Our House Search: Soon Over?

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Many of you have been asking about our house search lately. You’re wondering if we found anything we like and if we’re moving into a place soon. I had no idea this house search would spark such an interest! For those of you who are curious, here are the details of our house search thus far.

The Initial House Search

Early on, we weren’t sure which type of property we were even looking for. In fact, I wrote a post titled, “Condo or House? A Question for the Readers.”

The condo would allow us to work less (yard work and such) and it would offer quite a few amenities, but of course, this came at a monthly price. A house, on the other hand, would allow more freedom, and more privacy, but it would require more work.

After searching through a few houses and comparing them to the condo, we realized that we could get much more house for the price. The condo would cost about $130,000, whereas a comparable-sized house would cost about $100,000. The condos were really considered “luxury” and therefore came at a higher price tag.

House Search

Since my wife and I have decided to spend less than $100,000 on our first house (even though we could technically afford nearly double that), we have seen many “interesting” properties. Many of these properties were so run-down and beat up that we didn’t even venture upstairs to view them in their entirety.

Of course, most of these properties are foreclosures, so the original owners gutted them before they were required to leave. Many of them are left without appliances and have been damaged in some way. Odd odors, such as old food, cat pee, and damp carpet were fairly common within these foreclosed properties as well. Since we’re not professional builders or remodelers and would like to do much of the work ourselves, we pretty much disregarded any house that required us to rip up floorboards (this was the case for most of the houses under $50,000).

“The” House

My wife was leaning very heavily toward the luxury condo, but when we walked into “The” House, we both knew that this one took the cake, and it came at a discounted price.

Normally, when couples walk through “the house of their dreams”, they’re stepping into the most expensive house in the neighborhood. This wasn’t even close to describing our moment.

I’m fortunate enough to have a wife with vision, because to the untrained eye, this place is u-g-l-y, ugly! The entry door is painted blue and burgandy, the appliances are gone, the porch has curled up laminate flooring, the carpet is worn, the shingles are peeling, and there is cow-print wallpaper EVERYWHERE!

It does not have the “wow” factor now, but here’s what we see: original early 1900’s windows, solid doors throughout, steel framing in the basement, multiple laundry shoots (my favorite!), hardwood floors on the main floor and upstairs (hidden under the carpet), an open staircase, large bedrooms, a large formal dining area, a beautiful fireplace, a porch, and a perfect location (near the park, pool, and the hospital)!

The Price

This house was originally listed for $107,000, then was lowered to $95,000, and then was lowered again to $87,000. This was all in the course of only 3 months! I smelled a deal!

My wife and I originally offered a “low-ball” offer of $62,000 which was immediately rejected by the bank. After the rejection, we decided to look at a few more properties, but we soon realized that nothing else really measured up. I mean, let’s face it, I’m 6’8″ and there aren’t too many basements that can contain me! This house did, so it passes the test that few houses can.

We decided to get the bank’s attention and offered $76,000 (still $11,000 under their asking price, mind you). It worked, they countered our offer with $78,750, and today, we are splitting the difference which will hopefully be accepted by the bank!

The living area with dirty walls and an odd-textured ceiling (from trulia.com)

Wish Us The Best!

We are putting the offer in under the condition that we can still opt out of the purchase if it does not do well in the inspection. Hopefully, the bank will accept our offer soon and we can continue with the process! Keep us in your prayers and hopefully everything will work out!

If we get this house, would you like to be involved in the renovation? My wife likes to take pictures! 🙂

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Housing

Derek

AUTHOR Derek

My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.

34 Comments

  1. I hope that your offer is accepted. The house seems like a real bargain and I’m sure you’ll be able to make it lovely!

    -I would love renovation pictures 🙂

    • I hope so too! With the low price of the house, we’ll definitely have a chance to renovate it and make it look amazing again. 🙂

    • Thanks! I think the chances are pretty good too! We’re trying not to get too far ahead of ourselves with the renovations. We still have a cheap rental and can stay there for the first couple months while we renovate.

  2. Sounds like the bank may just take you up on your offer! This house also sounds like a heck of a deal! good luck, and if you do end up getting, would also love to see some of the renovation pictures.
    Mercedes recently posted..Progress Bars Update – May 2011

    • I hope so! The house is a pretty good deal, and we’ll definitely be snapping some photos for all of you!

  3. Great! That’s how I look at houses too. I see what I can do with it, not what someone else has already done. Sometimes I hate when people have recarpeted and painted and updated and I would have to pay more for something that I might want to change. Good luck and have fun making it yours!

    • We are really looking forward to making the house “ours”! It’s going to be a blast.

  4. congrats on the soon to be new baby! the place is going to take a lot of sweat and hopefully not too many tears before it becomes an absolute gem.. maybe remove the cow-print wallpaper to celebrate the moment you get the keys?? lol…

    • BABY?! 🙂 Ha, no baby yet. I think you meant “house”. Yes, it will take some sweat, and I imagine there will be a few arguments, but it’s going to be beautiful when we’re done! Ha! I like your idea about the wallpaper.

  5. Good luck. Hold your plans until they say yes, although $78,750 doesn’t sound that bad either. I live in southern California, anything below $300K is a bargain. How much do you think it will cost to fix it up? How does the new value (price + renovations) compare with the neighborhood?
    krantcents recently posted..KC Awards- Weekly Recognition

    • These questions could almost make a whole other post! We figure it will take about $20,000 to fix up and update, which puts us below $100,000 yet. When we’re done, this house should be worth about $125,000, so we’ll already have $25,000 worth of equity when we’re done! 🙂

  6. Congrats on the house. When I was looking, everyone always said, buy the cheapest, ugliest house on a good block. Sounds like you did just that. And since you both have the vision, I’m sure you will make it look great!
    Robert @ The College Investor recently posted..The Power of a Well Written Letter

    • That’s exactly what we’re doing. When we’re done, this house will look like the nicest house on the nicest block in town! Plus, we can’t wait to walk out our front door and step on those tennis courts! 🙂

  7. Thanks for sharing. I would love to see pictures as you renovate. Great job on finding a inexpensive house with potential! You’ve probably already made your profit for when you decide to sell.
    Financial Success for Young Adults recently posted..Bond Treasury Bond

    • We’ll have to see what happens! Hopefully the bank will get back to us soon and we can start some renovation! Pictures will definitely be available.

  8. Congratulations! This sounds remarkably similar to my house-buying process … I bought a real fixer-upper (a REAL fixer-upper!) with great bones, underneath all those decades of neglect. It will take several years, and probably $30,000 or $40,000, to restore it to glory, but when that happens it will be beautiful.

    It was originally listed for $400,000 (which was an unreasonable asking price — in that neighborhood, it would have to be in good condition to deserve that price). It went under contract, at around $320,000, with a buyer who later pulled out. Then it went under contract again at $280,000 with a buyer who later pulled out. I offered $225,000 and got it.
    Paula @ AffordAnything.org recently posted..What Chris Rock knows about Money

    • Wow, $225,000 sounds like a steal compared to $400,000! We are still negociating with the bank, but I really doubt that they’d want to let it go to auction when they have guaranteed money now. We are budgeting $20,000 for repairs because the house is actually in pretty good shape! We aren’t going to tear down any walls or anything, just spruce it up a little.

  9. Wow you are pretty tall! My Dad is 6’7 and always seemed like a giant! I’m just under 6′ but still feel small in everyday life and I think it was related to growin up around him!!!

    Congrats on the house, sounds like a sealed deal 🙂
    Forest recently posted..MTV Trivia Quiz

    • Ha, yeah, I’m definitely taller than most! Thanks for the congrats. Fingers are still crossed!

    • Thanks. We STILL have not heard from the bank, so I’m getting a little nervous. But, if we don’t get it, there will always be other houses. We’re not in a big hurry either.

  10. Wow 76K$!

    My dad build the house I grew up in for 40K and that was 37 years ago.

    Would the price of simply buying new material and time simply cost nearly double that nowadays? Not including the land cost …

    I have to say well done on the negotiation. Hope you can negotiate the same deals for your renos.
    The Passive Income Earner recently posted..Dividend Yield or Dividend Growth

    • When we get the house fixed up, it should easily be worth $125,000. We’ll save quite a lot of money by doing the work ourselves as well (well, with the help of my father-in-law that is).

  11. Congratulations/good luck! I definitely want to help with the renovations. I love decorating! Don’t forget to look at discount stores like Ross, Marshalls, and TJ Maxx, since they have the most epic deals (and that’s where a lot of our things are from)
    20 and Engaged recently posted..When Your Spouse Needs You

    • The renovations should be fun. Luckily, we don’t have to bust into any walls or anything, but there will be some definite refinishing and tearing down of wallpaper!! It’s going to look fantastic once we’re done with it. 🙂

  12. I say we try a challenge… home renovation that is cost effective by buying items from garage sales, antique stores, CraigsList.org, and second hand stores; refurbish them and decorate that way! We could at least do one room that way. 🙂

    • I love it! Those were my thoughts exactly. We could track our receipts as well. Great idea hunny! 🙂

    • loooooonnnnngggg llllloooonnnngggg renovation!

      • Haha! Well, we plan on renting for an extra month so that we can get all that stuff done before we move in. I’m sure there will be projects that come up (there always are), but at least we’ll get the big stuff out of the way.


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