Today I am sharing my rookie mistake, re: house hunting.
All the number crunching considered,
Well I am just excited and an eager beaver, so I am searching the Houston real estate website right now. It started as a 'lets just see what's out there for what our price range is going to be' searching, but it got out of hand pretty quickly.
You see, I fell in very deep like with this house right here. It a REO (real estate owned) foreclosure property. The houses surrounding this one are a good 30K more so it was a steal of a deal.
When I looked at the pictures of the property it looked like it needed major cosmetic updating, and new floors throughout. So of course I go pricing all the things, and figure our budget and a timeline of when we could get things replaced that weren't emergency things. Why? Because I am insane, and thought this was a great use of half my Saturday, duh.
So Sunday rolls around, I am still obsessing about the house and décor ideas and researching different flooring options, it hits me. There has got to be a catch. It has been on the market for nearly a month, which is long in Houston summer when houses in this price range turn around in a week. I decided to take a trip down to this house just to check out the neighborhood. I figured it must be sketchy or run down, or half the roof was missing or SOMETHING.
So I go do a drive-by, and I totally am in love with the neighborhood. It is older and full of giant trees and every house on the block looks very well maintained and nice. The 2 other homes for sale in the neighborhood are out of our price range, so I am even more sold that I was before. I only had to pray it would stay on the market for another month or so.
I was in the neighborhood so I popped by my trusted advisor's (my Mom) house to show her the listing online, see what she thought. I think I got her on board a little bit, but I decided to take her back out to the house to show her the area and see what she thought.
We pull into the driveway and so far so good. The house is mustard yellow and brown, so we make note that the outdoor paint could use a change. We peek in the window into the kitchen and it is so large and spacious. The tile is in good looking condition. We laugh about the crazy wallpaper in there that would come down immediately. The cabinets look better than the pictured indicated. We continue around the front and see the porch light fixture is hanging by a thread and a bird had taken residence in there. No biggie, we can clean that out.
We peek into the front door, and my heart sinks. The ceiling in the entire den is coming down in sheets. There is water damage over the kitchen nook. Check around the side of the house and the A/C unit looks like it had been ripped to shreds by vandals. All in all, our guesstimate to getting the house to a livable condition was around $40K. And that was only what we could see with our two eyes, no telling what catastrophe was hiding in there for us to find.
A little bit beyond our skill level and our bank account.
I am still depressed, it is a really great house with a great layout in a great location. I keep trying to re-crunch numbers to see if we could somehow afford to renovate it if they would lower the price a good $20K. If I were using my brain and not my heart, I'd laugh it off and never look back. But as we stand now, I am still holding out hope that I will figure something out. I know though, a few months down the road I will find a new house to love, it just sucks. Why did I have such high expectations about this place?? Ugh.
As for now, I will tend to my wounds of forlorn house lust. Moral of this story: I decided I need to stay away from the real estate listings until we are locked and loaded and ready to make offers.