Chit Chat

House buying is SO STRESSFUL! Update!

SP29SP29
Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
member
edited December 2016 in Chit Chat
DH and I started house shopping this fall- first time home buyers.

The market in the city we live in is pretty hot and house prices in the area have gone up substantially in the past 1-2 years. We are looking outside the city- we want property- so the houses do tend to sit longer, but the prices are still high.

We've been pre-approved for a good amount, but it's coming down to what do we actually want to spend on X house. DH is pretty flexible on where we live- he's prepared to move 1-2 hours away to find more house on a farm-like property if it's cheaper in the budget. He travels a lot for work anyway, and can work from home if he wanted. Me- I work in a hospital, currently at a regional trauma centre, which is where I want to be right now. I can work in a variety of places with my profession, but I *want* to be in a regional centre and learn all that I can. We also lived in Edmonton for some years, and when we moved back home, we left behind a great group of friends- I don't want to move "away" again and not see our friends that live here. Part of the reason to moving back here (which is our hometown), in addition to DH's job offer, was so when we have children, they can grow up with their grandparents and cousins close by. So I've got pretty strong feelings on how far I'm willing to move. If we consider going 40-60mins east of the city, we can get a lot more property (maybe more house) for the same amount of money, but I really prefer the area south/west of the city- which of course is the more expensive area.

We've seen 10 houses in person so far. We've seen a few nice options, but there's usually something that makes us say "nah!"- either the house is a bit small with not much option to add on to (such as a house not having a basement that could be renovated into additional living space), or the price is over our ideal budget (we are prepared to go over for the right property) and the house hasn't been updated since 1978.

Anyway- so we did find a house we quite like. It's not perfect- outdated, needs new windows throughout, would be nice if it were a bit bigger, but I can see us living there and it has potential. Structurally it looks good, there is a large basement that could be renovated, or we could consider an addition. 3 bedrooms, 2 baths. 2 car attached garage with a separate large pole shed on 2.5 acres and hardly any neighbours around, except for the house across the road. Good location- close to the highway, and close to my horse(!). But we think it's overpriced. We put in an offer today, for ~55K less than asking (and they've done a price drop already), which of course they didn't take. They countered with a number that is about $15-25K more than we'd like to pay, so we let the offer drop and we'll consider a new offer if it's still for sale in a week or so- they're ideal closing date is less than a month away, so we may have some leverage there.

But gah! I'm pulling myself in two directions. Part of me is very matter of fact, I don't want to pay more than $X for the house. Essentially to make the house everything we'd want it to be, we would need to renovate the entire house (update kitchen, bathrooms, flooring and finish the basement with home office, guest bedroom, bathroom)- which is fine, and that would be done over a period of time, but we also don't want to max out the budget to do so. We also aren't in a rush to buy, so I always wonder "well what if the perfect house comes up next month...". But then the other side says, but it's a good location! Nice property! Close to your horse! In the budget! And what if someone else buys it and you never find anything else you like quite as much!

So for now we go back to the drawing board and we wait...
«1

Re: House buying is SO STRESSFUL! Update!

  • As a first time home buyer looking in Toronto area I feel your pain. The prices have risen astronomically in the area. It's crazy what houses are selling for these days. Like 100k over asking is normal in today's market

    Both my FI and I work in the city. I don't see myself moving out of the downtown work environment. I love it and there are many great opportunites within the company. Right now we live about a 45 min train ride from work.

    We both want to buy a house in the same area as the grandparents and siblings. We are running into the issue of deciding do we take things off the wish list or do we spend more money. And I find as the market grows people are selling houses with no renovations or improvements for top end of our budget. A couple years when we started looking at houses this was not the case. It's very frustrating because we don't want to max out the house budget then leave no room for renos. But to get what we want size wise we have to spend more. 

    If we move about an hour away we can get the size we want and for a lot less. But then it takes us 2 hours each way to get to work. That is not ideal when we have kids. I don't want to be that far away in case an emergency pops up. Ugh adulting really blows lol. 
    SP29
  • WinstonsGirlWinstonsGirl The Cold North
    Tenth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    House hunting/reno-ing is I think one of the only times DH and I fight.  Good thing we're not planning on moving again, unless it's into the retirement home.  

    Ask yourself if you're ok with losing this house?  I know you don't want to pay the higher price, but unless you're ok with losing it, it may be worth paying a higher price.  Do the math and figure out what $15-25K will actually cost you per month.  It may be doable (though I get not wanting to be over a budget).  And remember that you'll never find the perfect house.  We built ours, and there were tons of things we wanted to do but either couldn't afford, or weren't allowed to by the builder.  

    Good luck, and let us know what you end up with
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    cowgirl8238SP29PrettyGirlLost
  • I feel your pain, it is definitely stressful! It sounds like while you like the house you don't like it enough to go over budget which is good. I think people get caught up in the process sometimes and end up way over paying.  What did your realtor think was the actual worth of the property? Was it closer to their counter or to your offer? 
  • One thing I learned during my house hunting experience is that you can change a house, but you can't change the location.

    We spent a long time "dreaming" about what we wanted while we closely watched the regional market and worked towards saving enough money to be comfortable buying the home we purchased.  We went into homes built around the turn of the century (1900's, not 2000's), we went into 1950/1960 homes, and we checked out the brand new builders in the area.

    For our market we found that you only saved so much going with an older home and then adding on the renovations needed (we are not the DIY type with remodeling as our skills are limited!) it just made more sense to buy new and not have to deal with a house that needed 50K or more in updates.

    We decided to build in a new neighborhood and got in while the builder was still trying to get things up and running.  We got a fantastic deal compared to people building the exact same house a year later (About 30K cheaper).  We LOVED the community, and the commute is only about 30 mins from both our jobs.  The schools are good too, which was important to us.  And being a new neighborhood a lot of young families that either have little ones or "no kids yet but are planning to" are living there.  There is a healthy sprinkle of older families and even a few senior living homes that are maintained by an organization.

    Long story short, make a list of must-have items, stick within your budget, and consider the location/neighborhood of your future home.  If you can't hit those three boxes you may want to keep looking.

    SP29
  • Unless the budget would be too tight or their offering is way below comps, I'd accept the offer.  Here's my thinking on it.  You're in a hot real estate area.  And one that has been for a long time.

    The house is in a great location.  That is key.  Both for yourself and for future buyers.  Its liveable now, but needs work.  You see that as a bummer, I see that as a major equity opportunity ;).  I suspect doing the kind of work you are talking about, especially creating a useable basement, will increase the value of the house substantially.  Probably by more than the investment you will put in to do that.  That will set you up for a big windfall later down the road, for whenever you're ready to sell.

    In addition, it is fairly easy to tap into your home's equity as collateral for a loan or even as a line of credit.  In the U.S., we have a financial product called a Home Equity Line of Credit.  I'm assuming there is probably something similar in Canada.  It is the best thing since sliced bread because of its flexibility.  If you don't tap into it, it doesn't cost anything.  Its available money at a very low interest rate, usually less than one point over a home loan rate.  You can use the money for anything and pay it off as fast or, to an extent, as slow as you want.  That would be a little down the road also, but not necessarily too far.  In the U.S., you need to own the house for 6-12 months.  Of course, you also need equity.  Which can come from any or all of: paying down the mortgage, house value increase from appreciation and/or renos.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    OliveOilsMomlabroSP29PrettyGirlLost
  • When we started looking, we knew what prices we could and couldn't do. Originally H did not want a condo/row house/townhouse HOWEVER when we looked at prices, it didn't work for our budget at all for the single family homes.

    So we had to really look at what was included in the condo fees. If water was included, then it was fine depending on price. If water wasn't included, it had better be freakin low amount.

    End of the day, the house we got was under the amount we decided on, is a row house and condo fees are reasonable with water included. We got other things we wanted but didn't anticipate on - walk in closet, garage to fit car, decent size yard with playground not far. Plus the area is lovely.
    <a href="https://babysizer.com/geeky"><img src="https://babysizer.com/geeky-2018-06-08.jpg" alt="Babysizer Geeky Pregnancy Tracker"></a>
    SP29
  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    member
    edited October 2016
    it really was for me too.   I was a first time home buyer, single income when I bought.  I think I lost 7 bids before getting this one and then - I was homeless for 3 months (lived with a friend) because close dates on short sales are never real close dates and I had to give my apt complex a move out date. 

    I do love my house, and while FI wants to upgrade (we do need a garage and 2 bathrooms) we're years away.  Until then, we have a quaint little home.  One thing I wish I changed, was buying a townhome.  As it turns out, I'm not as outdoorsey as I thought I was.  Having lawn/driveway maintenance (HOA fees) are not a waste of money, which I thought was at the time.  I really wish I didn't "NEED" to have a backyard. btw, a single standing home vs townhome w/HOA fees were around the same price here in Chicago - it wasn't cost, it was me thinking I wanted a yard and no shared walls (guess what? I can still hear my neighbors though the house walls)

    edit:  and may I add, GOOD LUCK!

    SP29
  • Good luck on the housing search! We are also first time home buyers and still trying to find a place that meets our criteria and doesn't break the bank. 

    We live in a small town where home prices have gone up a lot in the past few years due to potential projects in the area. No projects have been approved but that doesn't stop prices going up. Many of the home are older, and there are few available lots to build on. The city is holding on to development areas for housing in case of future projects. There are a lot of houses on the market that are priced high and are essentially tear downs or would have to be gutted. 

    It can be frustrating, but we are holding out for the right house for us. We think we've found it, but don't want to pay too much for it. So we're trying to be patient. 
    Hope your search works out!
    SP29
  • @SP29 I know the area that you are from, have you thought about looking more South East? It's got some of the same types of houses as the South West area but tend to be cheaper. That area is having a bit of a revival now too though so the houses tend to go quickly. 

    We live in the same city, I live in the North West. It's crazy the housing market, a house goes up for sale in our neighbourhood, it's gone in a week. 
    SP29
  • That's been an issue where I live too- I'm in WNY, historically a really inexpensive place to live up until the last couple of years. Buffalo's comeback has caused real estate here to explode, and homes are going for WAY above their asking price. There was a news article recently about this problem, focusing on a couple who was looking to buy a home, a budget of $200k, which, in the past, would have been more than enough to buy a really nice home here. They've had to up their budget to $300k just to be competitive in the current market, and are still getting outbid. There's a real shortage of affordable homes for sale and a lot of buyers who can't find anything that fits their needs in their price range (including us). We moved here 4.5 years ago, and homes in our neighborhood (in the heart of the city) are going anywhere from 450-600k. We'll NEVER be able to afford a home where we currently rent. 
    SP29
  • That's been an issue where I live too- I'm in WNY, historically a really inexpensive place to live up until the last couple of years. Buffalo's comeback has caused real estate here to explode, and homes are going for WAY above their asking price. There was a news article recently about this problem, focusing on a couple who was looking to buy a home, a budget of $200k, which, in the past, would have been more than enough to buy a really nice home here. They've had to up their budget to $300k just to be competitive in the current market, and are still getting outbid. There's a real shortage of affordable homes for sale and a lot of buyers who can't find anything that fits their needs in their price range (including us). We moved here 4.5 years ago, and homes in our neighborhood (in the heart of the city) are going anywhere from 450-600k. We'll NEVER be able to afford a home where we currently rent. 
    I'm from Buffalo (originally!) and my sister and her H bought in North Buffalo (Hertel Ave. area) about a year and a half ago, and the prices have gone up significantly in their neighborhood just since they bought. They're thankful, and happy they'll be able to resell in a few years, but it's crazy. 
  • kvruns said:
    I feel your pain, it is definitely stressful! It sounds like while you like the house you don't like it enough to go over budget which is good. I think people get caught up in the process sometimes and end up way over paying.  What did your realtor think was the actual worth of the property? Was it closer to their counter or to your offer? 
    When putting a price together, our realtor recommends looking at the comparables as sold price vs. assessed value. The comparables sold in the past 6 months sold for about 1.5 times assessed value, so that is the number we went with. Our realtor supported our price offer, though he told us upfront he would expect the homeowners to want to sell for $35K more than that.

    @short+sassy You make very valid points ;). Even though we're first time home buyers, we're looking for more of a forever home- or atleast 10-20 year home, so we want something that is going to work for a future family (which may include a father-in-law). The house is very much still an option, but I think if it were on a larger property, I'd fight a lot more for it.

    @TrixieJess We have started looking South East. I didn't *want* to, because I really prefer the west area, but I feel like I'm being silly for not at least considering it. The other catch is that my horse is located to the south-west of the city, so if we move east, I also need to find a new barn for her- which also causes me stress ;). But already I've found 2-3 options in the east- asking price is $100k more than the house we put an offer on, but with both of these other options, the house is bigger (though still around the same age- one updated really nice, one not) and they are on 10 acres, vs. 2.5. It really is crazy how much more house you can get! The market in the city is also crazy- moves fast, often above asking price. My mom and her bf recently bought a house, and the offers they went through, offering $25k over asking and still not getting the house!!


    PrettyGirlLost
  • That's been an issue where I live too- I'm in WNY, historically a really inexpensive place to live up until the last couple of years. Buffalo's comeback has caused real estate here to explode, and homes are going for WAY above their asking price. There was a news article recently about this problem, focusing on a couple who was looking to buy a home, a budget of $200k, which, in the past, would have been more than enough to buy a really nice home here. They've had to up their budget to $300k just to be competitive in the current market, and are still getting outbid. There's a real shortage of affordable homes for sale and a lot of buyers who can't find anything that fits their needs in their price range (including us). We moved here 4.5 years ago, and homes in our neighborhood (in the heart of the city) are going anywhere from 450-600k. We'll NEVER be able to afford a home where we currently rent. 
    I'm from Buffalo (originally!) and my sister and her H bought in North Buffalo (Hertel Ave. area) about a year and a half ago, and the prices have gone up significantly in their neighborhood just since they bought. They're thankful, and happy they'll be able to resell in a few years, but it's crazy. 
    I'm not far from Hertel. We're in the EV. Even now, houses in the West Side are getting pretty pricey and that area is still far from safe. Our friends just moved from Normal Ave, to an apartment closer to Elmwood and someone was shot on their street just before they moved. I'm not from here originally, but my H is. If we had bought a house right when we moved here in 2012 we'd probably be sitting pretty right about now, but home ownership wasn't even something we were considering at that point. Finding full-time, permanent work here in my field has been a frustration beyond belief, and that's putting it generously. That, along with the skyrocketing prices of homes in this area, has us looking to move back to my home state in the next year or two.  
  • I used to be pretty familiar with the Toronto housing market.  Not because I've ever lived there or planned to move there but, when I was looking for my first home, I watched a lot of Property Virgins when Sandra Rinomoto was the hostess.  She is an agent in Toronto and about half the shows were there.

    I knew it had gotten bad when I started telling my H how crazy those people were thinking they could get X house for X dollars in such and such neighborhood of Toronto.  "Those houses go for at least $X."  And was really accurate about it, lol.  Or, "Yeah, I can understand wanting to turn the basement into an income suite, but many areas of Toronto have made that illegal in recent years, so they need to check if it is grandfathered in."

    I am such a real estate dork like that, lol.  My personal duplex is in an area of NOLA that has gotten hot in recent years.  A house a couple blocks from mine went up for sale on Saturday and was under contract Monday morning!  I couldn't even believe it.  And it was priced at comps, it wasn't a bargain or anything.  I have random real estate agents mail me postcards asking if I want to sell my home.

    I even got a phone call once from a real estate investor looking to buy properties in my area.  I initially said no, then laughed and told him that wasn't true.  Anything can be bought for the right price.  And threw out a number that was like 30% above comps, lol.  He laughed with me and said that was probably more than he wanted to pay.  I don't blame him, but then I also got my point across that I'm really not interested in selling. 

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    SP29
  • I used to be pretty familiar with the Toronto housing market.  Not because I've ever lived there or planned to move there but, when I was looking for my first home, I watched a lot of Property Virgins when Sandra Rinomoto was the hostess.  She is an agent in Toronto and about half the shows were there.

    I knew it had gotten bad when I started telling my H how crazy those people were thinking they could get X house for X dollars in such and such neighborhood of Toronto.  "Those houses go for at least $X."  And was really accurate about it, lol.  Or, "Yeah, I can understand wanting to turn the basement into an income suite, but many areas of Toronto have made that illegal in recent years, so they need to check if it is grandfathered in."

    I am such a real estate dork like that, lol.  My personal duplex is in an area of NOLA that has gotten hot in recent years.  A house a couple blocks from mine went up for sale on Saturday and was under contract Monday morning!  I couldn't even believe it.  And it was priced at comps, it wasn't a bargain or anything.  I have random real estate agents mail me postcards asking if I want to sell my home.

    I even got a phone call once from a real estate investor looking to buy properties in my area.  I initially said no, then laughed and told him that wasn't true.  Anything can be bought for the right price.  And threw out a number that was like 30% above comps, lol.  He laughed with me and said that was probably more than he wanted to pay.  I don't blame him, but then I also got my point across that I'm really not interested in selling. 

    One of my best friends lives in Toronto, the house that they live in is slightly bigger than the one I live in and has no yard, front or back. Their property taxes are twice what I pay. I live in a city that a bunch of Torontonians are now pricing people out of. Luckily because of when we got our house, our mortgage is low. We are hanging on to our house because the bubble can only last so long and I love our neighbourhood. 
    SP29
  • Re: Toronto, I'm always amazed when I watch the HGTV shows that are based there and seeing just how high prices are. I don't know if some of the shows are in other areas of Canada too but the house prices amaze me, especially since they always seem to have a lot of things wrong with them on the Love it or List it show.
  • kvruns said:
    Re: Toronto, I'm always amazed when I watch the HGTV shows that are based there and seeing just how high prices are. I don't know if some of the shows are in other areas of Canada too but the house prices amaze me, especially since they always seem to have a lot of things wrong with them on the Love it or List it show.
    Vancouver is higher than Toronto. They are having some real issues with affordable housing. Right now all the suburbs around Toronto are being priced out of the market. People are moving further south, an hour to two hours outside of Toronto just to be able to afford a house. 
  • When I was house hunting, I liked the idea of an older home that needed work.  A lot of first time home buyers will pass on a house like that because they are worried about doing that amount of work, but the house probably isn't priced where a flipper would make any money, so you are primed to get in there.  You will give yourself a lot of room to make a good investment by doing the project over a period of years.  Since I bought my house 4 years ago, I have redone the electrical, the kitchen, the roof...and the houses in my neighborhood are selling for 20% more than what I paid for mine.  

    Anyway, just remember that a home that isn't updated means a family probably lived there for a really long time and it worked for them.  There's a good chance a renovated house was done by people who were likely not emotionally attached to the house, so you never know what is beneath that brand new kitchen.  

    Good luck!

    cowgirl8238short+sassySP29
  • Ro041 said:
    When I was house hunting, I liked the idea of an older home that needed work.  A lot of first time home buyers will pass on a house like that because they are worried about doing that amount of work, but the house probably isn't priced where a flipper would make any money, so you are primed to get in there.  You will give yourself a lot of room to make a good investment by doing the project over a period of years.  Since I bought my house 4 years ago, I have redone the electrical, the kitchen, the roof...and the houses in my neighborhood are selling for 20% more than what I paid for mine.  

    Anyway, just remember that a home that isn't updated means a family probably lived there for a really long time and it worked for them.  There's a good chance a renovated house was done by people who were likely not emotionally attached to the house, so you never know what is beneath that brand new kitchen.  

    Good luck!

    I want to "Love" this 10x.

    I did this with my personal home.  I've also done it 3 times with rental properties.  It is such a magic formula.  I buy a house that is super cheap, because it needs a fair amount of work, but not gutted.  Put $10K-$20K into repairs.  Come out $50Kish ahead from my "all in" price.  Rent it out, make a 20ish% return on my initial investment each year (not counting monthly expenses).  I buy my rentals in LCOL areas.  HCOL areas will usually see an even larger spread between repairs and increased values.

    I had zero construction/construction mgmt. experience when I bought my first home (duplex).  One unit needed all new electrical.  Both sides needed new flooring.  And those were just the biggies before anyone could live there.  There were also a million small projects.

    Over the years, I've replaced the siding and insulation, repainted the exterior, replaced the gutters, replaced all the windows, added a large deck with French doors, re-did the tenant kitchen, repainted the tenant side, added storage sheds, added a fire pit/seating area.  Tackled another million small projects.  I'm still not done, lol.

    And, while I don't have any desire to sell my home anytime soon, I would hazard to say that every project I've done has increased the value and appeal of the home by more than what the project cost.  Some of it was DIY, some of it was hired out.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    Ro041
  • Ro041 said:
    When I was house hunting, I liked the idea of an older home that needed work.  A lot of first time home buyers will pass on a house like that because they are worried about doing that amount of work, but the house probably isn't priced where a flipper would make any money, so you are primed to get in there.  You will give yourself a lot of room to make a good investment by doing the project over a period of years.  Since I bought my house 4 years ago, I have redone the electrical, the kitchen, the roof...and the houses in my neighborhood are selling for 20% more than what I paid for mine.  

    Anyway, just remember that a home that isn't updated means a family probably lived there for a really long time and it worked for them.  There's a good chance a renovated house was done by people who were likely not emotionally attached to the house, so you never know what is beneath that brand new kitchen.  

    Good luck!

    I wanted to add.

    If anyone has ever wondered what a "flippers" formula is, this is the pretty standard one:

    Offer price equals no more than "House price+Reno costs+holding costs/fees x 70-80%".  In other words, flippers expect to make at least 20-30% profit after their "all-in" cost.  Usually more on the 30% side.  But, in some areas, that is impossible and those flippers will push it down to 20%.  I've never come across a flipper who will go lower than that...at least not on purpose!

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    Ro041
  • We looked at a house this evening on the east side of the city- 10 acres, *right* at the top of our budget, but in the photos the house looked beautiful. SUCH a disappointment when we went. The owners clearly did a bunch of reno work, but it was not done well. A lot of mis-mash of materials, things left unfinished, things that were done were done so poorly.... enough to make you wonder, "If this is what I can see... what aren't we seeing?". Plus it would need windows, and there were signs they've had issues with leaks in the past. There's a large shed/garage on the property that would need to come down. Potential for sure- and a large property- but not at that price point!

    We definitely do not mind a house that needs work. I'd rather a house I could renovate and finish the way we want it versus what we saw tonight (re-doing someone else's work). But what we're finding are houses that need work being listed for similar prices to other properties that don't.
    ernursej
  • bleve0821bleve0821 The Shire
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    member
    If you are not under pressure to move and can stay where you are now indefinitely, I would continue to look around and see as many houses as you can. DH and I are in the process of closing on our second house in a little over a year (not part of our plan). The first time, we had the luxury of not being pressured to move; this time it was a necessity. We looked at literally dozens of homes before we even made an offer this time around. If you can imagine looking at 3 or 4 dozen homes in the space of five days... I don't recommend it.

    But both times, we KNEW, the moment we stepped inside, when we'd found home. One needed work, one didn't. One had been flipped, one hadn't.

    It is an incredibly stressful process, that is for damn sure, and it doesn't get easier. But if you have the time, TAKE IT.  Don't look at anything outside your budget, and if you think it'll be of interest to many parties, don't see a place close to the top end of your budget.  Don't feel pressured because the market is hot, or you feel like your budget isn't sufficient and you'll get into a bidding war. You'll know when you've found home, whether it needs work or not.

    For us, on this current house, we were stuck with a hot market and a very small window of time. Our budget was on the low end for what we wanted (big house on a nice piece of land = more $$$ than we wanted to spend), and the house we are closing on is much smaller than we originally wanted. But the difference between this house and the larger homes we saw is that we SEE (not picture) a future here, regardless of the size.  It feels like home. 

    I'm sure I haven't helped, but I wish you the best of luck and I hope that you and your H find your home.


    "And when they use our atoms to make new lives, they won’t just be able to take one, they’ll have to take two, one of you and one of me..."
    --Philip Pullman

    SP29short+sassycharlotte989875cowgirl8238
  • No, that is good advice @AtomicBlonde. And that's kind of where we are at- we aren't in a rush to buy a house, we don't have our own house we are trying to sell, so we can be picky and firm on price.

    House buying is definitely a much different decision making process than my usual style. I'm a- I want all the options up front, weigh them individually, then compare and contrast, narrow it down to 2-3 and choose from there- kind of person. Can't do that as much with a house. Wait for something to come up, decide if you like it or not, possibly miss out because someone put in an offer before you. But the right one will come.
  • SP29 said:
    We looked at a house this evening on the east side of the city- 10 acres, *right* at the top of our budget, but in the photos the house looked beautiful. SUCH a disappointment when we went. The owners clearly did a bunch of reno work, but it was not done well. A lot of mis-mash of materials, things left unfinished, things that were done were done so poorly.... enough to make you wonder, "If this is what I can see... what aren't we seeing?". Plus it would need windows, and there were signs they've had issues with leaks in the past. There's a large shed/garage on the property that would need to come down. Potential for sure- and a large property- but not at that price point!

    We definitely do not mind a house that needs work. I'd rather a house I could renovate and finish the way we want it versus what we saw tonight (re-doing someone else's work). But what we're finding are houses that need work being listed for similar prices to other properties that don't.


    I'm constantly amazed at how great a house will look in the pictures, but then be a totally different story in person.  It's rarely the other way around.

    To the bolded, YES!  Exactly.  I made the exact same comment you did for the very first home I ever saw.  I was a total novice, but even I could see that...where a real fix/repair was needed...a temporary "band-aid" had been applied instead.  There were so many spots in the house like that.  Such a cute house, so much good stuff about it, but it had obviously been poorly maintained over many years.  And really wasn't "priced right" to take all of that into consideration. 

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    SP29
  • I want to point out that is not always possible or prudent to buy something cheap that needs work, even if you have the willingness to put up with a renovation project.  When I was shopping for my first house a few years ago, I really really wanted a cool old house that needed a lot of work.  As in, that would have been my preference because I am handy and so is FI and I have been involved in my parents' remodeling projects and I love the idea of taking something "ugly" and making it sing.  But when it really comes down to brass tacks, it turns out that spending a few extra bucks a month on a mortgage to buy a house that costs $50k more is far more doable than buying something cheaper and having to come up with $50k out of pocket to renovate.  There are mortgages that include a renovation loan, but as I understand it the terms and conditions are pretty narrow.
    charlotte989875cowgirl8238SP29
  • I want to point out that is not always possible or prudent to buy something cheap that needs work, even if you have the willingness to put up with a renovation project.  When I was shopping for my first house a few years ago, I really really wanted a cool old house that needed a lot of work.  As in, that would have been my preference because I am handy and so is FI and I have been involved in my parents' remodeling projects and I love the idea of taking something "ugly" and making it sing.  But when it really comes down to brass tacks, it turns out that spending a few extra bucks a month on a mortgage to buy a house that costs $50k more is far more doable than buying something cheaper and having to come up with $50k out of pocket to renovate.  There are mortgages that include a renovation loan, but as I understand it the terms and conditions are pretty narrow.
    This. Renovating means money out of pocket where a more expensive house may mean slightly higher mortgage payments. Pros and cons for both sides, but important to remember that a cheaper house is not always cheaper in the long run. 
    ShesSoColdcowgirl8238SP29
  • I want to point out that is not always possible or prudent to buy something cheap that needs work, even if you have the willingness to put up with a renovation project.  When I was shopping for my first house a few years ago, I really really wanted a cool old house that needed a lot of work.  As in, that would have been my preference because I am handy and so is FI and I have been involved in my parents' remodeling projects and I love the idea of taking something "ugly" and making it sing.  But when it really comes down to brass tacks, it turns out that spending a few extra bucks a month on a mortgage to buy a house that costs $50k more is far more doable than buying something cheaper and having to come up with $50k out of pocket to renovate.  There are mortgages that include a renovation loan, but as I understand it the terms and conditions are pretty narrow.
    This. Renovating means money out of pocket where a more expensive house may mean slightly higher mortgage payments. Pros and cons for both sides, but important to remember that a cheaper house is not always cheaper in the long run. 


    Then you have the issue of properly estimating your renovation costs.  Sure some people may set aside 50K, but what if you get halfway through and realize you need another 25K to finish the job properly?  I am not trying to dissuade one side or the other, it is just something to consider when purchasing a project home.  Especially true if the previous people didn't fix things properly, thus leaving you with something that looks good until you dig into a project only to realize a corner or two (or more!) were cut.

    charlotte989875SP29
  • Having bought and sold lots of houses, I don't think the process gets easier. My second place (and the one that we live in) is this tiny run down apartment in a great location. I had huge reservations about buying it, but the price was fantastic and it was the location that sold us. We haven't completed any of the renos we want to do and the layout is horrible, but we've stuck with it.

    When we are buying, we always figure out what the purpose of the property is and then our 2 must haves (one from each person). Any place that doesn't have the must haves (usually location and parking) are automatically out. Then we decide what we can live with and what we can't. Price comes in around there. Most of the stuff we buy and sell are income properties or rentals so that changes the feeling a bit, but I still get anxious house hunting.

    I think it is really good that you don't have time pressures. That is the worst feeling.  Good luck!

    SP29short+sassy
  • Went to look at a house tonight. Farther out of the city than I wanted to be- but the house and property were worth it.

    6.9 acres and very treed- just like we wanted. The house is a Victorian home built in 1880. Beautifully maintained. 13'' baseboards! 11' ceilings! Oh the crown molding and wood floors! 2 staircases! But updated windows, doors, bathrooms and kitchen- butcher block counter top, double oven, gas range oven. 4+1 bedrooms. Just stunning.

    When we went to look at it, our realtor told us the seller's agent had a buyer presenting an offer that night, so if we put an offer in.

    Unfortunately the other offer was for more money and no conditions, so no go :(. Man that house was stunning.... so hard to find a house like that.
«1
Sign In or Register to comment.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards