Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Parade of Homes Part 9: 2005-2006

Although I really liked the church rental house, and the rent was ridiculously low, I still wanted my ‘own’ house. My hobby was looking at real estate listings on the internet. I would often show houses of interest to Craig, but he was adamantly opposed and insisted that this was not the time.

Hind sight is 20/20, and of course he was right. But somehow or other one of the houses I showed him eventually caught his eye enough for him to tell me to make an appointment to see it. That was mistake number one. Mistake number two this time around was having the listing agent, who also happened to be the owner, show us the house. We looked at a couple of others with her as well, but naturally she was very good at pointing out how superior her property was.

The long and short of it is that we signed a lease/purchase agreement for the house. Basically we would rent from them for a year, at which time we would purchase the house at a specified price ($8000 higher than the list price when we signed the contract). The one wise thing we did was insist on a clause that stated that if the house did not appraise at that price we could either purchase it at the lower appraisal or cancel the contract.

530164_1 The house was a two storey, with four bedrooms and two and a half baths, a full walk-out basement, large fenced back yard, and a deck. It also had an above ground pool but we had them remove it.530164_2

The agent and her husband, also an agent, had purchased the house about a year previously as an investment, a flip, and totally redid the inside. It really did look almost like a new house. These photos are from the internet listing, and we didn't do much to the house other than paint some of the rooms.

house 001

The kitchen had tons of cupboards and counter space. 530164_3

Just to the right of the dishwasher was the dining area and sliding doors to the deck.530164_4

The door on the far right is the pantry, to the left of that is the entrance from the garage, to the left of that a coat closet, and the open door was the steps down to the basement.house 002

Opposite the basement door was the half bath. It was quite large for what it was and almost seemed like some wasted space.house 004

Past the basement door and toward the front of the house was the living area with a gas fireplace. 530164_7

Toward the back of the house was technically the dining room, but the whole area was not very large (15x25 or something like) and we just used the whole thing as living room.530164_8

Upstairs was a vaulted master bedroom with two closets and a bathroom.530164_10

There were also three other good-sized bedrooms and another full bath, but the best thing was that the laundry room was on the second floor as well.

Outside, there was a nice big back yard. 530164_17

The house was very nice, but what turned out to be its best feature was its location on a cul-de-sac and the neighbors. There were lots of good kids in about a five-year age span and they all played together every possible moment. I felt so comfortable that I even let three yr old Pinkerbelle run around outside with the pack. The parents were friendly and helpful and it was the most neighborly neighborhood I’ve ever lived in. To this day, that is what I miss about this house.

For of course, it didn’t last. This isn’t the whole story, but it’s enough to tell you that one year later, the house did not appraise for the contracted price. They wouldn’t sell it for less, and we could not get a mortgage for more than 100% of the value of the house. Which actually was a blessing, because it turned out that the mortgage payment was going to be $500 more a month than the estimate we had been given a year before, and that would’ve put us in the poor house.

So for the fourth time in four years, we packed everything up and moved yet again.

To be continued…

(Epilogue: the house was put back on the market before we even moved out. It didn't sell, and about six months later I saw it listed again and they had done more work on it. They finished the basement, including a half bath, removed a dying tree, and redid the whole deck. The list price was $7k higher than our contract price, and dropped several times until it sold at less than it appraised for before they did the extra work. As much as we were naive to get into this deal, I think the agents were pretty naive in their investment, and their flip turned out to be a flop for them.)

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8

1 comment:

Carrie said...

I remember before we bought our first home the desperate longing o have a place of our own. Constantly trolling the real estate ads, going to open houses. We would have jumped at a deal like this too, because we would have done anything just to get into a house.