June 2, 2008
As mentioned in an earlier post, we’ve been taking a break from renos and writing to enjoy a much needed break, however as “an idle mind is the devil’s playground” we’ve started ‘thinking’ and we’re considering moving…
Now in truth, we haven’t actively been looking for homes, but we always like to read the real-estate sections of the paper and recently a listing caught our eye. This gem is located in a small subdivision in the country, and situated near a lake. The house is a solid stone 1860’s farmhouse with 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2 kitchens on a 1 acre lot. The ‘bones’ of the house are beautiful, and we were immediately smitten with the architectural style. That being said, there are some caveats. The well and the septic bed need to be replaced (a very expensive venture) and the interior is brutal. This is/was a farmhouse, so preservation has not been a priority. Finally, the price is WAY too high. The house is mortgage-free, empty, and represents an inheritance, so the sellers have no need to move quickly. We did some math, and figured we could make a reasonable offer on the home and manage to carry it; however this would leave no money to for improvements. The bottom line: this is a once in a lifetime property – just not in our lifetime.
In looking at this house, we happened across another stunning home located in the nicest area of town – a 100 year old, solid-brick Victorian on a large lot. My wife recalled that the house had been on the market for at least a month so on a whim she phoned the agent. The agent explained that the home was a ‘power-of-sale’ listing and that despite the service upgrades, people were passing it over as the kitchen was ugly – buyers were looking for something a little more polished. She also informed us that she would be submitting a request to lower the price substantially – right into our comfort zone. This is exciting.
We’ve already contacted the bank to see what they think, and we will be viewing the home tonight. If all is good we’ll make an offer.
This scenario is complicated by the sale of our home. We have vastly improved our house since we moved in, and the appraised value is substantially higher then what we originally paid. However, all of those improvement projects are 98% complete and we estimate that we need only $1200 to put the final polish on the house. While $1200 isn’t a great deal of money, there is the matter of the required labour – we’re guessing we need 100 hours to finish our projects. If we are going to make and offer, we need to put our house on the market as quickly as possible. Where are we going to find the time?
As I said, “an idle mind is the devil’s playground”.