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Help making an offer, please?

Posted by cattyles (My Page) on
Wed, Jun 22, 11 at 23:34

I need to get my Dad closer to me in order to better watch out for him. He is getting forgetful enough for it to be concerning. Also, he is working too hard, part of it out in the 104 degree West Texas heat. But can't afford to stay in the nice retirement complex he is in with only his SS coming in every month.

I love my Dad, but neither of us is easy to live with. My son just moved out a year ago and I have LOVED living alone. I am certain my Dad and I living in the same home would go very poorly.

I have found an 1876 sq. ft. home, built in 1978, in a GREAT neighborhood with a 630 sq ft MIL house behind it. The inside (of the MIL house) is just plain basic but definitely adequate. And it has a lovely plank porch extending out into a beautifully landscaped backyard.

The main house has a weird floor plan (which I like) but is basically only minimally updated with no upgrades at all. The home has been on the market almost a year. I have scoured my population 24,000 small town market so thoroughly, I can quote the price per sq. ft on any address- listed or recently sold. There are about 80 houses on the market right now. I can assert with confidence that the home is overpriced.

But this house is the only one with the MIL house and great yard. I am certain that the only way for this to work with my Dad is for us to have separate spaces for as long as possible.

So, I will readily admit that this home has more value to me than lots of other lookers. I think I am the buyer the seller has been waiting on. There have been no contracts or inspections on the home. The home started at $168,000. Moved down to $159,900 6 months later. And just this month went down to $149,900.

I know people in other locations find these prices way reasonable. But West Texas is a$$ ugly so the cost of living is cheap. Well updated homes with some upgrades are going for $55-$65/ sq ft.

Here's my question (finally, I know): How much more is the MIL worth to me? What would be a fair offer? Do I add the MIL to main house and multiply X $60/ sq ft or add the MIL house at a reduced price/sq ft? Any input very appreciated!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Help making an offer, please?

No clue about price per sq. ft. in your area, but perhaps you should evaluate it as if you were buying two houses, or another small house near your own for your Dad. What would that be worth to you?

I've never found sq. ft price to be particularly useful in making buying or selling or pricing decisions. It's one of those real estate factoids that you can get hung up on. The bottom line is does this property have what you want? Is it reasonably priced (not per sq. ft, but in its totality) for what it is? Is it in your budget or mortgage-getting range?

If you doubt your ability to judge relative value dispassionately, you can get a private appraisal done usually for a few hundred bucks.

I would always have to have a MIL apartment, too. In fact I did have that with my own Mother for awhile. It eased the tension, but did not eliminate it completely.

Good luck!

L.


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

What does you Dad want? Will he go along with the move?
Can he afford to pay the other bills and if he if "forgetful" is this a wise decision or could he either hurt himself or others or even leave the stove on. Have you talked it over with you son or other relatives?
Is he a Vet? If so is there a VA home avaiable? Even with only SS there should be some sort of medicade that possible would be better.


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

In my experience the mother in law house is not as valuable as square footage in the main house, although it may well be to a particular buyer.

About 5 years ago we bought a house with a guest house (this was also in Texas but a more suburban area). It was very valuable to us as at the time I thought my mother might need to move in with us.

4 years (my mother never having moved in) we decided to sell the house. We were on the market 6 months, then took it off and reduced the price quite a bit and quickly sold it.

My sense in having many showings of the house was that the guest house was not important to most buyers. Most never commented on it at all. There are just a minority of people who will want it. For those who really don't, they don't want to make extra because it exists. But for someone who wants it there is a real value.


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

Here's my advice on negotiating:

First, determine your negotiating range. The bottom number should be the smallest amount you can justify offering, based on market comps. The top number should be the largest amount you're willing to pay.

What's the smallest amount you can justify? Use houses of similar size in similar condition THAT HAVE SOLD. If that's $55/sq ft, then 1876*55=103K, or 2506*55=138K, or 1876*55 + 660*40=129K.

What's the largest amount you're willing to pay? That's up to you, but one way to come up with it would be to look at what it would cost to buy a different property and add a MIL house out back. So if you can buy another 1800 square foot house for 120K, and build a 500 sq ft MIL house for $15K, then you certainly wouldn't want to pay more than 135K for this one. You'd walk and buy something else.

So let's say you've established your negotiating range at 103K-135K. Second step is to determine the seller's negotiating range. Obviously their high is their asking price, or 150K. What's their low? This is often hard to determine, but can you find info on what they paid for it? How much their mortgage balance is? Those likely factor into the lowest they're willing to accept (doesn't matter if it has any bearing on real life market prices). Let's say they paid $130K and now owe $120K. Make a guess at what matters. Maybe you pick 120K plus realtor fees, so 128K.

So you're willing to pay 103-135K, and they're willing to accept 128-150K. If the ranges overlap, you should be able to come to an agreement. So start by offering your lowest justifiable price, and go from there.

There is not an exact science to this, as every house is unique. Believe me, I've tried to make it a science, even performing a multi-variable regression analysis on comps once, to determine the "right" price. In the end, sometimes the buyer loves the house enough to "overpay" (compared to the analysis) and sometimes the seller is desperate enough to "undersell".

Hope this helps, and good luck!


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

weedyacres: That is very good advice for buyers and sellers. It is much appreciated info. thanks.


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

Thanks very much everyone! I appreciate the help. The sellers are the original owners from 1978. They retired to the mountains over a year ago and the house has been empty. I am going to mull it over until Monday and make an offer.


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

Another way to look at this is to ask yourself what value the property will have should you need to turn around and sell it yourself. IOW, pretend YOU are the seller. (Don't forget to add realtor fees and closing costs.)

kats gave you a good example. Buy ONLY the main house and the lot. The MIL is a bit like an in-ground pool -- a positive for some, a wash or even a negative for others. You say the main house has a weird layout, hasn't been upgraded, has been vacant for a year. and hasn't had a home inspection. Offer low with inspection and mortgage contingencies. Also, would you be allowed to rent the MIL to a non-family member in future? (Would you WANT to?)

Lastly, what is the lot alone worth?


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

Chisue, your questions are exactly what I am mulling. I would actually NEED to rent the little house to a non-family member if it was not occupied by my dad. And guess what? I don't believe the zoning code would allow it. After reading up, I (believe)have a much better understanding of why I can't get my or the seller's realtor (mother and daughter) to say much about the MIL house. They want to sell it to someone that has a need but won't realize it will be the same headache to resell. It also explains why there are no appliances in the little kitchen and the subject is always changed when I bring up an appraisal.

Hrumph. I always come back to what a great fit it is for my dad and me. No way can we live in the same house but this set-up is a perfect solution.

I actually do like the weird floor plan. I hate cookie cutter carbon copy houses. My little town has very few contemporaries from the '70's that haven't been screwed up; so it's a unique home that's needs LOTS of prettying up.

And Marie, I have plenty of sedation and restraints just in case he balks. ;)


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

It sounds like they aren't going to be getting any other offers anytime soon so I'm sure they are eager to sell. But I am curious, have you talked to your father about this?


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

Nope, not talked to him at all. So y'all please don't tell him what I have planned without his knowledge, consent or any input whatsoever, okay?


Of course, I talked to him. He's more excited than a kid going to Disney World. He lost his wife two years ago. Right now he lives thirty miles away and is working full time. So he is not too forgetful or feeble to live on his own. I am the director of a Respiratory Therapy Department and work some long hours. It will be good for both of us to check in with each other as part of the normal routine.

He has already watered the hostas, pulled weeds, and changed the air conditioner filters at "the new place". I have involved him in all decisions and listened carefully to his opinions.

He was a RE broker in Tennessee for years when I was a kid. But he readily admits that he, too, is stumped on what to offer for the home. One minute he doesn't want me to go over 110,000. An hour later he calls back and talks about how much he loves it and maybe we should be careful not to insult the owner?

What's making it hard for me to apply my usual logic is the lack of true comps. Weedyacres advice was thorough and logical (I love logic). But with the lack of comps, the owners seeming to not need to sell, and the "cozy" RE system around here, it's looking like I will be admitting the little house has value to me, and making an offer accordingly.

When I told my realtor I would probably make an offer of $130,000 on Monday, she said "Well, they're not going to accept that but maybe they won't be insulted and will counter."

All input welcome!!


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

Chisuse, the lot is worth about $15,000.


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

"Nope, not talked to him at all. So y'all please don't tell him what I have planned without his knowledge, consent or any input whatsoever, okay?"

Ha ha, I cracked up over that.

Don't listen to that real estate agent. My friend was really interested in a house that was listed around $350,000. But she couldn't afford to go any higher than $300,000. The agent, same agent who listed the house, told her the sellers were "expecting close to full asking," and discouraged her from even trying. My friend bought something else she didn't like as much. One month later I spotted the house she really wanted reduced to $300,000! She was heartbroken.

I understand what you're going through with your dad. I'm going through the same thing. My mom died last year. My dad is by himself after fifty years of marriage. It's the reason I'm selling my farm in Virginia and moving back to Jersey--so I can be closer to him, help take him to doctor appointments, have him over for dinner etc. He would drive me CRAZY if we ever lived together because he's like Archie Bunker but that may happen too. If I'm up there, if he's sick, I'll put him in one of my bedrooms. That place sounds perfect for what you want to do. If you haven't already, don't tell the real estate agent how perfect it would be. They need a unique buyer, just like I do for my farm down here. I need a horse person. Part of my value is my barn and horse facilities like part of the value of that house is the apartment in back. If someone else doesn't have a father they need to take care of, they'll buy a better house in that price range. Just like someone can find a nicer house than mine in this price range if they didn't need the barn and arena. So your sellers need you. I don't know what you should offer without seeing it and knowing the market out there. Weedyacres and Chisue had some good suggestions. But I do know you should not listen to what the realtor says, especially a mother and daughter team! One representing you and one representing the seller? That's like having the same person! Don't think that daughter is not telling that mother exactly how high you will go!


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

I'm glad you reminded me about that aspect of it, LoveInTheHouse. Although I understand why they are proud of the house, I can't help but believe that reality should be sinking in and hopefully they are ready for a fair offer. I think if I don't "go for it", I will be kicking myself when it finally sells and I find out the sale price was less than what my realtor is snubbing right now.

I read your thread and you have really been on a roller coaster with your property! As a girl, I always thought my life would include horses. So I definitely have horse envy and a soft spot for places like yours. And I agree that it's a comparable situation- mine of course, on a MUCH lower price range.

Oh the joys of small town RE! I haven't even mentioned that the oil field is forecasted to have another boom and/or fairly extensive natural gas drilling is in the works for our part of the world. Of course, we are all taking that with a grain of salt. It would be great for our town's economy and and great for the people selling homes. Not so great for buyers, haha.

My Dad is so tickled to find a place with lots of mature trees, healthy fescue,and well-planned outdoor spaces. Not only would we have our own houses; there are also individual outdoor spaces plus a lovely common area in the back.

As people who are accustomed to trees and shade (from Tennessee) transplanted in West Texas, it's been hard on my Dad not having a great yard to putter with. Like I said, he already can't resist reaching down to pull out stray weeds! I love the look on his face as he stands under those big old trees and tries to decide on the best place for a water feature.

Thank you everyone for all the great advice, information, insight and perspectives. This is an awesome forum. Tomorrow or Tuesday will be "offer day" and I promise to post updates.


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

It is a shame that the realtor is not going to "sell" your price a bit better. If SHE doesn't believe in the offer, how is she going to sell it to the listing agent so the listing agent believes it is a fair offer and "here is why".(e.g. here is what comps show the place is worth and it has been on the market 1 year, it has a weird floor plan, has no upgrades, is currently overpriced and this offer fairly reflects the true market value...)

Also your agen should be able to sell your offer to the listing agent carefully without insulting the seller and also making the seller think this is a great deal and maybe we should go with it because we are not sure if the buyer is will to go any higher.

Me thinks your agent will take your offer and go to the listing agent, with her tail between her legs, saying "I hope your sellers aren't insulted...this is low, and the buyer loves the place and can do better..This is good for a starting offer, right?".


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

Sweet Tea, thank you for understanding perfectly! As a logical realist, I am OK with not using the standard S per sq. ft. formulas due to the subjective factors of MIL house, great outdoor spaces and the rare contemporary uniqueness.

But it would be great to have MY realtor on my side. I think I will gently remind her that my current home is going to need to be listed. It's not a wowzer or a big whoop. It's just a simple little starter home I have been in for 24 years. But it's paid for, free and clear, nicely updated and has a few little upgrades that will make it compare really favorably in the starter price range. The comps for my home sell really quickly.

I'm very fortunate to have a 30% down payment for the new place before selling the old place and a definite pre-qual for up to the asking price. I am very happy to be able to avoid selling a home I live in. Lurking on this forum for about a year now has been an eye-opener, for sure!


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

Yeah, it stinks having to sell one in order to buy another one.

Sweet tea is right. That's why I never tell agents the whole truth. If I can go up ten grand, I tell them I can only go up five grand. Because if you tell them you can go up the ten, you can bet your bottom dollar you're going to. Especially if it's a mother daughter team. Can't wait to hear what happens.


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

Glad to hear you plan on making an offer.

Sometimes it is worth it to pay a little more for a place that is just the right fit for you - assuming it doesn't stretch you too much financially. A house is more than an investment.


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

If my agent was reluctant to submit an offer of mine, I'd do more than "gently remind". I'd be pretty blunt. "I need a realtor who's going to sell this offer to the seller's realtor. If all you are willing to do is sheepishly present it to them, I will find another realtor that can fight for me to get a fair price. That's what I expect you do to earn your 3%."


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

Well said, weedyacres! I needed that, thank you. I don't usually need assertiveness reminders but I haven't bought a house in 23 years, either. Spot-on!

I don't have any updates. It was end of fiscal year inventory at the hospital. I am still mulling. A nurse at my hosp was/is very good friends with the owner. The friend of the owner said she believes the owner truly does not want to sell the house. Her husband died there (does not bother me in the least, wouldn't be able to go to work if I minded spaces where people died), she raised her family there. She is an artist, and the little house was the studio where she spent her happiest moments.

She knows it's not going to appraise for what she is asking, hence will require a cash buyer with my unique needs.

So...ok. I admit it: I'm skeered that even if I'm willing to put aside my logic and go closer to her asking price, the bank won't approve the loan after it's appraised.

The whole thing is making me want to seriously self-medicate haha. I have one more knowledgeable, trusted person that is going to look at the house tomorrow but it's looking like I will offer $130,000 and we shall see!

Y'all are so great for sticking with me and continuing the encouragement and advice and I thank you kindly.


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An afterthought...

One more thing and I really am sorry that I am being so "needy": I have mentioned "they" and "them" as sellers because I did not realize the seller was a widow. Not being from this town, I'm not as up on the details of this sort of thing. He was an attorney. I just assumed they retired to the mountains together. But she moved to be closer to their only daughter after his death. I just wanted to explain the contradictions from my previous posts.

Also, he is the only one listed on the tax assessment. (?)

Maurenemm, houses are a definite soft spot for me. Although I have worked a long time to be able to move up from my little starter home, it's still going to be hard to leave 23 years worth of memories from a long marriage, a happy sweet son and several dearly loved furry family members. I wish I could let the owner of my hoped-for house know that I will be a thoughtful and conscientious custodian of her beloved home. She would be welcome to come visit and tell me about every detail and offer advice on the care of her very beautiful rosebushes (another West Texas rarity).


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

Aw, houses ARE more than just things. Let the owner know how you feel. She will love that. I'd love it if someone told me that.


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

careful about telling the seller you have become emotionally attached to the home. you want a fair price. don't overpay by a lot because you fell in love with it. just keep your wits about you. if you tell the owner then you tell the realtor and she will read you like a romance novel. once the realtor knows you are hookied, she will make sure the deal goes through and you will be paying close to list price.

just be careful. work on getting that price down so you can get the home for close to market price versus overpaying.


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

"A nurse at my hosp was/is very good friends with the owner. The friend of the owner said she believes the owner truly does not want to sell the house. Her husband died there (does not bother me in the least, wouldn't be able to go to work if I minded spaces where people died), she raised her family there. She is an artist, and the little house was the studio where she spent her happiest moments."

Would be nice if the nurse/friend of the owner could put in a good word for you. You want to buy the place so you will have a better place to help care for your dad. You also like the place enough to not change it too much and would even welcome input about the history, etc.

Wonder if it would hurt for the friend to mention this to the owner?


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

Ugh. It's no fun trying to hide "giddy in love with a house". :)

I don't know how people go through this more often than every 1/4 century!

I am definitely playing it cool with the realtors. But I did put a bug in the ear of the seller's friend that I work with about how much I love the uniqueness of the house and the yard before I stopped to think about it.


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

crap. i would not want the seller or realtor to know that you see any in the MIL suite or plan to use the MIL suite. It just puts you at a disadvantange in the negogitations. you DO NOT want the owner to know you fell in love with the place and it is just perfect.

you sound like you think you can smooze her into giving you a better deal by telling her you love the place and will care for it? Very risky negotiation tactic and I think it will hurt you in negotiations, rather then help.

so you think she is an emotional wreck and will give in and allow you to own the place because you love the place? IMO, you need to just keep mum and place your offer. too much talking already and it is probably way too late. get out your checkbook because you are paying top dollar, IMO.


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

I know. Obviously...no thought, other than, "did I say that out loud?". Dang, I'm hopeless.


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

I wouldn't worry about the appraisal too much - it is out of your control. And, I see it as a good saftey check for buyers. If it doesn't appraise for what you offer, then the ball falls into the seller's court to sell it to you for the appraised value or wait for a cash buyer. If you lose the house under those circumstances then I don't think you can blame yourself (or kick yourself for not trying to get the house).

Since the home is for sale, I'm guessing there are people around her (her realtor, at least) that are pushing her to sell and will hopefully talk reason into her when a good offer comes in.


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

hoping this works out perfect for buyer and seller and that you both agree on something that works well for everyone.

did you place the offer?


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

I offered 125,000. Have not heard back.


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Counter offer

Seller countered 145,000. I countered 135,000, final.


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

I bet you're going to get it.


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

Sit tight. You DO have provisions in the contract for mortgage appraisal and home inpsection, don't you? Better to 'see the light' BEFORE you own it than later, and there are ALWAYS surprises.

Our very worst RE experience involved 'a poor, old widow-lady who really didn't want to sell'. (Henry Kissinger could learn tricks from her!)


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

Yes, appraisal and inspection contingencies and a HOW are included.


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

Chisue must have ESPN,lol. Seller NEEDS closer to 140,000. Scrap it over $2500? I guess not. Better be a good inspection.


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

what is the price at now...138,500? is everyone good with that price?


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

"Seller NEEDS closer to 140,000. Scrap it over $2500? I guess not. Better be a good inspection."

Out of the 80 houses that are for sale in this area, you said this house is the only one with the MIL house and great yard.

Sounds like that alone is worth the extra $2500. I wouldn't take the chance of losing it to someone else.

Like another poster mentioned, you can continue the negotiations after the inspection.


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

We were at $137,500. Seller responded again that she needed 140,000, "because after all, it IS 2 houses". But it's 2 houses that need lots of work. So it's a no-go. Thank you so much to all of you for your help and guidance.


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Good News Update!!

Just got a text from my realtor. Seller needs to sell and will accept $135,000 plus have wallpaper stripped and give $2000 credit towards updates. I'm a wreck. My cuticles are all shredded to the first knuckle. But happy!


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

Congrats! How did the seller drop by 2500 plus throw in extras?


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

"Just got a text from my realtor. Seller needs to sell and will accept $135,000 plus have wallpaper stripped and give $2000 credit towards updates."

Thats great! The house HAS been on the market awhile so it sounds like the seller is coming back to earth! Hope the inspection goes well


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

GREAT NEWS. You did wonderful by backing off after your last counter offer. It worked well to your favor. CONGRATS to you and your father too!


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

So far, so good. Now you need to go over what you are buying with a fine toothed comb. I hate to say it, but could be you are still paying too much -- inspection will tell. I'm not urging you to become a nusiance buyer, forever bringing up nits...but make sure the house really is what you think it is and the seller has clear title, etc.

Our seller 'needed' X amount too. That has ZERO to do with the value of the property. Don't even keep that thought in your head.

Our seller 'needed' to delay moving out after closing; we agreed...dumb as we were. When she cleared out a jam-packed and draped bedroom, we could see cracks down the walls. The foundation of an addition had sunk -- over $10K to repair that.

Just sayin', procede with due caution. It 'ain't over' yet.


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

So happy for you and your dad. Congratulations and I hope you will both be really happy with your new space. Crossing my fingers for a successful appraisal and home inspection. Cheers!


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

Thank you everyone! Thank you to those who reminded that a home is more than a building. And thank you to those who urged me to be smart and tough. I needed both.

Chisue, I really appreciate that advice and promise to stay practical. I just can't afford to be anything else. Keep the pointers coming, please.

Would it be beneficial for me and/or my dad to be present for the inspection? My ex, who is also my best friend and insurance guy, has already volunteered to do this. He spotted a crack he's concerned about.

I think I need to be present to make sure none of those huge trees end up falsely accused of some heinous offense. Are y'all aware that West Texans seem to have a passionate hatred for trees?? You'd think their scarcity would make them dear, but nope. Everything from plumbing problems(sometimes justified) to divorce are blamed on big trees around here. West Texans are the opposite of tree huggers. They are tree choppers :)

Is it ok to keep posting under this thread until after the inspection or should I start a new thread for anything that comes up with the inspection under a different category?


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Clear title?

Chisue, how do I guard against problems with a clear title? I'm sure all are assuming there are no issues there. The tax appraisal shows 100% ownership but could there be equity loans, etc? How is that revealed and disclosed? Thanks!

Everyone else, PLEASE jump in with anything I need to address or anything I have not thought of.


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

how do I guard against problems with a clear title?

Are you getting a mortgage? If so, the lender will require title insurance to protect themselves. You should also get an owner's title insurance policy to protect yourself.


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

"Everyone else, PLEASE jump in with anything I need to address or anything I have not thought of.

how do I guard against problems with a clear title?"

If there are any liens, easements or assessments, your title agent should inform you of these. There is a section (B?) in your title insurance that shows if you have any liens, easements, etc. That is the point of title insurance. If they miss it, THEY pay!

We looked up our property online (auditor website) and saw a line about 'Special assessments' listed. It didn't say the amount, just to contact the treasurers office. We called and the treasurer told us that the city is putting in new water/storm lines. Our share is $400.00 per year through 2013.

This nice lady at the treasurers office told us that some buyers' use these assessments to negotiate a lower purchase price.

As for bringing along your dad/ex/etc to the inspection. BRING THEM! They might think of some questions to ask about things you might overlook. Take notes. I'm glad I did. Our inspector was so busy moving along that I didn't have time to ask him to go into more detail about things I was interested in knowing more about. I called him after the inspection to get more info.

Have you hired the inspector yet? They aren't all the same. Our lawyer referred us to one he uses for expert witness testimony. He is a civil engineer and a member of ASHI. I appreciated his professional opinion about our foundation since we found a crack in the wall that hadn't been there when we were at the open house (seller painted over it). He told us we needed 4 poles in the basement and that it would cost about 2k to repair. The sellers gave us an allowance for this.

Our property has large trees on it. I had read that it is important to get a sewer inspection in case the roots have damaged the lines. Sure enough, there were roots in the storm drain. It had cracked tiles, had to be trenched and have a new pipe put in. That cost another 1k.

You might consider getting a tree service (better yet-an arborist) to come out and check out the condition of the trees. See if any of them are dying or might present a danger to the house. Our house switched from a septic to city sewer 10 yrs ago. Sometimes the heavy equipment they use to replace these systems can damage trees roots and it can take years for the tree to die before you notice the damage. Good luck getting the city to pay for this. It costs big bucks to take out trees, We got a quote of at least 1k to remove one large tree. Thankfully, most of them are in good shape.

Hope this helps!


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

Has the seller's late husband's will been probated? (That's public record.) Of course, they may have had a trust set up to avoid probate -- not unusual. (That's NOT public record.) Your title insurer will look into all this, but nice to know it's all set so there won't be delays before you can close.

YES! Of course you should be there during the inspection. I'd hire someone from out of town AND ask your ex to attend. (I am certain our seller bribed our home inspector; nobody *else* had difficulty seeing that the foundation to the addition had sunk. A H.I. isn't liable for much. We got our fee back -- not much comfort in $300 when facing a $10K *surprise*.)

How old is the roofing? Any signs of damp or mold? Updated electrical? Plumbing all functional? Trees unhealthy or need pruning? Is there a recent survey -- and nothing built over a property line or not to code?

Any municapal plans that would affect this lot? Road widening; plans to build a water reclaimation plant in your back yard; military firing range? OK, I'm getting carried away here! lol Anyway look through large and small lenses. Have you talked to the neighbors? (Don't be shy.)

We had a surprise, learning that our lot extends to the middle of the creek/ditch along one side of our house. We pay a quarterly fee to the county department that clears it of brush every third year. We LIKE having the waterway, and the fee is minor...still, nobody mentioned this 'liability'. (Now we also have to keep kids from playing around in the water lest we be sued.)


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

You did some good negotiating! Good for you!

Chisue is right about getting an inspector from out of town. When we bought a house a few years ago, we had it inspected for termites. It passed. Two years later when we sold it, the same termite inspector came and he said he couldn't pass it because there was evidence of past termite damage. How come he missed it the first time then?! And did he even remember he was there? There was talk of the seller being the town flirt, wink, wink, if you know what I mean. So he passed it when she was selling it. He also did termite treatments himself. So convenient. I opted to just give the money, it was about a grand, to the buyer of my house and let her decide what to do. I knew there weren't any termites. She and I are friendly and five years later, she never got it treated because there was never a problem. I don't trust anyone in this house selling and buying business. Buying a house is fun and exciting but as my mother always used to say, believe half of what you see and less of what you hear.


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

I close week after next! WOOO HOOO!!!

I found a great inspector and he was priceless. I am of the "when you buy an older home, it ain't gonna be perfect" school of thought. But dang, it's been over 105 degrees around here lately. So, the AC unit became a bit of a stickler. But when the seller realized it was my only issue, she promptly took care of it. I then sent out my own AC guy to check it and he said it was A-OK.

I chose my own HOW company after much research and we are good to go.

I just wanted to thank ALL OF YOU again for your kindness, wisdom, and superb advice during this whole process. It's hard for me to convey how much your support and encouragement helped me through the twists and turns of my first RE transaction in 24 years.

To y'all still struggling with your buying and selling challenges: God speed and all the best!

Alrighty. Now onward to the bathroom forum. Gotta get the little house bathroom Daddy-ready ASAP!


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

"I close week after next! WOOO HOOO!!!"

CONGRATULATIONS!

Do you think you might invite the previous owner over to share a few memories?

Glad your dad will have a place (like his place in TN) to putter around on in his later years.


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

Yay! Good luck!


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

Thanks, you two! Love, you were betting I was going to get it when I thought it was looking pretty bleak. And Dreamgarden, you really understood what was "special" about the place.


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Nice memories in the making!

"Thanks, you two! Love, you were betting I was going to get it when I thought it was looking pretty bleak. And Dreamgarden, you really understood what was "special" about the place."

Thanks! Glad the bet worked out. It sounds like a nice place. I'd bet the owner sold it to you because she wanted to see the place go to someone who would cherish it like she and her DH did.

Choked me up a bit when you said "Like I said, he already can't resist reaching down to pull out stray weeds! I love the look on his face as he stands under those big old trees and tries to decide on the best place for a water feature."

Every man should be as lucky as your dad is to have such a caring daughter...

Please continue to post about improvements, etc and how much your dad is enjoying your new place. :)


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

Seller's RE called and asked if I might bump closing to tomorrow. This time tomorrow night I will be the owner. It's been a really happy/sad two weeks. I have my house about 90% packed. I'll glance out to the front yard and remember when my son first crawled, it was on an old quilt out there. There are very beloved pets in their final resting place in the backyard. I really regret not having them cremated.

I was so happy to see my son pull up last Sunday. I just knew he would tease me about being so sappy and I'd go back to my "normal" no-nonsense self. Instead, he pulled a Power Ranger out of a garage sale box and started crying too. All 6'6", 280 lbs of him reverted back to the little boy that hates change! His dad pulled up to go through some storage building boxes and did the same thing.

I suppose this is pretty normal for people who have so much history in a house. I've been watching the market and my budget for 5 years in preparation for tomorrow. And I'm really proud. I can't think of a single other woman on either side of my family who has ever bought a house on her own.

Maurenemm said it all: A house is more than an investment.

And.......I don't think my son and ex thought I would ever actually take the leap. I knew I would and had been preparing myself for leaving our home. They are not quite there yet. There is much discussion of "maybe I need to buy it and then lease/purchase it to Son" statements being made by the ex.

I'm definitely not up for that negotiation just yet, lol!

Thanks for indulging my sentimental ramble. My logical self is just having a short lapse, right??


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

"I was so happy to see my son pull up last Sunday. I just knew he would tease me about being so sappy and I'd go back to my "normal" no-nonsense self. Instead, he pulled a Power Ranger out of a garage sale box and started crying too. All 6'6", 280 lb. of him reverted back to the little boy that hates change! His dad pulled up to go through some storage building boxes and did the same thing."

It is difficult to picture a 6'6", 280 lb. man crying! They raise them big in Texas, hmm?! Sounds like he had some good memories there.

Congrats on being the first single woman on either side of your family to have ever bought a house on her own.

As for the "maybe I need to buy it and then lease/purchase it to Son" statements being made by the ex, I thought it was understood that your dad is the one who will be living in the MIL house?

Don't forget to take lots of pics of the old house before you move as well as pics of your dad enjoying the new place (your grandkids will appreciate them down the road).

We did this when my DH's parents moved into assisted living. I got pics of their cat lying in the bathroom sink, the nice view out the kitchen window, my DH's room, etc. It was nice to go through them a few years later after the 'dust' settled in from their last big move. They really enjoyed looking at the pics of their vacations as well as reminiscing about the adventures they had there.


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

Congrats on everything! I'm really glad you got the house - it just seemed like it was meant to be for you and your dad.

We moved out of our house on the 15th. It was the house I brought my babies home from the hospital to. When I was alone in the house cleaning out the very last stuff and trash, I walked into the room I used as a nursery for both of my boys and just cried. So many memories. Of course as soon as I got back to the new house and saw my boys at the table eating lunch, I knew I was really home now.

You home is with your dad now and that is priceless.


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

Hoping to read here that the closing went smoothly.

Very happy for you -- and your dad!

Will your DS forgive you for selling his power rangers? Mine (age 40) is still miffed that I didn't keep (and move) all his Matchbox cars. lol


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

Closing seemed smooth as glass to me but what the heck do I know?! Whew!

Dreamgarden, my dad is definitely going to occupy the MIL house behind the home I closed on today. He is very ready to move and settle in. I will have to keep him distracted so he doesn't "supervise" his bathroom remodel to hurry it along! I was actually packing at my old house that is about to be For Sale when my son and ex showed up and realized, "Wow, she's really going to sell THE HOUSE to some stranger". Sorry, I wasn't very clear there.

Yes, my son is a big, sweet guy. Chisue, the power ranger and a battle toad left with him. I told him he could take the whole box or I was taping it up so he couldn't rummage around anymore, lol.

Maurenemm, I really am ready and can't wait to make some new memories and spend some time with my dad. Life is good!


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RE: Help making an offer, please?

I'm so happy for you!


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