1960ranch's Blog


The Diagnosis
September 28, 2009, 3:58 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Our soon to be (or not so soon) first home had a laundry list of issues.  Let’s start with the kitchen.  Immediately I loved the colonial style cabinets and original stainless wall oven.  Unfortunately, neither were in good enough condition to keep the way they were.  The wall oven was a little small to cook thanksgiving Turkey in, too.  The timer on the oven had “out of order” written over its dial and there were missing knobs.   On top of that the interior of the oven was falling apart.  There wasn’t much hope for this original fixture. None of the other appliances were original, but were in just as bad of shape.   The cabinets were sturdy, but had a lot of cosmetic damage.  My husband was not a fan of the colonial hardware, with the exterior hindges.  The floor looked like it was 50 years old in wear, but had more of an early 90’s look to it, and there was foot wide hole in the flooring by the fridge.  How did that get there?  The décor looked very 1990’s, with paisley wallpaper, and matching appliqués on the cabinets.

The house had quite a few replacement windows whose seals had already gone bad, the remaining wood windows were rotting and the panes were falling out.  The wood floors were stained and covered in a thick layer of dirt.  The house had undergone some abuse after the foreclosure as well: someone ripped out the toilet and some copper pipes.  The furnace had been disconnected, and there was no way to see if it was working.   There was evidence of water damage in the basement, along with heavy mold, which is why I think no one had bought the house yet.  We weren’t sure if the pipes had been properly winterized.

So, how were we going to tackle this?  Buying a home doesn’t really leave much room for home repairs, and the house was not livable as-is.  Justin found out about a government loan program called the 203K loan that allowed buyers (with intent to live in the property) to take out additional money with their mortgage to do home repairs.  The only catch was that the cost of the home, plus the repairs, could not exceed what an appraiser thought the house would be worth after the repairs were done.  The house’s asking price was 103K, and the average price of a house like this in livable condition was 150K, so we felt pretty sure we could qualify. We knew it would be a lot of work, but the house would be just how we wanted it when it was done, so we thought it would be worth it.

The first step was putting an offer on the house.  That’s a lot harder than it sounds with a foreclosure.  There was a bidding period on the house for 10 days, because the house price had just been lowered.  For 10 days, people could put in their offers, and then after the 10 days, the house went to the highest bidder.  We offered asking price plus 2,000 sellers help with closing costs… then waited.   On the day the winner would be announced I couldn’t think of anything other than that aqua bathroom.  What unworthy buyer would snatch it up and tear out the tile without a blink?  We deserved that house! No one would love it the way we would!  Then, at 2:30 PM the unthinkable happened- we had been outbid, by a little more than $100!!!!  I was heartbroken.  The only thing that consoled me was the fact that there were more aqua tiled bathrooms out there, waiting for us to save them.  We would resume our house search, broken but not defeated!

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2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

congratulations on your new/old house! i’ll keep an eye on your blog and your progress — and add you to my blogroll!

Comment by 50s Pam

The pictures look fabulous! Love the way the house looks. Thanks for sharing your story.

Comment by marilyn geib




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