Monday, January 4, 2010

Lessons Learned

So, I'm really behind again. Bleah. My parents came in for almost a week, and now my friends Bri and Chelle from high school are here. (They're in the next room; we're all supposed to be sleeping; I swear I'm not neglecting them.)

Sigh. This house hunting sure is . . . interesting. So, last month we bought the first house we looked at (not the only one, just the first one). It wasn't our perfect long term house, but it had a lot of great features for this stage of our family. Everything was going great—It was even coming to come partially furnished!!—then the inspection came back with major snags: foundation, landscaping, mold, termites, roof leaks, unproper electrical. Tens of thousands of dollars, and the seller was not really to negotiate. (I say good luck to them in the future!!) So, we were released from that contract.

We kept looking, trudging forward. We didn't find any that Jeff and I both liked. Then a HUD home came up. It was in a gorgeous, brand new community. It was only three years old, and the second and first floor were in immaculate condition. The basement had flooded (so there was mold from the water around all the dry wall) and there was a crack in the foundation. Those problems would not cost that much money at. It had sold for $240,000 three years ago new, and it had the price reduced to $180,000. We put in an offer for $125,000 (seller paying closing costs). It was rejected. We looked at the website again today, and an offer of $120,400 (seller not paying closing costs) was accepted.

Sigh.

So close to a beautiful home in a great neighborhood. The front was all brick. The family room was open all the way to the second floor, with the second floor hallway open like a balcony. The basement was huge, and so was the master suite.

Slipped away by just a few thousand dollars.

Brutal.

So, we go back on the prowl, bruised and probably more educated.

On a positive note, I went to the mall the other day with a sweater and a pair of shoes. In the process of finding sweet after Christmas sales and returning those two items, I left with two pairs of shoes, a sweater, a pair of jeans, and $10 back on the credit card. Sweet, eh? Why does anyone do their shopping before Christmas? Haha. Everything is so much less expensive after!!

So, we are still looking at homes in the area, but we are now also toying with the idea of new construction. We're slightly intimidated though by all of the unknowns that can pop up. Have any of you built? Or thought about it?

7 comments:

  1. We think about building a lot. You buy the land, and buy the cost of the materials. But, it can be a lot cheaper if you are willing to work on the house yourself. It's called Sweat Equity. Pretty much anything you can do on your own, you do, and it takes off the cost (hang drywall, paint, clean inside and outside, etc.) It very well may be worth it.

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  2. Oh man, house hunting... It is so fun and exciting until it isn't. We checked back on the first house we put an offer on (ours was rejected) and it ended up selling a month later for cheaper than our original bid! Grrr. Luckily by the time we found out about it, we had found a house we liked better. I'm sure you guys will find a perfect house for you and you will look back and think, "We were so lucky that none of those other offers went through!" :)

    New construction sounds like so much fun! It seems like you guys are in the perfect situation for it, with a place to stay rent free. I'm sure Jeff is up for the challenge! It could take a while to finish, but I guess so could waiting around for the perfect house to come on the market.

    I am excited to see what you decide! Good luck!

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  3. oh mimi. that just doesn't make any sense. your offer was higher than theirs?? i just don't get it. what a disappointment.good luck though. at least you can take your time and not feel rushed for at least a few months.
    i was wondering when you would post again... i've been checking almost every day! i want to hear about jills first christmas!! and your new years party and family in town and stuff. hopefully life will slow down for you just a little bit this month :)
    happy new year mimi

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  4. That's when I just shrug my shoulders and say "God must have something better for me." :)

    Although, when I was afraid it WOULD happen to me (the day we had to make an offer on the house because someone else had finally decided to make one THAT DAY ALSO - after the house had been on the market for six months with NO OFFERS) I almost cried. Lol.

    BUT I didn't cry, because I kept trying to tell myself that if it didn't work out, something would, somehow. Devin would go back to Nebraska without me and find my dream home... or some fairy tale like that. :)

    There's a home out there for you, whether you have to build it yourselves or not.

    Love you.

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  5. We are all for the idea of building ourselves. I like it, because I can design the home myself. (I have many sketches that we think would work, if we can have someone turn them into blueprints.)
    Dave likes the idea of doing a lot of the work himself and saving money that way. He has a lot of experience framing and doing other handy man things. We'd still bring in a pro for the other things, though.
    And we both like the idea of it being a better investment. A house is a big investment - why buy yourself into a lot of problems, like mold, foundation cracks, termites, etc.? Why not start your investment with something "healthy" that you can upkeep? It's like putting stock in a company close to declaring bankruptcy.
    Buuuut, that's just the creative side of me, and the expensive side of Dave talking lol. But yeah, if we can, we'd love to build a home I've designed.

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  6. Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

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  7. I agree with your sister on this one, Meems. I think the Lord was protecting you with that last house. I'd be worried about the mold issue myself. Then again, I'm not in a humid state; mold isn't something we really deal with out here.

    You'll find your house. Just be patient (says the girl who has little to no patience whatsoever, lol).

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