my best foot. So…we’ll see what happens with it but I doubt it’s gonna go through.

Is getting a house always like this?? It’s like I almost don’t dare get excited about anything any more because the moment I do the door gets slammed in my face.

Bleh. Anyway, sorry. Just had to vent. Any support/thoughts appreciated.

Evil Queen
04-17-2009, 01:57 AM
Buying houses are hard. But usually worth it in the long run. If you're handy with a hammer, paintbrush and drill, go for a fixer upper. Even doing the simplest of things (replacing the porch banister, for instance) will add LOADS of value to the house. Heck, replacing the faucets alone increases value by something like a grand.

Unfortunately, unless you spend loads of money up front, you're not going to get the perfect house in perfect condition.

Good luck Lewis. I wish you the best.

LewisLegion
04-17-2009, 02:12 AM
I'm not so much worried about finding the perfect house in the perfect condition. I don't mind a little fixing. What I do mind is having to spend four thousand after I buy the house JUST so I can move into it. The duplex would have had to have all the toilets, sinks, and tubs replaced or fixed before they'd be functional.

Replacing porch banisters or ugly faucets...that I can handle and expect at the price range I'm looking at. But peering in a window of a house I want to purchase and seeing one room made of nothing but framework and plywood...that's beyond my capabilites or even desires.

Thanks for the luck, sweetie. :)

Evil Queen
04-17-2009, 04:30 AM
Well, what is your price range and are you still in Washington? I used to know a realtor out there. I can see if she still lives there if you want.

draftermatt
04-17-2009, 04:07 PM
I've bought 2 houses, and nothing else compares to the stress, the sleepless nights, etc.

The first time we found a few houses that we liked, but sold within like 5 minutes of us stepping foot into them. (2003, when things were good in the finicial world).

The 2nd time the buyer of our house backed out at the last minute (he paid for it, I made him cover all my expenses in getting the house ready for him then double it).

But once you find that place, get settled in and say "I'm home" all that other stuff kinda melts away.

Good luck!

LewisLegion
04-17-2009, 04:26 PM
That's ok, EQ, but thanks for the offer :) My realtor has been fantastic.

I sent her a list yesterday of about nine houses I found...she sent me back two of them, crossing the others off the list for various reasons...pending, pending, cash only...

You know how much easier things would be if realty websites ACTUALLY listed the loan types they allow on a property? I can't tell you how many I've sent her only to get back that they are cash/conventional only.

AccountingDrone
04-17-2009, 04:28 PM
I'm not so much worried about finding the perfect house in the perfect condition. I don't mind a little fixing. What I do mind is having to spend four thousand after I buy the house JUST so I can move into it. The duplex would have had to have all the toilets, sinks, and tubs replaced or fixed before they'd be functional.

Replacing porch banisters or ugly faucets...that I can handle and expect at the price range I'm looking at. But peering in a window of a house I want to purchase and seeing one room made of nothing but framework and plywood...that's beyond my capabilites or even desires.

Thanks for the luck, sweetie. :)
good luck, though replacing the bathroom components are actually pretty easy, and dont really take that much in the way of tools ... and most home depots/lowes have people that can advise you on how to do it .. I may have started out an inside/outside mechanic, but i didnt use any of my mad mechanicle skillz replacing the toilet. I just made sure that I had a new seal to replace the one I scraped off, and the right tools for the job [and surgical gloves are great for helping scunge off the old nasty seal ... ]

Maybe you should consider reconsidering that property? If gimpy old girly me can do it, you should be able to do it=)

LewisLegion
04-17-2009, 06:00 PM
It's not the skills, its the cost.

To make that house move in ready, I would at the very least have to replace two toilets, resurface or replace both tubs (which due to design would mean cutting them out of the wall, cutting a whole in the wall to remove them through, and then repairing those cuts once the new tubs are in place). To resurface would likely still mean at least cutting tile away from the tub and then having to replace it again. I would also have to replace four broken windows...frames and all.

That's just to be able to move in and tolerate it while the rest of the stuff is done.

bookworm
04-17-2009, 06:12 PM
When we bought our house, we literally looked at hundreds (like 400-500) of houses. Found a house we liked, bid on it, and got outbid. Found a house we liked better and got outbid on that one.

Finally found the house we bought, and it's almost exactly what we wanted (and better than the other 2 houses we bid on). The only real complaint I have is a very small yard.

It took a full 3 months to finally find out house though.

It's out there somewhere, it just takes time to find that perfect deal.

Kiwi
04-17-2009, 07:25 PM
Welcome to the wonderfully stressful world of buying a house!

When K and I brought out first place we were pre approved for $190,000 and there was NO WAY we could afford a mortgage if we maxed out at that number. We had to go through 4 agents before we found one that understood our personal MAX was $140,000 and that had to include closing costs etc. They all kept taking us to places that were $210,000 and saying "ask your parents to chip in the rest"....the agents in this town have a hugh amount of Chutzpah! Lucky we have a friend who is a qualified agent now and wants to help us find a place when we move and has promised to stick to our budget.


Then our mortgage agent really put the pressure on to borrow more and renovate... ahh no thanks
The agent who finally sold the house just about had a new arsehole, because of the different property laws in NZ versus Canada I asked if a strata was the same as a body corp... I got a 20 minute long lecture on what a strata was... exactly the freaking same thing.

K's mother (if you can believe that) finally cut her off and said "a simple yes would have sufficed" because I had bloody murder in my eyes. She also refused to show us the property again because we had already seen it for 20 minutes the first time and we could see it again AFTER we put in an offer.....:pissed:

OH NO YOU DIDN'T!!! when she turned up at our apartment with the offer papers we practically had to ham string her into taking us to the apartment again and she actually said to "stop wasting her time"

then she completely ignored our requests for the offer form (the bathroom wasn't finished, I wanted that included in the offer) and our laundry wasn't finished either... she told me I was "quibbling over nothing"... ahh lady I want a freaking working bathroom!

K refused to sign until she wrote them in, she was such a huffy bitch. Then she sent a thank you card with K's name only on it and yet called ME to ask if I had received the card. She kept saying things to try and make us feel bad that she was ONLY making 3 grand commission on our property...boohoo cry me a river. Her total face time with us was 2 hours tops.

But now we have been in our place almost 2 years (when Ive been in canada anyway) and its WONDERFUL. We can paint the walls any colour we want, theres no landlord on our back , our mortgage is actually CHEAPER than our rent was...go figure :rolleyes:

Just try and remember, the stress is worth it in the end, wait for the right place, K and I must have seen 60 houses before we saw this one and its so nice to have a place to call your own.

Gravekeeper
04-18-2009, 09:05 AM
Again the best advice I can offer is "flee to Canada" -.-

Its still pretty much a buyer's market up here. It took my land lord 6 months to sell my place ( and its a very nice place, huge lawn, great neighbourhood, close to two schools, etc ) and he ended up having to drop the price by 100 grand to get an offer.

LewisLegion
04-18-2009, 06:39 PM
It's supposedly a buyer's market here too...and honestly, in my price range I'm finding things that I never would have been able to afford in a normal economy. Unfortunately, they're the houses everyone ELSE that's out there buying are gravitating on to as well.

I've got four to go look at on Tuesday. One is a bit of a fixer but is going about forty thou less than the other fixer. As long as the kitchen and bathrooms are functional and the foundation isn't flood damaged it may be worth it to spiff this one up. It's a turn of the century Victorian which I would love to have and restore :)

Flee to Canada hmm? Did you miss me? *bats eyelashes*

Becks
04-18-2009, 06:43 PM
Again the best advice I can offer is "flee to Canada"

That's your answer to everything. :p

Gravekeeper
04-18-2009, 11:54 PM
That's your answer to everything. :p

Its a surprisingly viable answer to everything lately. ;9

Bella_Vixen
04-19-2009, 12:40 AM
Its a surprisingly viable answer to everything lately. ;9

But...would you want Becks to flee to Canada?

Gravekeeper
04-19-2009, 12:54 AM
But...would you want Becks to flee to Canada?

I suppose there is an inherent risk of being tranq'd, tagged, fitted with a radio collar and added to the harem...

LewisLegion
04-19-2009, 01:16 AM
Should I point out the odd coincidence that my real name can be shortened to 'Becks' as well?

Bella_Vixen
04-19-2009, 07:02 AM
I suppose there is an inherent risk of being tranq'd, tagged, fitted with a radio collar and added to the harem...

I'd make sure you're well taken care of...:wave:

Becks
04-19-2009, 10:33 PM
I suppose there is an inherent risk of being tranq'd, tagged, fitted with a radio collar and added to the harem...

I'd be gentle...if you're into that sort of thing.

Should I point out the odd coincidence that my real name can be shortened to 'Becks' as well?

Rock on. :D

LewisLegion
04-23-2009, 12:28 AM
So I found a dirt-cheap Victorian that was built in 1895 that I would LOVE remodeling. The main, most expensive components are all new...plumbing, electrical, roof, water heater, etc. Basically it needs new flooring (really UGLY tile all throughout), painted inside and out and the fencing fixed and it would be very cool.

I'm trying not to get excited about it though in case the crap hits the fan again.

Eric the Grey
04-23-2009, 07:19 AM
You know, reading this thread really doesn't do me any good. I've started looking into a home myself. The mobile home we were offered would cost us more than it was worth in order for us to move into it, and pay the part money to stay there. :rolleyes:

I've already been pre-qualified, and Friday I'll be meeting with my mortgage broker to get him the info he needs to get me pre-approved for a loan amount. That will give me a good bast to start with, even though I already know my maximum value (based loosely on how much I can comfortably afford to pay per month) which is 110,000. Yea, we're going to be getting either a small house, or condo, but I'm not too terribly worried about the size, so long as it's big enough for the 5 of us (Me, D and three cats).

I've seen some likely prospects on my initial search, but none in exactly the right area. Time will tell though...

Good luck on the Victorian.


:cool: Eric the Grey

LewisLegion
04-23-2009, 11:58 PM
Thanks :) It is definately a scary and stressful time but also kind of fun.

We're going on Sunday to look at the Victorian again as well as another, younger Victorian on the same street (built 1910 as opposed to 1895).

My worry is starting to become...if I find a house soon and it closes swiftly, I have to break my lease, as it's not up until August... :(

protege
04-24-2009, 02:38 PM
House hunting is fun. Not.

I did plenty of looking on the 'net, before I talked to an agent. In that regard, I got lucky. Very lucky, in fact--I'd known the guy for years. However, before I even started with him, I took a free homebuyer's class. Even though it was mostly aimed at low-income owners (the agency that offered the classes actually buys up abandoned properties in run-down areas, fixes them up and resells them), it was right up my alley. Not only did I know what to look for, but also what to ask.

When I started looking at houses, I started in my own neighborhood, then worked outwards. Since I've lived the area 30+ years, why not? I know the area quite well :p

My agent found me the house I eventually bought, plus a pair across town. One of those was in pretty bad shape. There were holes in the ceiling, lights that didn't work, plus some water leaks in the basement. Oh, and the front porch was collapsing. Considering the price of the place (about $100k), I felt it was overpriced, by about $99k :p Never mind that I would have had to spend about $40k just to make it livable.

Pardon my French, but fuck that. There's no way I'm going to sink that much cash into a dump...which I'd *never* get back if I was to sell it.

Rather than deal with that, I bought the other house. First one I looked at, in fact ;) This place was nearly perfect. It had been owned by an older couple, and was literally spotless inside. There wasn't a mark inside it, and they'd clearly taken care of it.

The yard though, was another story. After they'd both died, the daughter (who wouldn't be out of place on Jerry Springer or Maury :p) let the yard go to shit. All she did, was cut the grass. Behind the house, there were weeds literally taller than the place--I shit you not folks! Poison ivy, poison oak, etc were all over the place, including the patio.

Still, the place seemed good value--it wasn't far from my parents, the taxes weren't that bad, and it was in great shape. I put in an offer about $5k less than they were asking. They asked if I'd come up about a grand, which I did.

At this point, I could still walk away if the place failed the home inspection. Sure, that wasn't cheap--about $400, but again, it was money well spent. Home inspector found some outlets that were wired wrong, plus the furnace was junk (a cracked heat exchanger meant that dangerous fumes would have been vented into the basement :eek:) All of that had to be taken care of by the seller--if not, I'd have told them where to go, and gotten my money (including the home inspection fee) back.

End result was, I got a new furnace out of it, plus getting the wiring taken care of. I've been there about 2.5 years, and most of the yard has been taken care of. Those nasty weeds came out the first summer, and the scraggy pine trees last winter. I've since repainted the wood siding and trim, plus fitted new lights outside.

With all that said, the best advice I can give you is this: Don't buy the first place you look at; get a home inspection once you've made up your mind; and, don't be afraid to walk away.

Oh, and let's not forget this--with all the foreclosures out there, they might be worth checking into. However, be *very* careful with these. Sure, you might get a deal, but you could just as easily get fucked. Unless you're capable of doing some maintenance, be careful--it's not unheard of for evicted landowners trashing the place!

Good luck!

draftermatt
04-24-2009, 04:22 PM
You know, reading this thread really doesn't do me any good. I've started looking into a home myself...

Get a Realtor you trust.

Ours was such a great lady. She wouldn't show us some places we inquired about because she had heard things, or seen them previously.

We went and saw once place that was a dump, we walked out and she said "Don't you even ask me to put an offer on this place"

And she found the house we bought by calling a Realtor about another place at 8 PM, only to be told they had just signed the paper work on a place up the street. We had an offer on it by 8:15 PM.

We used her to sell our townhouse 3 years later. She ended up buying it herself to use as a rental property after our buyers backed out so we could get our house.

Not saying you'll find someone that generous and kind, but if you do, don't take it for granted.