What I'm Doing

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Buying a House, Part VII

Because of the gas prices, my company has approved us to work a day a week from home. I chose Fridays.

While I was working from home this past Friday, Kristen went out with Eric to look at some more houses. A little after 4pm, Kristen called me and asked if I can meet them in a certain neighborhood a few exits on the Interstate north of the apartment. I reminded her that I don't get off work until 5pm, and she responds that it's important. My curiosity was sufficiently piqued by the fact that this neighborhood was the same neighborhood with the house that we'd really liked but was too expensive, and she sounded excited, so I checked to make sure I didn't have any pending emails to deal with, and headed out to meet them.

When I pulled up, I discovered that the house Kristen and Eric were excited about was a foreclosure that had, previously, been well outside of our price range, but had been reduced to the high limit of our price range. It's a "Cape Cod" style house with a garage/finished basement. This time, Kristen and Eric spent a lot of time, including the time waiting for me to get there, looking over the house trying to find anything wrong with it.

They did find a few issues: a piece of wood trim on the chimney needs to be replace, and a piece of wood over the porch is also bad. There's a deadbolt in the back that needs to be replaced, and the stove/over needs cleaning. The carpet could also use a good professional cleaning. These things are relatively minor, and probably won't be terribly expensive. Once we're past that, there are a number of things that could be done to make the home even better than it is.

At the reduced price, Eric believes that this house will be somewhat of a hot item. In fact, he was able to find that at least 3 people other than us had looked at that house that same day. Since none of us felt any reservations about the house, we decided to make an offer that evening.

Because the house is a foreclosure, and a bank is selling it, they aren't likely to receive the offer until Monday, when it may be that they receive two or three other offers as well. At the same time, Eric expects that other people, looking at the house, may decide to try and talk the price down even further, so we considered it and decided to offer the full price of the house (minus the fact that we're asking the seller to pay closing costs), and told them we want to close at the end of March. This should give us enough time for an inspector to come through and check everything out to make sure the house is as good as we think.

We signed the paperwork, and Eric has sent in the offer, so now we can only wait. The bank has until Tuesday evening to respond, so we'll know by then whether we have a chance at this house. If not, we'll find something else. God-willing, we'll have a house before Easter (according to the Eastern calendar, April 27).

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