Monday, September 14, 2009

anyone want to sell their home to me? at a discount?

One of my favoritest friends has a blog where she recounts her adventures in purchasing foreclosed homes and rehabbing them. It is totally addictive, and I cannot stop reading her posts! It makes me want to run out and buy a foreclosed home with my nonexistent money and even less available time.

She visited us during the weekend of our first open house, way back in June, and witnessed the flurry of activity that took place over those Friday and Saturday nights. The truth is that Josh and I have put a ton of work into this home, the vast majority of which we did ourselves. Those of you who have been around for quite some time may remember the good old days, when I used to talk about something other than my kids. I read through these posts and feel exhausted at my old self. Where did I find the time to do this stuff? I worked! At a law firm! As a corporate lawyer! For long hours! Ahh, those days are long gone now.

Also, wow. I was way more interesting before I had kids. Apologies.

Anyway, it looks like we are really going to sell this house and will (HOPEFULLY PLEASE) be moving to a new house. As we look at these dumps shitholes lovely homes people are so ridiculously absurdly reasonably pricing, we are having to make decisions on how much work we are willing to do on a new home.

The towns in which we are looking have very few new homes, so almost everything needs work. The question is whether we do minor work, cosmetic work, heavy cosmetic work (bathrooms and kitchens), structural work, or huge renovations. Considering the whole 2 children thing, husband working around the clock thing, plus I do have plans for going back to school or work at some point in the not so distant future, I'm leaning toward heavy cosmetic work as the most I'd be willing to do.

We made some offers on a house now that would need exterior and interior top to bottom painting, all new bathrooms, all new kitchen and laundry rooms, and some renovations in the basement. The roof is probably old, and I'm guessing several problems will come out in the inspection, just judging from the look of things. So why are we bidding? Well, it is far far bigger than we could ever afford normally. 6 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms, to be exact. It is in one of our most favorite, safest, loveliest neighborhoods, close to the train and shops, nestled among much more expensive homes, and priced way under assessment. Still, despite all those benefits, I'm thoroughly afraid of taking all of this on.

I figure a quick overview of all the work we have done on this house might depress cheer me on to the prospect of what is to come:

Living Room: took down wallpaper, scraped walls, painted walls and ceiling and trim and fireplace, tore up carpet and refinished floors, patched cracks, replaced hardware.

Dining Room: took down wallpaper, scraped walls, painted walls and ceiling and trim and doors, tore up carpet and refinished floors, , replaced hardware, patched cracks and patched cracks again. And again.

Kitchen: gutted the whole kitchen, with new walls, new hardwood floors, new ceilings, new electrical, new plumbing, new cabinets and countertops and appliances and lighting and hardware.

Mudroom: gutted the mudroom with the same changes as the kitchen and installed cabinets and a pantry.

Half Bathroom: took down wallpaper, scraped walls, painted walls and ceiling, installed new medicine cabinets, tiled floor, had existing wall tiles reglazed.

Office: painted walls and ceiling, tore up nasty gross carpet, recarpeted.

Foyer: replaced front door and screen door, had front brick stairs rebuilt.

Master Bedroom: took down wallpaper, scraped walls, painted walls and ceiling and trim and closet and bedroom doors, redid closets with new organizational systems, tore up carpet and refinished floors, all new windows.

Gabe's bedroom: took down wallpaper, scraped walls, painted walls and ceiling and trim and closet and bedroom doors, father in law built radiator cover, tore up carpet and refinished floors, all new windows.

Josie's bedroom: painted walls and ceiling and trim and built-ins and doors, redid closet with new organizational system, tore up carpet and refinished floors, all new windows.

Hallway and Stairs: took down wallpaper, scraped walls, painted walls and ceiling and trim and stair risers, tore up carpet and refinished floors, all new windows.

Full Bath: took up old linoleum tile, took down wallpaper, scraped walls, painted walls, replaced lighting, replaced medicine cabinet, replaced shower hardware.
Main basement: carpeted part of the basement, tiled part of the entry area and laundry area, painted and plastered walls and ceiling and trim and stairs and pipes.

Garage and Work room: nothing.

Painted whole exterior, replaced front steps, painted foundation and patio foundation, tore down and replaced fencing around yard, planted new perennial garden in front yard and back yard.

Phew. We've done a lot, especially when I see it all written down. Thank goodness we did most of the work ourselves, or we never would have come close to breaking even. As it is, we are getting our money back on the major stuff, like the kitchen, but nothing back on all of the carpeting, tiling, and painting we've done over the years. No wonder it feels so much like home,-it literally has our blood, sweat, and tears.

It'll be hard to move on November 13th, but I keep reminding myself that we are hoping for something bigger and better. Now we just need to find it or come to some sort of agreement on this fixer-upper. And then find the money to fix it. Or my inlaws will have to house us indefinitely, and I think no one really wants that, although my inlaws are too polite to say so.


Stacy said...

We bought a home like this. we have been working on it over a year. we have put about 100k total into it. it took 10 months to make it liveable.
I have photos if you wanna look at the nightmare! you can see my url.

Rev Dr Mom said...

All I can say is, good luck!!

Tania said...

Don't forget, if/when you get to the kitchen remodel, contact me about friends&family discounts on GE appliances.

YG&B said...

whoa. i knew that you all had done a lot too, but whoa. i am tres impressed, particularly since now your house looks like someone lifted it straight out of a crate&barrel catalog. you can buy our house for way less than the houses you are looking at, but i think the commute might be too long.;-) and thanks for the shout out!

Toronto home staging said...

Well, this sure isn't gonna be easy. Seems like you will have to do a lot of work on the new house, a lot of staging and decorating to make it your HOME. Good luck.