So, Jeff and I have continued to look at houses, and there are two that I like right now. One is a smaller ranch (way cute and move-in ready) (House A) and the other one is a large house (two stories and a basement) that needs work (House B).
So, House B (just under 2,000 square feet) needs about $20,000 to $25,000 worth of work but is listed at $40,000 less than House A, which is just under 1,200 square feet.
House A has a gorgeous, flat, fenced back yard. House B has a hill, half of it wooded, with a brook at the bottom. So we couldn't do anything in that yard. It also has a swimming pool that needs a lot of help (House B). Jeff is convinced Jill would roll down the hill and hurt herself severely. There is a small side yard that is flat. And it is on a cul-de-sac, so there is the street (haha) to play in. House A is on a somewhat busy street. It's not super busy, but it's not inside a neighborhood; it's on the outside of the neighborhood, the edge.
House A: 3 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms, eat-in kitchen, living room, laundry room, 2-car garage, storage shed
House B: 4 bedrooms, 2 1/2 bathrooms, front room, dining room, eat-in kitchen, family room, 2-car garage, and a basement with three rooms, large hallway, and a laundry room.
House A was built in 1991, and House B was built in 1977.
They both have fireplaces. House A has a concrete patio, and House B has a two level wood deck.
Ultimately, we have to decide whether House B is worth the hassle of doing all that work and the lack of yard and whether House A is worth living in such a small home without very much room to grow.
I should probably share more about what kind of work is needed on House B. It would require about $10,000 to $12,000 to have three full foundation cracks (one of which you can stick your hand in) repaired and the entire foundation water proofed. There is mold that needs to be chemically killed and removed and plumbing that needs to be repaired. All of the carpet needs to be ripped up (possibly the pads as well) and new carpeting put in. Some drywall will need to be replaced, and there is mold on the outside on the soffits. The deck was built incorrectly, with the wooden posts on top of concrete that was not put in a hole. The dirt has begun to erode from under the concrete and the supports have slipped. The repair will require hydraulic pumps, digging holes, and pouring concrete in backyard that is on a slope. This is not included in the cost since it would be done by us. Some dry walling will need to be redone in the basement. Everything will need to be painted, flooring and stairs will need be fixed. Including completely removing all the basement stairs to shift the stringer back to its original position since it has shifted at least an inch and a half. It snowed today, so we don't know what kind of shape the roof is in. So, without knowing about the cost of the roof and the pool, it is about $20,000 to $25,000.
None of the other homes we've seen have been appealing. There is, of course, also the option of waiting and seeing what else comes up, but I think there aren't many people who start to sell a home in the winter. Winter seems, to me, to be the slow season for real estate, and we definitely want to be in a home by May. (I would honestly like to own a home much, much sooner than that.)
So, do any of you have any thoughts on this? Either from having purchased a small home? Or purchasing a home that needs work? What worked for you, what didn't, etc.? I am very interested in hearing your opinions and learning why you feel that way.
Thanks for the advice!!