Saturday, February 14, 2009

The House Blog: Part 1

Well, it is and isn't a secret that we decided to buy a house. I say that because I speak about it frequently, but not in the great detail that I would like to. The main reason for this: I'm afraid I'm going to jinx us, and if things don't pan out, I'm going to look like an ass.

"House Hunters" (on HGTV), is a big pile of b.s. Even "Property Virgins" doesn't show our headache in a true light. There's no way you could capture the true essence of shopping for your first home in a half-hour (not counting commercials) episode. We would require a mini-series, with a 2-hour premiere episode.

We started back in October with the same first steps we have in the past: get a pre-approval, view some homes, and start making offers. After all, housing prices are at an all time low! Want to know why? Everything on the market in our price range is either a short-sale (a.k.a. pre-foreclosure), or bank owned.
Short sales are a special kind of headache. Basically, you are trying to buy a house that no one is really going to sell to you. The first one we put an offer on got foreclosed on the day after we made the offer. The second, a house I truly fell in love with, waited for us in limbo, between an approved offer from the seller and eternal indecision from their bank. A bank that would frequently pass the "We're going to P&S soon" message to us. After all, they wanted to hold on the their potential buyers, just in case they did want to let this one go for less than what was owed on it.
Then the post-foreclosure, bank owned homes. A great deal. Such a great deal, that after you show up and make your offer for asking price, someone who has money to burn can decide that they want the house, but they are willing to offer $50K over asking. Just to be a tool. People like that are the ones that screwed the housing market in the first place. "I want it, I have to have it, and I'm going to drive the price of homes up by paying more than it's worth!" Combine that with dishonest lenders, and it's no surprise that we're all porked.

Well, after (or more like during), the perpetual "sale pending" tragedy, we found the house that we will soon be calling home. I am confident about this one, as we have made it past Purchase & Sale, and the inspection. We've also had a contractor come in and get us an estimate on the rennovations we plan on doing. But it's been crazy. There is so much to arrange in the way of appraisals, inspections, consumes your life. I don't know how people can buy and sell at the same time. I couldn't do it.

Next step: Closing. I can't wait for this part. Once it's over, the rennovations can begin!!! And then I'm going to have a whole new blog, complete with before and after pictures!!

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