July 17, 2013

the house buying process

This sale was not a foreclosure, short sale, or an estate sale. Without getting into too much detail, the house was owned by someone living in a nursing home who could no longer afford the bills. At that point, the state took over and helped her sell her home fairly, based on an appraisal. The home was quickly fixed up and put on the market. We came along and put in an offer.

Here are the things that made our home search easier:

- worked with a buyer's agent, our Realtor helped us in every aspect of the process
- made lists of needs, wants, and would-likes, as well as negotiables and non-negotiables
- considered distance from work, public transportation, and quality of schools
- based the house cost on what we wanted to pay per month, including all taxes
- looked past cosmetic upgrades and knew no home will be perfect
- considered parts of each home that needed updating in less than 5 years (furnace, roof, etc)
- looked at the long term potential of each home, 'how many years can we stay here'
- drove and/or walked through the neighborhoods around rush hour and on weekends

Then came the inspection. The engineers determined that the structure of the addition had to be reinforced. There was some major construction and yet another issue was found, which meant the bathroom had to be gutted, even though it was in good condition.

This is what the garage ceiling and the master bathroom looked like for a few weeks:

We had to keep the quality of materials similar to the original bathroom, so we chose to keep things simple. The one thing we knew we didn't want again was the standard plastic shower, so we opted take on that project ourselves (with the help of my dear dad). Here's what we had to work with and what we ended up with:

The husband had to duck to get into the shower!

The bathroom didn't change all that much, but now we knew the addition was safe. I guess there's something to the Three Little Pigs story, after all the rest of house was built out of bricks in 1938 and still standing solidly.

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