|Home buying is complicated...
||[Dec. 17th, 2009|08:16 am]
Okay. So. |
I found a lovely little house - two bedrooms, or a third if you want to count the short attic with the sloping wall (it would work, especially as a kid's room). Nice price, nice plot of land, and in the middle of a block. No, I mean, *in the middle* - down an alley. I kinda liked it. So did someone else, and their offer got taken.
There's another little house that's about 25% over my target price. It has an unfinished (but decent) basement, an attic much like the tiny one, and some strange layout issues. But, a nice kitchen, 1 and a half baths, and it's had its big problem - leaky roof dumped water in the basement, repairs made (including a new roof), and seems to be in sound shape...I'm about to offer 15% over my target price. I don't like making this offer - one of the things I've loved about my job is that it's paid me enough that I've always had some spare cash hanging around, and this will do a great deal towards removing *that* problem. Plus, the parking is a bit tricky (two concrete paths - one for each set of tires! - and a garage that would be a pain to use to hold a car.
Oh, and, this is what freaks me out: a shed whose roof leaks, so the floor is just constantly hit by rain. It offends me to think of having such a thing in what could be "my" yard. If you'd told me last year that my decision could be made by a roofless wooden shed, I've have laughed at you. But I'll tell you one thing: if I take this house, that shed is going to be hauled off or repaired/replaced, quickly.
Another home *just* came on the market; spot on my price-point, but I might have to add a bit to re-roof it. It's on a nice plot of land, it's got a decent, boring layout (someone called an architect, and s/he said "I'll get on the phone to my blueprint maker- you want 3 beds, bath and a half, with a garage, right?"), parking is reasonable (on a bit of a hill, but a full two car garage). But it's a rambler - one level, no stairs. Homes are supposed to have attics and basements.
The price is great, a home inspection should tell me everything I need to know about it, but I find myself willing to go about 10% higher (on top of the roofing costs, which I assume will be needed) just to get a home with stairs in it.
I'll grant you, there's one other thing that weighs in favor of the more expensive house. As I said, it has *had* it's problem, and the problems have been fixed. It has appliances (refrigerator, washer&dryer, and maybe even a garbage disposal), but for the price difference, I could get those in the rambler, cheaper, and I could pick the ones I wanted.
What's bugging me most are the presence or absence of stairs, and an old, mostly-roofless shed.
Still, either house could be workable. I won't take a house I don't feel I'll enjoy living in - I mean, talk about a *lousy* investment! - but it's weird how things that I never thought would matter suddenly have become important.