Sunday, February 17, 2008

More House Hunting

Went to look at these "condos" today with Mark. I use quotation marks because they are really just dressed up apartments. But their prices are really low. Bad points: There are no real views, a small laundry room in the basement, no balconies, big construction project across the street, it's a neighborhood that we wouldn't stay in because of terrible schools, and they are about 850 square feet. Good points: Everything is brand new, central air, only $200 HOA, and the neighborhood is not scary. And we could probably get one for $275,000. Believe it or not, that is a very good price.

Also looked at this house in Burbank in an amazing area. It is a foreclosure selling at $399K. (Most houses in that area go for $600K and up.) So at that price we were used to something that has no roof, in a crack den, or with a electric plant in the front yard. So we thought, well let's see what scary thing this is. It does need a lot of cosmetic work. Needs: some new windows, new floors, all appliances, major scrubbing, paint, some landscaping, and new cabinets. Also, there is about 5 feet in between houses, and no back yard. Our awesome realtor, Alison, says we can offer $330K because it is a foreclosure. Here are some pics:

tiiiiiiiny kitchen


2nd bathroom


(You can see I already have a bit of belly. Belly pics to come soon.)

How about that red room? The house is in a great neighborhood with a fantastic bike/jog path right across the street where folks are walking their dogs, jogging, strolling with babies. It is in a great school district. And within walking distance are cafes, cool shops, a Rite Aid, and a park. The question is, can we do all that cosmetic work with a baby in the picture? And can we afford the extra expenses?

Big decisions. We would love any advice! Especially, how much of a tax break do you really get from interest deductions?


Kristin C. said...

Wow. That's a loaded question. If you have the money to buy the house, buy the house. The neighboorhood is what you are looking for're able to get in a home that will be worth a lot more to you financially in the long's larger and can grow with your family. You can do the major things that you can afford before the baby is born and then work on the rest over time. I know...don't I make it sound so easy?

I guess you need to look at your budget with a mortgage payment, homeowners insurance, utilities that maybe you don't have to pay now, etc etc etc.

Good Luck!!

saffry said...

I think there's a good chance the cosmetic things won't get done, because other problems always crop up and take priority. So, can you live with the bad windows and floors for a few years if you end up having to replace the A/C or the hot water heater first?

And remember, you don't necessarily want perfection when you're going to have a child writing on the walls and spilling juice on the carpet. Some things SHOULD wait a few years to be replaced. I'm not touching our family room carpet until Claire is at least 4.

I also think you have time to look around. People are panicking, foreclosures will be going up. The baby won't need much space at first, and actually a smaller place is more convenient for carrying a baby from place to place. Unless you don't have a laundry, then I'd say move as soon as possible.

paintrly1 said...

thank you for all the good advice! We are trying hard to enjoy this process and not freak out.
The house is in an amazing neighborhood, but I don't think we can handle all the work it needs right now. Time wise or financially.
Thanks again!

ks1k said...

Any equity that you can build in a home sure beats the hell out of paying rent to someone.

The cosmetic stuff can wait and the place will be yours. You are not buying a castle, you are getting your first home.

Ask Mom about her first home. She wanted to cry when she saw the first crummy little trailer in Alaska.

If it feels right, do it. Do not jump into something until it feels right.