PE> This is a *very*
long post, but would I appreciate it if the
PE> group regulars would soldier through it, because I need to make a
PE> decision but still have some time for weighing pros and cons.
(Wasn't that long!)
PE> I accidentally stumbled onto the prettiest, most unbelievably
PE> reasonable 3 room bungalow in an unfashionable and increasingly
PE> crime-ridden section of my region. The elderly bachelor brothers
PE> selling it live next door and have put a new roof on it,
PE> surrounded the entire property with chain-link fence, put in new
PE> wall-to-wall carpeting, and even put teeny-tiny new replacement
PE> windows in the foundation where old (and I suppose) rotted
PE> unopening "ventilation" panes used to be.
The "increasingly crime-ridden" part might be a turn-off for me. Is
your heart overriding your brain? (Umm, that may be read the wrong
way.) If the immediate neighbourhood is relatively safe but the problem
area is several blocks away that's s different story.
PE> The home comes with new appliances included, a poured concrete
PE> basement--even with an old coal bin room newly painted. Although
PE> there are signs of water damage in the main floor ceiling I was
PE> able to detect through the new satin paint, the roof is
PE> definitely new.
Is the newly painted areas covering up anything? The water damage could
have been from years ago when someone overran a bathtub. A new roof and
appliances are a plus.
PE> The home is in a region that experienced a
PE> nationally-news-covered flood @ 35 years ago, so strong it wiped
PE> away homes much much larger than this. I assume the home was
PE> either entirely reconstructed on the original foundation or else
PE> rehabilitated in such a way that I noticed no mold whatsoever *in
PE> the subflooring.*
Good. The house's location could have been such the flood didn't touch
it. One of my managers at the store lives in a smal town with flooding
years ago. Her house is on a slight rise and because of that was not
PE> My problem: This is a privately-sold home, and because the
PE> brothers are asking such a low price for it, they have been
PE> inundated with offers to buy it. For some reason I don't
PE> understand, they agreed to show it to me but told me a
PE> "neighbor's son" was "ahead of me." They then said in a very
PE> ambiguous way (that I think has something to do with their age)
PE> that even though the kid hasn't come up with a mortgage, they
PE> still won't sell it to me...yet.
Possibly 'word of honour', 'first come, first serve', that sort of thing.
PE> Last night the brother handling the sale phoned and said he's
PE> "sick and tired" of the kid and will "keep me informed" about
PE> what their lawyer tells them to do.
PE> I have contacted them at cautious, non-impolite intervals the
PE> past two weeks and pressed them about when they're going to make
PE> a decision. What I'm worried about is their reaction if I request
PE> a home inspection (I'm assuming that as far as my pre-approved
PE> mortgage is concerned, the bank appraiser will pass the home with
PE> flying colors).
Personally I think it would be a good idea to have a home inspection
done. Not necessarily to make or break the deal, but to give an
impartial view of what you are buying. Maybe there's a plumbing problem
coming up. At least you will know to set aside some monies towards this
PE> I have previous disastrous experience buying a home "As Is." The
PE> experience was BIBLICAL, robbed me of the best years of my life,
was responsible for me learning to (among other things) do
PE> my own plumbing, work with cement professionally, and install
PE> deadbolts in steel doors. In other words, I can do a heck of a
PE> lot of DIY stuff if necessary.
Well, the good news is you learned a lot!
PE> But I'm almost 50 and want this 3 room bungalow because I'm a
PE> lady getting tired of buying herself presents at Harbor Freight.
PE> (I just missed out on their special on chain-saw sharpeners!)
PE> Since most of the regulars on this group are guys, and guys are
PE> still strong at 50, I'll put it this way: how many of you would
PE> risk 35K on a property such as I've described if you had one hand
PE> tied behind your back?
I don't know. AFAIC all homes are 'fixer-uppers' one way or another:
wall coverings not to my taste, electrical system 'quirks' (this light
AND this light go on together??!!), this room is too big/too small. The
price does seem terribly attractive if it's in reasonable condition.
PE> IIRC, I contacted the local cops to investigate whether this
PE> might be a blighted property (murder scene, drug house, etc.),
PE> and the young policeman told me not only was the neighborhood one
PE> of the best in the little borough but that the Chief at one time
PE> lived across the street from this property.
You also might want to look at the city's web page for "crime hints", as
well as www.city-data.com and www.epodunk.com for other data on the
PE> Apologies again for making this so long, but I've gotten some
PE> good advice here over the years and would appreciate "What's the
PE> Worst That Could Happen?" answers.
Suppose some of thr worsts would be the place catches on fire, blows up
due to a gas leak, floods from plumbing.....
¯ Barry.Martin þ at þ QCONline,COM ®
.. Van Gogh Relatives: His dizzy aunt: Verti Gogh
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