Sunday, June 29, 2008

House Buying Hell

After weeks of inundating you, my lovely readers, to the ups and downs of our housing search, I apologize for being so quiet on the subject over the last couple of weeks. I left off with this post and have been waiting (not so) patiently to see what would happen with House #3.

The contractor was able to look at the house last weekend and gave us an estimate of $17000 to replace the current siding with vinyl siding and redo both bathrooms. The bathrooms need more work than we originally thought. We had (incorrectly) assumed that just the tub surrounds needed replacing along with the ceiling finished in the downstairs bathroom. Apparently the leaks had spread a bit further and all of the sheetrock in both bathrooms needs replacing. Alrightly then.

This estimate puts the house over our budget, with some repairs still needing to be done on the deck in order to pass inspection. The contractor did state that we could get by with simply replacing the couple areas of bad siding with new pieces and then scraping, priming, and painting the existing siding. For the most part, the siding is in good condition, it just doesn't look like it. When it has been previously painted no one ever took the time to prime the siding before painting, thus contributing to the ever-peeling paint. If we take this option, the price falls back within our budget. This contractor can supposedly get the work done by the end of July (which I take to mean he will really have it finished mid-to-late August. No offense contractors out there, but previous experience has led me to believe that very rarely are any contracting jobs finished on time). The repairs to the deck we should be able to do ourselves. There are a few boards that need replacing and, because of the height of the deck, the railings need to be redone. Right now they are open railings (and not very sturdy ones) with nothing between the railing and the deck. That area needs to be secured with either a slatted railing or lattice-work to ensure than no one can fall from under the railing. I can do that. Great, problems solved. Let's move ahead.

Mr. Irony and I want to get the purchase agreement signed and lock up this house. Mr. Seller, however, is now backpedaling. He seems to think that we are going to commission these repairs, let the contractor finish, and then back out of the deal sticking him with the repair bills. So he would like us to put down a sizable deposit, plus extra money into an escrow account which he would get to keep if we back out. Hello! WTH?!?! I don't know if he just doesn't get it that ANYONE he sells this house to (other than a real estate "flipper") is going to have to have these repairs done prior to closing, or the house won't pass inspection and the mortgage will not go through! I know the house was a rental but why weren't things taken care of before it got to this point?

We want this house. Once we have the basement finished it will be quite roomy with around 2500 square feet (much more than we ever thought we'd be able to afford). It is within walking distance of the schools and biking distance from the pool. We have no intentions of backing out on this, especially because we are down to the wire now on finding a home. I really do not want to have to move into Mr. Irony's town home and then move again into our house. This creates all sorts of problems that I'd rather not think about right now.

Mr. Irony and the realtor are going to walk through the home today and list any possible items that may not pass inspection. Following this our realtor is going to talk with Mr. Seller again and try to get him to be a bit more reasonable. Then, hopefully, we will get the initial offer signed and be able to move forward. Every day that Mr. Seller delays us puts us further behind on the repairs.

We never, ever, had any idea that finding a house was going to be this problematic. We both, naively maybe, thought we would look at houses, put in an offer on one or two, close on a home, and move. I never thought that the market in this city would be as "hot" as it is and that we would be competing for homes. I never realized how many "jerky" people there are out there. I am getting extremely frustrated with the whole process. If rent for houses was not so high in this area I would seriously considering giving up for now and just finding a rental. We will not give up, though. Not unless Mr. Seller continues to jerk us around. He wants to sell, he's complaining because he wants this deal done, so I don't understand why he keeps putting up little roadblocks. Considering that the man built this house over twenty years ago, he's going to make a considerable amount of money on this sale. Just sell it to us already!

On a lighter note, apparently the sellers for the last house we offered on irritated most potential buyers with their "we're waiting to compare all offers and choose the highest one" attitude, as the house is still on the market. I guess we weren't the only ones that chose to let our offers expire and not deal with them. Petty of me, I know. But I still think "HAH!"

Stayed tuned for the next episode of "House Buying Hell".


Noodle said...

Oooh, unfun! I hope things get worked out so you can get the house.

the Summer Diva said...

Thousands of hugs and positive thoughts heading your way.
Man I am so with you on the initial house buying thoughts. What you think should be an close done deal turns into this whole mes of yuck.
It is So frustrating.
We are closing on the house purchase soon, but we have no idea when we will get to actually live in it. With the septic fiasco going on it could take a while.
Nothing like owning something but not being able to play with it right away. *stomp*
Plus, we had already gotten everything set up to change over to the new house the first week of July(utilities, mail and such) and gave our notice here to be out at the end of July.
Only a handful of the utilities could be temporarily switched back to the rental so far with out paying a big fee and we don't know when our actual move in date for the new house is anymore. We can only hope that it's before the end of July hits.
Regardless, the mail and a few of the utilities will be at the new house with or without us. *sigh*

LizSara said...

oh my it's difficult buying houses is the US. We have mortgage clauses that say that we have to have things done (if they need doing of course) within 3 months of moving in, but nothing that would stop a mortgage.

I hope Mr Seller isn't a Mr A**h*l*

The Modern Gal said...

This is all making me think I tried to hard when selling my place. Seriously, this is so crappy of the seller ... he should be glad someone wants to buy his place! And it's not like another buyer wouldn't need the same stuff taken care of.

Diane said...

Sounds like Mr. Seller doesn't really want to sell his house. Sometimes when people build their own houses they get so emotionally attached to them that they *think* they want to sell, but they really don't. Good luck. I hope it all works out for you guys.

Bart said...

Never underestimate the prevalence of jerky people in the world.

That's gonna be one of the first things I teach my daughter when she's of a certain age that childish exuberance becomes dangerous.

Shania said...

Good grief! You'd think the guy would be grateful to have a buyer at all. I hope it goes smoother and gets done soon!