House Buying Update

We’ve been pretty busy over the past month.  It’s been an emotional roller coaster while we juggle all the things that go into buying a house.  We placed a bid on the house.  After a day we heard back from the seller that there were several bids so they asked for our best and final bid. We upped our bid and our new bid won. Then we moved on to the inspection.

The inspection revealed some problems. It needs a new roof right away. The shingles are worn out and it is already has some small leaks in some areas. The inspector also recommended new plumbing since the existing plumbing is polybutylene. Apparently polybutylene is prone to failure when used with a chlorinated water source. Because of this it is recommended that we replace all the plumbing in the house.

Some other issues that need to be addressed, although not a urgent, are that it needs a new water heater and the pool needs to be resurfaced.

This house was a foreclosed property that is now bank owned. We requested that the bank to fix these issues before we commit to the purchase. They declined to make any repairs, although they did agree to pay our closing costs.

My wife and I had another series of discussions at this point.  I know that this is basically the house she’s always dreamed of.  It hits all the things she is looking for in a house, and the three years we have been living in this area, she has seen no other houses that do so.  These maintenance issues are the ones I always dreaded as a home owner.  I was happy when we went back to renting to never have to think of these issues again.  And yet, now we come full circle and have these issues right on the front side of a new home purchase.

Knowing that this is THE house, we agreed to move forward and handle the repairs ourselves.  After we close, we’ll have to find a roofing company and a plumbing company to tackle the immediate repairs.

The inside of the house had already been renovated and is much more modern in appearance that most of the other houses in the area, most of which were built in the late ’80s and early ’90s. The bathrooms and kitchens have been remodeled, and the flooring has all been recently replaced.  It has a brand new air conditioning unit and new pool equipment.

As part of the mortgage process, the house was appraised, and even after we sink money into the repairs we’ll still be coming out at slightly under the appraised value.

We were all ready to close this week, and be in the house before Christmas when a new issue arose.  The home owners association is looking to collect on missed fee payments as well as on maintenance costs.  The HOA in this community will take over lawn care on foreclosed properties in order to keep the neighborhood looking nice.  Really the banks that foreclose should do this, but they don’t.  And now the HOA wants to collect the money to cover the lawn care.  They also want to collect the missing HOA fees and all the associated late fees since the bank never paid any of it.

The total bill is $20,000.  The bank is planning to fight these fees and may have to take it to court.

Say goodbye to our dream of moving in by Christmas.

Since we were so close to the closing date, we already started boxing up our belongings in preparation for the move.  Now we are half boxed up and waiting for the bank (seller) and the HOA to come to an agreement.

It’s a real downer as we had already invited family to come visit us in the new house for Christmas.  Now we are hosting in our apartment instead.

While we wait we’ve been making some plans for after we move in.  We’re not planning to buy much.  On the list so far is a desk for my wife and I to share,  a couple of chairs for the family room, and at some point a bed for the guest room.  The desk will be the most pressing as my wife is ramping up her client load and could really use a dedicated space for paperwork and planning.  We found a nice one at ikea that is basically a piece of glass on two sets of legs.  It’s a little lower than most desks since it doesn’t have any drawers under the desk top, which will make it a good height for using a laptop.

While I still believe renting to be the best place for us, the thought of moving into this house is growing on me.  I know my daughter will enjoy a dedicated room for her playthings, which will mean her bedroom will be super easy to keep neat and orderly.  One of the downsides to an apartment is that a little bit of clutter can make the whole place look messy, so I’m looking forward to having that same little bit of clutter in a bigger space feel less messy.

One thing I can vouch for is that we will still be continuing with the minimalist theme.  We even did a little more decluttering as we started packing.  My wife decluttered the pantry.  I ended up decluttering our spices as I started looking at best-by dates.  I don’t know if dried spices ever really expire, but from what I’ve read they do lose some of their punch after a while.  I threw out anything that was past the best-by date, including a couple jars that were best by 2000.  Yikes, not sure how those survived the prior decluttering and moves.

Thanks again for all of you that shared your comments here and on Facebook.  I truly appreciate each and every one of you.

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