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Author Topic: Buying a House  (Read 138883 times)
aandsdean
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« Reply #180 on: May 02, 2012, 1:59:46 PM »

AAAAND so we're not doing our inspection tomorrow because

1) when the plumber went by today, he couldn't turn on the water because
2) there's a shared well and the pump is in the neighbors house and
3) that house is also in foreclosure and
4) the electricity has been turned off.

So then we started investigating the deed to find out what the deal is with the water and

1) the two houses were owned by the same family, so there was only an informal water agreement, not an official shared well agreement and
2) We may have to put in either a pump or a totally separate well and while we're at it
3) The road is a private road, and there is no information regarding who owns the road, who takes care of the road, etc.

We're getting spooked.

We had to put in a new well right after we moved into current house.  Not really a surprise, but unpleasant anyway:  about $10k, not in the budget.  And, it used mostly existing plumbing and wiring. FYI.

How on earth did that not pass due diligence?? We're definitely taking $$$ off our offer based on this nonsense.

We bought the house as-is for a lowball price and got a big kickback for repairs (think $87k total, $17k back for repairs).  We were gambling on the well and we lost, which we knew was possible when we made the offer.
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mythbuster
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« Reply #181 on: May 04, 2012, 9:51:03 AM »

Update, the sellers asked for another day to consider our offer. Apparently the husband is in England so communication is tricky. So they haven't said no yet, and we are hoping that this means that they need to sell to both move to England or due to a divorce. We never saw men's clothing in the house, so we were surprised to hear about him. Fingers crossed!
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infopri
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« Reply #182 on: May 07, 2012, 12:39:42 PM »

So our realtor called the listing realtor to see if she could gather any info on why the house we like is so overpriced. He sent back a totally ridiculous list of comps which included brand new construction and several houses that had been totally flipped. The house we like is from the seventies and has late eighties era kitchen and baths. And is smaller than most of the comps too but on an amazing lot in a beautiful neighborhood. So we are submitting our offer today for what we feel is a fair price. We are also sending in a short letter with the comps we used to get to the price. We are offering them more than the analysis would indicate because of the pros of the land and location. I'll keep you all posted on if they are insulted!

Either a) the sellers came up with the silly comps and insisted, b) the listing agents is an incompetent novice, or c) both. Don't be surprised by a silly response.

When we were buying our Somewhere Warm house, the appraiser must have been drunk.  Of the three comps, two were in different communities--think Manhattan versus Yonkers.  The third is a mirror image of our house (but in much worse condition than ours), and on a much smaller and much less desirable lot, down the block from us--and it was appraised $20K higher.  Worse, the description of our house was inaccurate, saying it had, for instance, no driveway or attic (it has both), and so forth.

We insisted that the appraisal be done again (and not at our expense), with the inaccuracies about our house removed, and with a more appropriate set of comps.  The new appraisal came in right on the mark, and the new comps were houses that were truly much more comparable.
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mythbuster
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« Reply #183 on: May 07, 2012, 2:06:33 PM »

Well, it's been a busy and extremely stressful weekend. We went four rounds of negotiations but finally came to a deal! Happily, they came down a bit more that we went up. The deal is contingent on the appraisal being done first and coming in at or above the agreed price, and our realtor is still not entirely sure this will be ok. So the appraisal is now happening before anything else.  Then comes the inspection. The sellers now want to sell in essentially as-is condition since they came down more than they wanted to, but we can still walk (or threaten to) if the repairs are too much. So our realtor is finding the most persnickety inspector she knows of. She's really earning her commission on this one!
   This has been so nerve wracking that I'm honestly not sure right now that I even want the house- it does have a few quirks that long term will need to be updated. And I want the appraisal to be above our agreed price, but not too much so we can be in the right on the price we offered. So fingers crossed on a competent appraiser!
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msparticularity
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« Reply #184 on: May 08, 2012, 1:13:13 PM »

Fingers crossed for you, mythbuster!

We are now trying another tack: going for a home purchase that will keep our costs very low indeed--a fixer-upper, IOW. There is one that is a particularly appealing candidate, since it's on the edge of a very lovely neighborhood (bordering a fine-but-less-lovely area), and we believe from the paperwork that the vast majority of the issues may be cosmetic. Our realtor handled the sale last time it changed hands, so we have copies of all of the reports and information on the replacement of the roof, HVAC, and some other stuff within the past 6-8 years.

We have not yet seen the interior, but have seen photos and our realtor has been inside. Most strikingly, the interior is painted in a mix of electric aqua and blood red, and the upstairs bathroom has been gutted to repair a leak, then not replaced. With the far lower purchase price, we would have the cash to just deal with these prior to moving in, then we could work on the other stuff over time. Anyway, we'll go up next week to see this place, plus a couple of others--here's hoping!
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"Once admit that the sole verifiable or fruitful object of knowledge is the particular set of changes that generate the object of study...and no intelligible question can be asked about what, by assumption, lies outside." John Dewey

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prof_smartypants
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« Reply #185 on: May 08, 2012, 1:52:21 PM »

Inspections are complete. There are some issues (namely, the lack of any legal water source tied to the house), but nothing that's a deal breaker. The seller needs to get a shared well agreement signed by the neighbor prior to close, but other than that, we're going to just take some $$ off of our offer and hope they accept.

Here's the stuff that needs to be done soon after closing:

Remodel the master bedroom: $500
Purchase Appliances (kitchen & laundry)  : $4000
Build a fence and secure decking so that it's stable: $1000
Install central heat/air: $6000
Paint: $500
Finish guest bath: $1000
Finish guest bedroom #2: $1000
Put in new flooring: $5000
Minor electrical and plumbing work: $500

So that's roughly $18,000 in repairs and stuff needed to make this place livable, and when all of it's done, it's going to be pretty sweet.

We asked the realtor how much we should take off the initial offer price and he said $35K. WHOA. He thinks they'll go for it, too!!! They might even pay our closing costs!

We could be getting a serious deal here, which is nice, since it's been so insane getting to this point. Foreclosures are nuts, people.
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msparticularity
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« Reply #186 on: May 08, 2012, 3:05:56 PM »

So, smarty, your post makes me think about the things that are--and are not--acceptable to us in a choice of a home to buy. I very strongly wish to be on city water and sewer, for example, although this narrows our choices in and around our New Town fairly significantly. Apparently I've never gotten over the "News from Lake Woebegon" episode featuring the red-alert status of the Krepsbach's septic tank, which turns out to consist of a 1937 Chevy. Having grown up spending summers on my aunts' farms, too, I have not forgotten what it's like to need to have a new well put in, or a current one drilled out to make it deeper.

I am willing, as it turns out, to put in a garage where one is lacking, to replace siding, to tear out and replace any number of interior walls and ceilings, and to comprehensively replace and redecorate interior features.
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"Once admit that the sole verifiable or fruitful object of knowledge is the particular set of changes that generate the object of study...and no intelligible question can be asked about what, by assumption, lies outside." John Dewey

"Be particular." Jill Conner Browne
infopri
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« Reply #187 on: May 08, 2012, 3:08:41 PM »

Foreclosures are nuts, people.

Yeah, our Somewhere Warm house was a short sale, which is similarly nuts.  As real estate in Somewhere Warm kept going up during the housing bubble, our seller kept rolling her mortgage over into new mortgages and taking cash out, effectively doubling her debt over the years--so, when the bottom fell out a couple of years ago, she ended up completely underwater, by about half her debt.  She had two open mortgages, but fortunately, the second one got sold (the way mortgages do) and ended up in the hands of the same bank that held the first mortgage, which simplified things a little (not a lot, but a little).  Even so, it took six months to get her bank's approval of our offer, including the fiasco with the apparently drunk appraiser.  Then it still took another two months to close.  But in the end, the closing went extremely smoothly, and it all ended happily for everyone but the bank, which took a beating--but I have no sympathy for the banks, given their part in the economic meltdown that led to the short sale in the first place.

Prof_smartypants, I know costs vary depending on geography, etc., but some of the price tags you list for your renovations sound low to me.  For example, unless you're only painting a room or two, that $500 sounds way low.  I'd expect it to be at least three times that to paint the whole house, and probably more.  We just painted out Somewhere Warm house (the entire interior, including closets) and were delighted that it cost only $1,800.  (It's a three-bedroom, two-full-bath, about 1250 square feet in all.)

Of course, I would love to be wrong about this...
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prof_smartypants
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« Reply #188 on: May 08, 2012, 4:08:34 PM »

Foreclosures are nuts, people.

Yeah, our Somewhere Warm house was a short sale, which is similarly nuts.  As real estate in Somewhere Warm kept going up during the housing bubble, our seller kept rolling her mortgage over into new mortgages and taking cash out, effectively doubling her debt over the years--so, when the bottom fell out a couple of years ago, she ended up completely underwater, by about half her debt.  She had two open mortgages, but fortunately, the second one got sold (the way mortgages do) and ended up in the hands of the same bank that held the first mortgage, which simplified things a little (not a lot, but a little).  Even so, it took six months to get her bank's approval of our offer, including the fiasco with the apparently drunk appraiser.  Then it still took another two months to close.  But in the end, the closing went extremely smoothly, and it all ended happily for everyone but the bank, which took a beating--but I have no sympathy for the banks, given their part in the economic meltdown that led to the short sale in the first place.

Prof_smartypants, I know costs vary depending on geography, etc., but some of the price tags you list for your renovations sound low to me.  For example, unless you're only painting a room or two, that $500 sounds way low.  I'd expect it to be at least three times that to paint the whole house, and probably more.  We just painted out Somewhere Warm house (the entire interior, including closets) and were delighted that it cost only $1,800.  (It's a three-bedroom, two-full-bath, about 1250 square feet in all.)

Of course, I would love to be wrong about this...

Too true. Labor for paint, fence and master bed rehab is cheap because a friend is doing it. He's staying in the house while we're away, taking care of our dogs, and fixing our house. If we run out of money, we'll end up painting. But I am probably low-balling that, regardless.

When you say "painted" do you mean "had painted" or "painted ourselves"?

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infopri
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« Reply #189 on: May 08, 2012, 4:49:22 PM »

Too true. Labor for paint, fence and master bed rehab is cheap because a friend is doing it. He's staying in the house while we're away, taking care of our dogs, and fixing our house. If we run out of money, we'll end up painting. But I am probably low-balling that, regardless.

When you say "painted" do you mean "had painted" or "painted ourselves"?

Yeah, the fence was another thing you mentioned that seemed very low.  Saving on the labor explains a lot, though.  We had the house painted by a professional painter.  Other estimates were higher than his, but all the estimates were much lower than we expected, based on our experiences with having our MyCity house painted--but while the cost of living is very high in Somewhere Warm, because people are hurting economically, those that have their own businesses (like painters) are able to pitch low bids in hopes of snaring the job.  In fact, after we hired the painter, another one (who had bid slightly higher) tried to submit a new, lower bid, trying to beat the winning bid--but it was too late, and I liked the other painter's work better, anyway.  (I'd gone to see prior jobs they'd both done.)
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People who do not understand numbers should not be allowed to use them for anything. - DvF

MYOB.  Y enseņen bien a sus hijos.
wegie
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« Reply #190 on: May 10, 2012, 6:59:20 PM »

OK. Count me in! WH's job has now been confirmed as permanent, so we're getting out of this place (all six hundred square feet of it) and moving somewhere with a garden.

Just don't ask about a) the extreme decluttering and b) local property prices.
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galactic_hedgehog
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« Reply #191 on: May 10, 2012, 9:34:56 PM »

OK. Count me in! WH's job has now been confirmed as permanent, so we're getting out of this place (all six hundred square feet of it) and moving somewhere with a garden.

Just don't ask about a) the extreme decluttering and b) local property prices.

Can I ask this: what kind of kitchen are you looking for?
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wegie
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« Reply #192 on: May 11, 2012, 9:21:15 AM »

OK. Count me in! WH's job has now been confirmed as permanent, so we're getting out of this place (all six hundred square feet of it) and moving somewhere with a garden.

Just don't ask about a) the extreme decluttering and b) local property prices.

Can I ask this: what kind of kitchen are you looking for?

<hollow laugh>

I live in one of the most expensive bits of London. If we can find something bigger than our current 6 1/2 by 8 feet and don't have to pay more than a million dollars I shall be very happy!

I really should post a picture of how tiny the kitchen at wegie towers 1 is . . . 
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parispundit
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« Reply #193 on: May 11, 2012, 10:13:17 AM »

Y'all should move to Paris. Prices are much more reasonable over here.
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wegie
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« Reply #194 on: May 11, 2012, 10:40:56 AM »

Alas, the thought of CDG every morning made WH suicidal.
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