While I was cleaning out our filing cabinet, I came across our contract and inspection report from our house that “got away.”
I am sure every homeowner has one..You look at a house, love it, put in an offer, and it is under contract. Or you get out-bid. Or in our case, you get to the home inspection and realize there are lots and lots of overwhelming things to fix. Like, practically the whole inspection report was in red font, meaning: NOT GOOD. You ask the seller to fix the major problems and they say no. You debate and debate and debate about whether or not you should continue on with the contract. You counter, they counter…We walked away…and we are SO glad we did.
I know what you are thinking. You walked away from a house that had “lots of overwhelming things to fix” and then you bought YOUR HOUSE? Yes. For many reasons.
The other house was over $30,000 more and still had cosmetic things inside that we would want to change. I was obsessed with the yellow front door and the little mudroom it had as you walked in. It had a large garage/shed in the back yard and a huge magnolia tree, a screened in porch, and a fence! And a gas fireplace! It was super close to our favorite neighborhood and was within walking distance of the river and a delicious BBQ place (priorities, ya’ll). The downsides were that it only had 1 1/2 baths, it had an underground oil tank that we would have to remove eventually, it didn’t have appliances, and oh…it had major structural issues (foundation, moisture, roof, etc) that the seller was not willing to fix.
For my friends who are going through or eventually will go through the home buying process..I have a few tips.
Try not to get discouraged. You will find the right house for you. It just might take more time than you want it to. And try not to be pissed at the seller if they can’t accommodate all of your requests, you spoiled brat (I learned that one through experience..it doesn’t help anything if you’re mad.).
Don’t rush in to something or give up one of your “must-haves” because of an emotion (I love that yellow front door!) and be REALISTIC about the amount of work you want to do or pay someone else to do. We were gung-ho about making improvements from the beginning and there are some days where we admit we bit off more than we can chew on our own.
Know that everything once you own a house is more expensive than you think it is going to be. You will walk in to Lowes/Home Depot/any store and you’ll be like…”oh cool, these screws/nails/whatever are only like $.97 each…” and then you realize that you need 40 bazillion to finish your project. Plus a new screwdriver, hammer, and, “ooooh..look! They have mirrors AND curtains here!”
Listen to your advice-giving family, even if you don’t like what they are saying. At least just listen and think about it and THEN do what you want to do. Sometimes they really DO know best, even if you don’t want to admit it.
Every seller has a “thing” they are looking for in the transaction. Maybe they don’t have a ton of cash on hand so they CAN’T pay the entire closing cost amount, but are willing to drop the price a bit or be flexible somewhere else. Maybe they are an investor and don’t really care if they sell it right away because they can afford to sit on it and wait for someone who will pay full price. Maybe they have to get out of the house ASAP and can’t wait for a later closing date. The key is to find out what they want, weigh it against what you want/can afford, and decide whether or not it will work. If you feel uncomfortable/uneasy about where the negotiations are headed, get out and go look at more houses.
You’ll find it!