So, we started out our house-hunting journey in January 2009, technically. We started looking at houses online and realized that property is dirt cheap here. We calculated a budget, made a timeline, put together a list of things we'd want in a house, researched mortgage loans and just about every other aspect about purchasing a home... judging by all the foreclosures in the last couple of years, I'm guessing we were a bit more prepared than others.
For most of the next year, we continued looking at houses online and in magazines, taking note of houses that were particularly suitable. Then, in December, we found the bungalow just outside of town. Went to see it with a realtor, took pictures, etc. Saw it a second time, this time with our parents.
P. loved it. The garage was very large -- the homeowners could fit two cars in there, as well as a boat. A fucking boat. Also in the garage was a workshop, where P. surely saw himself crafting many beautiful and expensive-looking items for his future wife. The backyard was huge. The house had charm.
I saw the matronly pink carpet and ridiculous wallpaper. I saw the tiny, outdated kitchen. I saw the fugly, carpeted half bath next to the master bedroom, knowing that I'd have to shower downstairs and then run my freezing, naked ass upstairs to get dressed.
Don't get me wrong; at first, I saw us there, putting up Christmas lights on the wide front porch and cleaning up the kitchen on humid July evenings after having a barbeque. So we made an offer for what we would pay for the house. That ends up being either a blessing or a curse, and I'm not sure which yet.
The difference between the asking price and what we were comfortable paying for the house was a difference of $22,400. I firmly believe that we only made this offer because we were listening to our parents, none of whom would have paid a dime over a certain amount for that house and did not hesitate to tell us this at any given time. What we should have done to get a contract on that house was bid a difference of about $5,000, while keeping faith about the fact that they'd get nailed on the inspection. With the inspection, we would've had to renegotiate because of the knob and tube wiring, which was fucking everywhere, and I'm sure there are just some things in a house built in 1920 that aren't up to code. And then the appraisal... well... they hadn't gotten an appraisal done, but the comps that their realtor gave us were absolute crap.
So, the house was $149,900. In a town of barely 1000 people, in the middle of crackerjack Indiana, $149.9K should get you:
- at the very least, two bathrooms
- four oversized bedrooms
- a big, updated kitchen
- probably about 2500 square feet and at least an acre of land
- the absence of god-awful décor (we would have had to redecorate every. single. room. We also would've had to redo both bathrooms. And update the kitchen. ugh.)
All in all, the house was blatantly overpriced. The sellers hadn't gotten an appraisal done, for one thing... for another, they'd lived in the house for forty years, raising their kids and making memories. Of course they think the house is worth a billion dollars, but they need to consider where they are. And what their house would actually look like to a couple of 25 year olds.
Needless to say, our offer was rejected. We decided to not re-submit it at a higher price. But, had we bid a lot higher, then we would've at least been able to get a contract with them and being the price down later.
Instead, we found a better house. P. hasn't been as enthusiastic about this one, probably because of the smaller garage and yard. It was also listed above the bungalow. But the kitchen and bathrooms had been updated, the bedrooms were much bigger, and the full bath was actually near the bedrooms. It had a deck, a big kitchen, a fireplace, original woodwork... eeeeeeeeee :)
We made an offer and accepted their counter. The inspection turned up some things, so we suggested that the sellers fix them. And they sent us back a list of things they'd fix, which was the most retarded thing I'd ever read. I mean, seriously: The chimney's in bad shape. So their suggestion was that they'd pay for half of the installation of a gas log fireplace. What the fuck does that do to help the chimney? Can anyone explain that to me? Anyway, the rest of the list went on like that. So we were like, "Fuck it, don't bother, just sell us the house for less." And they accepted. Yay.
So now, we're done with negotiating, unless the appraisal turns anything up. We close on February 26. I hope P. likes it.