worries of buying a home

ReneeM1012July 28, 2014

Ok, my husband and I looked at a house over the weekend. I thinks its the perfect deal, 5 bedrooms, 3 full bathrooms, 2,888 sq ft, newer deck, brand new water heater, roof is 10 yrs old. Apparently house was gutted and remodeled inside but isnt completely finished. Seller disclosed that previous owner heavily insulated the house, theres not drafts, windows are newer - double pane, previous owner was electrician and all wiring was put in over last 5 years. It's on 0.65 acres, asking price is 65k, seller is willing to do a rent to own at 495/mo for 36 mo then finance the rest. Is this a good deal? I think so, however my husband is being Mr. Negative. Saying "the "electrician" could have not done the wiring to code and the house will catch fire". It has been on market for almost 2 years and he says "its because its over priced and there's too much work to do" (its in Sidman, Pa). Basically, I am looking for some professional opinions that I can show my husband to help ease his mind. My mother sells real estate and I know a good bit about it myself. I know the factors that go into appraising a house and this house doesn't have a whole lot going against it other than the fact that the inside needs some work to make it livable (new carpet in upstairs, minor floor repairs downstairs, & paint) and some rooms need finished yet.

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It's been on the market for 2 years because it still has a lot of renovating to do, and because it's in a small town where there aren't a lot of sales. It lacks all the trim (baseboards, window & door casings), paint, flooring. And--this isn't a judgement, just a fact--they've used lower-end materials, like hollow-core slab doors and HD in-stock cabinets for kitchen and bathrooms.

In its current condition, it would be tough to get a mortgage (bank wouldn't allow), thus the openness to "creative financing." The owner bought it 4 years ago for $10K and apparently ran out of money or energy to complete the remodel.

So is it worth it? There are 3 comp sales in the past 2 years in your neighborhood, for $25K, 100K, and 208K. And only 3 others currently for sale, from $53K-85K. So it's a very mixed place, and hard to say exactly what this one would be worth fixed up.

I wouldn't take it on unless you guys are handy DIY-ers and can do most of the work yourselves. You can use an inspection contingency as a protection against bad electrical work. Also, check to see if permits were pulled and any inspections were done. Sidman may not require permits or inspections for DIY work (I've lived in such places), but it's another way to check.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 2:01PM
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Sophie Wheeler

5/3 and all of that yard is a lot to keep up. That's part of why it's sitting. Halve the price and it might be a good deal to finish out right, if you're handy and enjoy home improvement as a hobby. You're not going to get your husband on board with it though.

You need to reevaluate what you're looking for in a home. Are you doing real estate investment? Then you need to view it in a more business like fashion. Are you buying a home? Then you need to have a more critical eye towards things that will get old fast like poor layouts and the amount of yard work. Right now, sounds like you're inexplicably in love and aren't viewing things clearly.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 2:50PM
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I think your husband is right. If it's been sitting for 2 years, it's because it is overpriced and too much work to do.

If your husband isn't on board, you have to choose which one you want more. Your husband. Or this house. No way you'll get both.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 7:34AM
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