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Discussion Starter #1
I went to see 2 houses this weekend with my mom.

One house had a lot of stuff my mom was looking for, but some of the work that had been done to it was kinda shoddy. For example, the previous owner had expanded the living room into the garage. (My mom doesn't require a garage, for some reason ;) ) But the transition between the original living room floor, and the new floor where the garage was, could easily be felt under the carpet. And, the previous owner didn't cover the garage door on the outside of the house. :confused: What my mom likes about this is that the living room is nice and big.

The second house we looked at was in better shape, but needed more work to make it the way my mom wants. But, the way I see it, we can do this work the right way, and don't have to trust that the previous owner got it right.

I'm not asking for advice about which house to choose, I've left out WAY too much information for that. But, I'd like to know if any of you have had to make a big decision in the past where the pros and cons balanced out, and there wasn't a clear right answer. Any thoughts?

Thanks.
 

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If you are a Christian, you pray and sometimes fast. If you aren't a Christian then you can ask some you know to pray for you. Be very specific about what you pray about so you know when the prayer has been answered.

you may want to right down the pluses and minuses of each house and compare them. It helps to gain perspective when you can see it in writing. Look at both houses several times. You will see things you didn't notice the first time. Hire a home inspector if you are really serious about the house you want. It may cost $400, but it may save waaaay more, and you can use the home inspector report in the bargaining process.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply. I am making a list right now, and I think that will help.
 

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Yea, I'm with having someone professional coming to look at the prospective purchases, they can spot things that are out of whack because that's what they do. My dad does inspections for a living, and he sees things all the time that would scare people. Bad wiring, shoddy repairs, leaks, insulation woes. Alot of that stuff can add up to big $ when you get the place. The leaks are the worst, as they can create that nasty black mold that is toxic to humans, and once that mold takes hold, any wood that it is on has to replaced, which of course, can be super costly, and or just ruin the house if it is bad enough.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have a pretty good idea of what I'm looking at. After we make an offer, I will still have an inspection done. So, if the inspector finds something real scary, then I'll ask the current owners to fix it, adjust their price, or let me walk away.

The reason I don't want an inspection before I make an offer is because I don't want to waste the $400 or so and have them reject my offer anyway.

Again, thanks for the replies. It might come down to flipping a coin. :)
 

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go for the house with less work done.

wouldnt you rather start out with a stock car if youre going to mod it that way you can mod it right, rather than start out with a previously modded car that more than likely wasnt done right and youll have to go back and fix everything before you can start what you wanted to do? you never buy someone elses mistakes.
 

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With the cost of housing nowadays, it often cheaper to build your house from scratch. Don't know if she has enough time for that though.
 

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House that's easiest to work on. I'd make a list of things to improve. Then weigh them by cost and time to fix. Then location near places you'd go, friends, people in the area. Go for a walk around the neighborhood a couple times. Talk to the neighbors and get a feel for them, because you could get stuck with crackhead welfare neighbors that park their cars on the grass and field dress deer from the trees, like we had.

We've had to redo every room in our house, at least once. Too much of a hassle. Still not where we want it, and parents are divorcing after we've lived here 15 years. 15 years and still not done. Kitchen is finally nice after all the work this summer.

 

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I would buy the one I felt was in a better location.That 's always the first thing buyers consider when they plan on purchasing a home.Walk around both properties and the neighborhood and feel out which one fits you and your family.Or else the proverbial coin flip. :eek: Good luck
 

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location, neigborhood, condition, layout, and price.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
That's what makes this such a tough decision. They are almost in the same location--they are only a block apart. They are also the same price. One house was fudged around with, but the result is that it is closer to what my mom is looking for. The other house isn't quite so fudged up, but needs a little work to make it what my mom wants. The only real, difference between the two houses, is that the second one has a gravel driveway, and a hill in the back yard, and the first house has a concrete driveway, and a flat back yard.

So, I will be calling the realtor today to see both houses again this weekend. (It's really a pain in the... when you live so far away.)

BTW, nice kitchen 93pimpin!
 

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Black_97_LX said:
BTW, nice kitchen 93pimpin!
What it looked like before:

No before pics on the floor, when it was down to the wood.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
93pimpin said:
What it looked like before:...
Yep, old houses are fun.

An update to my situation: my mom has decided she doesn't want to go with either house, so we are still looking.
 

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Here is something that nobody seemed to mention.

Is this being purchased as an investment, or just a place to live? If it is an investment, do an analysis of money/time spent doing improvements vs. appreciation value. As an example, my best friend built a $318K house in CO 4 years ago. He has done NOTHING to it since new… it just appraised at $550K!!! :beek:

Home ownership (real estate) is probably the best investment anyone can do with his or her money.

If it is just a “place to live”, then get what you like. Trust me, you don’t want to spend every day in a house that pisses you off due to what ever reason.

Just my .02 and good luck. :thumbsup:
 

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94 Daily Driven 4.6L said:
Home ownership (real estate) is probably the best investment anyone can do with his or her money.
Yes and no. From the sound of it, they're not buying an investment house, just a place to live. The market is slowing, really fast. The over inflated house prices will drop now that interest is coming up. People in CA are now waiting months to sell a house that would have sold in days 6 months ago.

On the decision, don't buy either, unless you need something now. Neither house is exactly what you want. Keep looking. When we were looking for our house, it was between a 1450 sq ft house on 1/2 acre in town for a good price that was in need of $1000 in repair and hadn't been redecorated (lighting, wall paper, carpet etc) since it was built in the 50's. The other house was 1984, cost twice as much, 3000 sq ft, 850 sq ft guest house (not livable), 30x20 barn, 2.8 acres, wooded area just outside of town with an extra 10 minutes of driving to work.

Criteria:
Cost, location, value, willingness to work on it, resale value, enjoyment factor:

My story:
Older house: if I bought it, would have spent about $10k fixing it up, could have paid it off in 6 years, be in great financial shape. Be looking for a new house in a year or two. Could sell it for a $25k profit nownow

New house: Have spent $35k+ fixing it up. 26 piers later, the foundation is in worse shape than before, still has a 20x15 foot mural that belongs in a mexican restaurant. It appraised at $50k over the cost the year after we bought it. (efforts paid off) Everyone that comes over is astounded at how good it looks. I'm a step from broke at all times.

I still feel we made the right decision.

Find the one that you really want, just don't tell the sellers you do.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Update

My mom got the keys to her new house yesterday.

It isn't either of the 2 that I described at the beginning of this thread. :D

It's a nice, solid, brick ranch. The only major drawback is that it doesn't have a garage, but we can build one in the near future. (hopefully the cost of materials will go back down soon) The only other bad things are that the kitchen is a little dated, and the carpet in the living room is ugly--but new. We paid $84,000 for it, but with the large down payment (Christmas present from me) the monthly payments will only be about $501. :eek:
 
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