Moving forward on a house...

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Jem, Jul 6, 2009.

  1. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Jul 6, 2009

    Hoooooray!

    We found a house that both dh and I are in love with. Not an easy feat, let me tell you. Somtimes I think he doesn't like houses simply because I DO! It's listed at 729k, and we want to go really, really low on the offer. I'm thinking around 650k, but my mom says we should try 600k (my parents were with us when we 'found' it last weekend).

    It's so perfect-only 2 minutes from the downtown area with cute boutiques, restaurants, etc. Pretty great schools (I applied to their district this year). It has a detached garage for Sprout, tons of storage underneath in a basement for our bikes, surf boards, holiday decorations, etc. (accessible from outdoors), and it needs NO WORK!

    I really thought we'd get a fixer-upper, but then the thought of moving in to a place that doesn't need any work is pretty appealing. We're both SO busy at the moment. It's a bit on the small side (just over 1,000 square feet), but that seems like a good size right now, especially with the detached garage for Sprout and the storage underneath. It has two full bedrooms and a tiny bedroom that we'd probably make into an office. The kitchen is GREAT, with tons of cabinets and nice tile. There's a small living room and a small eating area. The backyard is neat as a pin, and has a nice small deck as well as a covered patio area that we could hang twinkle lights from and put some patio furniture on.

    I also LOVE the detached garage. I've already mentally filled it with my bookshelves and tubs so Sprout would be so, so much more organized and easy to run. Right now I'm climbing over boxes and packing material in the spare room, as well as stacking other boxes under the dining room table/on the porch/in a friend's garage. This large area would change everything. We wouldn't have room for our large dining room table, so we could put it in the middle of this room would give me a huge area to work on, pack boxes, ect. The front opens up and there is a side door that is like a 'barn' door, so you can just open the top, so plenty of breezes and sunlight.

    I'll keep you guys posted. We want to do another walk-through tonight or tomorrow evening, and put in an offer before dh goes to Chicago on Thursday. We have no idea how the seller will react to such a low offer, but when we look at the final selling price of so many places around here, they are 10-20% below asking, and 650k is only 10% under asking. And it's small. But it's also beautiful and remodeled. But you can't go down after your first offer, so I guess we should start ridiculously low and see where it goes.

    Advice is welcome.

    Here are some pictures:
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  3. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Jem, I just love it. Go with your mom's advice, bid low!!!!
     
  4. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Thanks, Hoot! It's much smaller than I thought we would buy, but in a way, it's kind of perfect that it's small. Not too much cleaning, enough room for a baby and entertaining outside (lots of backyard parties!!), etc. Cute and quaint. And maybe we could add a second floor someday if we win the lottery. ;)
     
  5. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Very cute place. There really isn't much harm in bidding low. It's unlikely the seller will just laugh and not even counter-offer. Your only risk would be if the house is newly on the market and someone else bids much higher than you. But if it's been on the market for more than a couple weeks, that's not too likely. Possible, but not likely. So hey, shoot low and see how it goes.

    Good luck! Gotta love CA, $650K buys you 1000 sq ft :). It looks like a very livable 1000 sq ft though, I mean it doesn't look all smooshed and tiny. I'll keep fingers crossed you guys get it. Have you been pre-approved for a loan for a certain amount?
     
  6. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Yay, Jem. Love it!

    I know what you mean about finding a house both you and DH approve ... I'm in the same boat.

    I won't tell you what 1000 sq feet goes for in Kansas. Of course, I have no need to store a surfboard in Kansas. :)
     
  7. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Yeah, it's pretty new to the market and we're trying to figure out how to play this. We don't want to look too eager (even though I'm DYING to get out of here and I WANT THIS HOUSE).... Yep, we were just pre-approved today, hence the moving forward seriously. We could pay full price and be just fine, but we obviously want to pay as little as possible. It's also hard to know where the seller is coming from. Record show he bought the place for 295k in 1989. So he's making a huge profit regardless. That's a HUGE bonus. A lot of houses we see were actually bought for more than what the seller is asking for, so they probably won't move too much as they are already selling at a loss. This guy is going to make a profit with any offer he accepts.

    We'll see! I want our realtor to call back!!!
     
  8. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Jem~it is too cute! I love it! And it looks like you would have plenty of space for everything. I agree with your mom..bid low because that gives room for negotiation. Good luck!
     
  9. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Sigh. Tell me about it. I'm originally from MI. It's painful until you adjust your mindset.
     
  10. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    $650K would get you a mansion in TX. :D
     
  11. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    It's darling! Someone did a great job of staging, too.
     
  12. MsMaggs

    MsMaggs Comrade

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    Soooo cute!! I hope it works out for you!
     
  13. dizzykates

    dizzykates Habitué

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    That's adorable! Amazing what things go for different places. DH and I are begging to get out of our house and it's 1200 square feet. It feels small, but then again, most houses around here are twice that size with price tags three times what we paided. Best of luck!
     
  14. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    How big is the place you live in now? Will you be going downsizing? DF and I live in 1500 sq feet with two car garage and full basement and it's to small for us. Make sure it isn't to small before you buy it. Also, don't get emotional over a house, that is bad in the house buying market, go with a take it or leave it attitude.
     
  15. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Good suggestions, JaimeMarie.

    Our current place is around 700 square feet, I think. The main problem here is no storage-we have three bikes in our bedroom, storage tubs in our clothes closet, etc. I'm also using the second bedroom as a Sprout room. If I can use the detached garage area (not included in the square feet), that's HUGE. We'd gain another bedroom. We don't mind a smaller living space as long as we can get some of our 'storage stuff' OUT of the living space!! We also need a larger kitchen than what we have right now (basically one person fits in the kitchen), and this is much longer and larger than what we have at the moment.
     
  16. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Ok than good luck! Just wanted to make sure. 1000 sq feet sounds so small to me.

    We are looking into building a colonial that is 28 feet by 36 feet.
     
  17. KinderMissN

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    Jem, it is lovely! Good luck with negotiations!
     
  18. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    If you had asked me a year ago, I would have agreed with you, JaimeMarie.

    We've been caught in a delima-if you want large, you are going to have to put a TON of money into fixing the house up. If you want remodeled, you're going to have to buy small. The house across the street is huge and gorgeous and we really wanted to bid on it... until we found out the foundation needs to be replaced for 75k. That seems to be the story for houses with over 1500 square feet in our price range.

    I just don't think we're up to that kind of renovations at this time. Besides, we're always out doing things, so small isn't bad. We aren't stuck inside during the winter like I was growing up in the mid-west.
     
  19. mrsnikki

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    I LOVE the house...how cute and it is perfectly done. I love the idea of turn key!
     
  20. Lindsnh

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    Wow that is a super cute house!! Good luck, I hope your offer is accepted:)
     
  21. cmw

    cmw Groupie

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    With the market here in Ohio I think you could buy a whole block (or three) of houses for that kind of money! :eek:

    Jem that house is adorable!!! I like the yard & how clean/ fresh the house itself is!
     
  22. ahsila

    ahsila Companion

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    Can I just say that I think the house looks wonderful, but I had a physical reaction when I read the listing price... I swear I could still vomit just from seeing that number. There are houses in SE Kansas (where I live) that are listed at 200k that come with hundreds of acres. I'm looking for a house now and my budget is around 70k and I'm seeing houses that have 2400 sq.ft. and multiple lots so my gut is to say "LOWBALL!!!!!" because I'm judging from a totally different reference point, but honestly if you don't have to make the low offer an "official" offer (with signed paperwork and all), then if they don't take the offer you can always up the amount and try again.

    Best of luck to you on getting the house you love.
     
  23. cMcD

    cMcD Groupie

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    Very cute house! My boyfriend and I moved into our first home this weekend. We closed 2 weeks ago. I love our house. It's a huge difference-- especially in size from our apartment. Our dog loses us in the house and runs around trying to find us. Haha! :)

    Something to think about if you have the space-- if you're a first time buyer you can use the $8,000 tax credit to put up a storage shed on your lot. This can help with the house being only 1000 sq. ft. We have storage shed/yard barn in our backyard and it's so nice-- frees up a lot of space in the garage. I'm excited to get our $8,000 check in the mail.
     
  24. cMcD

    cMcD Groupie

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    Oh and another thing to think about... I don't know if this varies from mortgage co. to mortgage co. but since I didn't have 20% for the down payment we had to get mortgage insurance. I put down 10% and our mortgage insurance is about $35 a month. Your mortgage person should have covered all of this with you when you were pre-approved though.
     
  25. peggy27

    peggy27 Cohort

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    It's so cute. It's outside the city of San Francisco ? I am amazed at how much real estate is there. DD has a studio for $1100 rent and that was on the cheap side.

    Go low, they will counteroffer . Good luck!!
     
  26. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Thanks for all the support, guys! Real estate is ridiculous out here. We were finding forclosures for low 700ks that were falling apart-uh, hello??? I feel really good about this place, though.

    ahsila-I know what you mean about prices. I'm from Michigan, and I remember friends buying houses when I was out there for around 120k, and they were brand new. I'm sure they are much cheaper now-I always get sad when I see the House Hunter episodes in the midwest and everything you can get for your money there. Ah, well. I'm out here, and this is how it is.

    Peggy-our rent in the city was 2700 for about 600 square feet. I feel your dd's pain. This is just north of the city, right over the Golden Gate bridge, in Marin. I HAD to get out of the city, and I LOVE it up here. Make sure you let me know when you're out here, and we'll have lunch or dinner!
     
  27. ahsila

    ahsila Companion

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    Well, let's be fair - I'm sure your salary is a bit more impressive than mine since the cost of living is pretty low around here. I'm sure the weather is a bit nicer also, so it's all a trade-off... :D
     
  28. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    IT IS BEAUTIFUL. I would want to buy it exactly as is with the furniture and accessories included!
     
  29. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Jem, it is beautiful. I think it would work great for Sprout. And, since you have a spare room, I will come visit some time. (Old Teacher aka Blue)
     
  30. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Blue, I would have you visit in a heartbeat. Anyone on here, really. You let me know when any of you are in the San Francisco area. Right now you'll be sleeping among picture books (which could be a dream come true for book-fanatics like myself....). But soon-maybe a guest room! ;)
     
  31. rachaelski

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    Jem, I wouldn't worry about the size. Compared to other countries, our housing is ridiculously huge! Do we really need 2000 feet for 2 people? Probably not. My BF and I sought out a smaller place when we moved this summer. I love having a smaller home...it's less work! Granted, we are renting right now, but if we were buying I wouldn't want a huge McMansion.

    The home is beautiful. I truly hope you get it!
     
  32. zoerba

    zoerba Comrade

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    Ok I know this is probably a silly question but I've been wondering it for a while. How can the average person in California afford such a large mortgage? Are the wages high too? Or are there different loan programs? My dh and I are buying a 200k house that is 1427 sq ft with a 3 car garage, half an acre in golf course community, and many upgrades within. I make about 50k per year and dh makes about 35k.

    Okay now off the topic of my house - I think your prospective future house is just darling! I can see why you fell in love. It has a lot of charm and is turn key!
     
  33. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    I have not been to SF since I was about 10. My dream vacation is to hop in the car and just drive. Maybe I could plan a trip to stay with my friends across the US. Wouldn't that be fun?

    Anyway, I love the house, and keep us posted on how it goes.
     
  34. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    I haven't read all of the other posts, but I love it! Clean, stylish, adorable! And the yard is so lush looking. I know a zilion and ten things I could do with that detached garage!
    Kim
     
  35. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    Oh, and $650K bought us a 3500 sq ft Colonial (4BR, 3.5 BA) in the top-ranked school district 4 years ago. CA is crazy. I thought MD was expensive.
    Kim
     
  36. DHE

    DHE Connoisseur

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    Jem, the house is adorable. I can't imagine paying $2700 for rent on 600 sq ft. My den is 450 sq ft.
    I went online to price some houses in my area. For $489K, you can get a 6bd, 4ba home with 6700 sq ft. There is also a inground pool and two fireplaces in the home.

    Three years ago, I bought my house with 2300 sq ft for $80K.
     
  37. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jem, it's adorable.

    DHE, for $80K, you couldn't get a home the size of that den around here. I don't think there's any place you could buy on LI for that kind of money.

    The median price in Nassau County LI is probably about $500K. (OK, I just checked; it was $445K in March.)
     
  38. DHE

    DHE Connoisseur

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    My dh is always amazed at the high price homes in other areas when I am watching House Hunters. He always says I would never pay that much for such a small space, but it depends on the area.
     
  39. KLSSwimmer

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    Jem, this house is adorable! Keep up in touch with the process! I hope everything goes amazingly well!
     
  40. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Okay, just woke up. Totally weird dream. I came to spend the night at your house for a University of Kentucky basketball game, and while it was beautiful, there was a major problem in the front yard with weird "west coast" bugs. Weird.:confused:
     
  41. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    Jem,
    The house is simply YOU. From what I can tell from your posts, you are as welcoming as this house appears from the photos! The yard is such a beautiful gathering spot-I can totally imagine enjoying an iced tea on that patio...
    Yes, sticker shock happens when you live in an area where the median home price is much lower. (just bought a house and 22 acres for 200,000 myself), but in your area, that house is great. (I am a huge fan of House Hunters!) I agree with your mom-go low. The worst that can happen will be they don't counter. Most will counter though-especially in this market.
     

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