Friday, August 24, 2012

We're Buying a House

That's right. The secret I've been talking about is us buying our first house. I've been afraid to tell too many people and end up having us not get it. Well.... We are under contract for this beauty!!!! From now on I'm going to refer to her as the Pearl. I have two reasons for this. One she is on Pearl Street and two even though she is a bit rough and ugly on the surface I feel there is something beautiful inside, just like an oyster. We just have to take the time to polish her and make the home she can really be.

She isn't the most updated of homes. Yes, there is wood paneling and pink bathroom tile but hey that just means more projects for my to blog about and that is part of the reason why we are getting such a good deal. Of course those projects are going to be slow going since the house will be monopolizing most of our money.

The Pearl was built in 1882 and has 2-3 bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms. There are 7 rooms total not counting the bathrooms. There are something like 8 closets in this house. For such an old house that is pretty amazing. The kitchen has so many cabinets, I'm not even sure we have enough stuff to fill them. Plus there is a big kitchen pantry cabinet. Another fabulous feature... The Laundry Room is on the first floor!!! The basement is made up of two rooms and is unfinished. One room has a work bench, some cabinets and a sink - All great for blog projects. The other room has the oil tank and a couple cabinets.
First Floor Rooms: Living Room, Dining Room, Office, Kitchen and Laundry Room/Full Bathroom.
Second Floor Rooms: 2 Bedrooms, another Bedroom or Family Room and Half Bath
Outside we have a 1 car detached garage and what the listing calls a shed. We are pretty sure that the shed was used as a chicken coop. We also have this beautiful brick fireplace/grill. I can just see some chairs set up around it and a nice fire going on a perfect Summer night.

The Pearl is a Fannie Mae Foreclosure and had been only on the market for like a week when we looked at it and made our first offer back on July 26th. I figured we would negotiate and offer and be able to have the inspector go through during that week we were on vacation. SO NOT THE CASE!

We went back and forth several times but were unable to reach an agreement. Part of the problem is we started quite low and it was new to the market. Fannie Mae has what they call their First Look program, which is where only Owner Occupants can bid on the house during the first 15 days that the property is listed. Well, Fannie Mae was reluctant to come so far down even though we were the only people who had shown any interest in the property. They seemed to believe that they would be able to sell it for more once the bidding was opened to investors who might want to buy the property and flip it. I thought this was unlikely because the amount of work an investor would need to do to this house in order to flip it would completely eat up their profits. So on August 3rd both the Fannie Mae and us said, "Hey these are our final offers." Neither of us liked the other's offer. So we decided to walk away. I stalked the house (yes my husband calls me a house stalker) for 2 weeks and our realtor reached out to their's to see if there had been any interest, especially now that it was open to investors. Nope nothing! So, on August 16th, the listing's 1 month mark, we resubmitted and offer lower than our final offer from the first set of negotiations. No response prior to the weekend, but I decided to go online on Sunday and look at the listing, I told you I'm a house stalker, and found out that Fannie Mae had dropped the price on the property by $13,000. The new list price was still higher than any of our offers. But were surprised they had dropped the price and not yet responded to our offer. Our realtor and their's figured we would have and answer on Monday. And we did. But not until like 5:30 pm. They countered with the same offer we had made as our final offer before, except they sweetened the deal by agreeing to close off the door to no where.

You see there is a door on the back of the house on the second floor that has a small deck but no railing or stairs. We have no need for the door and it is a major safety issue so something would have to be done prior to closing because the bank won't allow it. Fannie Mae has agreed to remove the door and close it off.

So needless to say we accepted their counter, signed the papers and now our next step is Inspection! Hopefully, the inspector doesn't find any major issues because we don't have extra money for major repairs and the bank won't fix anything unless we add the cost onto the purchase price. The only thing we are thinking might need to be done is the furnace. It is old and Andrew is pretty sure there was a crack across the top and a piece of metal missing. I'm a little worried about the roof because I've seen some spots that look kind of rough on the garage and the enclosed porch.

So I'll keep you guys updated. I'm expecting to have our inspection this coming week. We have a 10 day window once both us and Fannie Mae has signed the papers to do the inspection or we are in breach of the contract. We are also going to have my mom's contractor go through it so he and point out things too and give us an idea how much they will cost to fix/update when we have the money.