Friday, March 19, 2010

Let's make a deal

The sellers came back with an $8000 price deduction to take care of the roof and water heater and other small incidentals. I said I'd get back the the Realtor in the morning, which is today.

I told the Realtor that the reduction amount wouldn't do it for me. Even though they estimated prices of work to be done, things always cost more than you think. I named another slightly higher price than the one I put forth yesterday.

They quickly accepted. Somehow this made me suspicious. I guess it's a good price for me, I don't know. I have to do all the work, roof and insect thing. I am now worrying about the process of dusting poison into the wall that the insect man does and the idea of having ants and poison possibly all over the place. And that somehow I've had the wool pulled over my eyes and am making a big mistake.

I agree w/Annie that the ants are the most worrysome thing. Although to have to do a roof first thing on moving in is also a lot. I have never tended to a house before. Maybe I should buy a condo and forget this idea.

I verbally agreed to all this but havent signed anything yet. OPajamas thinks I should move on from this one and keep looking. He is confident I will find something.

I am thinking the whole point of my long house search is to learn to make big choices and step forth in the world as a "grown up." Maybe it is so hard for me because I have avoided making big choices for many years and tend to let life present me with the changes instead of making them myself.

29 comments:

Lynn said...

Oh my goodness. Well, we recently purchased a new waterheater for $1000 (that included labor for installation) a new roof plus repair on wood rot (our house is also 20 yrs old) for over $3000.
I'm not sure how I'd feel about the ant poison. To tell you the truth this house sounds like in need of a build-over a real fixer upper! Do you really want to do that? Or do you want to find something you can move into and is already pretty liveable? I think I spent over $2000 on new appliances several years ago (fridge, microwave and dishwasher) and I choose low end costwise.
I'd listen to Old PJs if his work was in the area of ant control! He knows what he's talking about. He's right, this is not the only house. It's okay to keep looking.
This is not JUST about being able to make a decision. It's important to make a Good Decision. Not something you are going to have major buyers remorse over.
Good luck, hugs, and if it were me I'd keep looking. Dirty and too small and too MUCH repair sounds like a bad deal to me.
Better luck next time. ????
Just my reactions to all you wrote in this and the last post.

Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

Sigh...this being the only home I have owned, it is a big responsibility and I have had my share of disaster and normal wear and tear repairs since he died. $5000 new roof; $7000 new heat pump; $1200 washer and dryer. Still, those things are fixed now and should last as long as I live here at least.

I do need to have a bug inspection though, and I think there is dry rot around the basement sliding door but I keep ignoring it.

I did a bit of websurfing about carpenter ants, as you probably have too, but here's a couple of links;

http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/housingandclothing/dk1015.html

http://lancaster.unl.edu/pest/resources/carpant004.shtml

http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7416.html

This place has lots of problems, and seems a bit overwhelming to me, but so did my cat caused flood and water damage in 2008 and I got through that.

I can't remember who Mr O'PJ's is but he sounds knowledgeable and if he is saying skip this one, maybe you should.

I know when I had my roof repaired, a friend gave me her Angies List password and I had 3 contractors come out and inspect and give me free estimates. You might be able to do that as I somehow think this place won't be snatched up right before your eyes in the shape it's in...and dirty!

Yes, you would think one would clean up before putting a house on the market. That in itself makes me uneasy about the lack of upkeep and hidden problems. Did it belong to dead relatives and they just want to unload it "as is" or had it been lived in recently...what's the house's story, do you know?

Sorry for the problems and no easy answers on this one...I wish so for you to be settled, too.

Lynn said...

PS Suki the roof and gutters was $8678 and the wood rot repairs was $3200. I just went and looked it up. So $11,000 plus!!!!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I can't believe you can get a new roof for $8000. Here in the midwest where it is supposed to be cheaper it would cost 10,000 at least. I would not accept their allowances. To have someone come in and clean it would probably cost $300. Then new appliances. New water heater. Another $3000. Ant control $$?? Nope don't settle. If your heart is set on this property. Make them give up the actual cost of things that need to be done.

sukipoet said...

wow these are great comments re: actual cost of repairs. $11,000 for a new Roof.!!! Well I did contact a friend from years ago who is a contractor and he said 8-12 a square foot which equals 8000-12000 not including incidental costs like the dumpster rent to dump the trash into.

This house was never lived in by the sellers. Mrs. P's mom died and she inherited the house, so yes, they want to get it off their hands. Probably especially now that they have had me do these inspections and reveal these flaws.

it is one thing to have repairs evolve over time, one expects that. But to be whacked with them at first go, especially for a greenhorn like me, is probably a lot.

YES, I do think I want a more move in ready home. But they also tend to cost more so it is my old dilema of which things to "sacrifice."

In a way I wish I were doing this as the youger, more rash me. I used to plunge into unknowns with abandon and made a lot of messes along the way.

But now I tread cautiously.

Though I admit I am a bit tired of the looking thing emotions wise.

Hey thanks everyone. You all are so wise!!!!

sukipoet said...

Teri, sorry you have had to face all those repairs on your own. Sounds like a lot! But the good news is you ARE keeping things up. That will bring you a return on profit and appeal of the house when/if you go to sell it. Thanks for the advice. I knew 8000 was a ridiculous sum.

patti said...

Hi Suki, it all sounds a bit overwhelming! Move on maybe. Old Pajamas seems to know you well and the pest/dirty thing is always a worry.People change their mind about houses all the time.

I f I were an older woman I would not want all this worry, I would want to move in to a house that was all done nicely right from the start. It would be worth the money spent.

Love and hugs to you Suki - everything will be alright! xx

Leslie Avon Miller said...

Buying new and in good shape probably costs less in the mid term run, I would think. And re-sale, if that ever came up, would be easier too. My 2 cents, free of charge!

soulbrush said...

i cannot comment about any of these costs as i love on the other side of the pond in rented accomodation. but i agree with the 'wish i were younger and more rash', because with age comes wisdom, but also hesitancy. my yardstick when i have a huge problem is 'how do i feel when i wake up first thing in the morning? what is my first thought?'i usually try to listen to THAT voice, don't know if this helps at all.

Cris, Artist in Oregon said...

wow. I would listen to OP. and Run not walk to the next house. But if you LOVE this house then that is a different story. We have had to do things to our home since moving in. Everyone does, but nothing major when moving in.

Mary said...

suki--you have a lot to think about but we did a new roof last year on john's dad/s house here on the cape for less than $6000 and it was a much larger house--contractors here are desperate and are underbidding each other all over the place. we also had the entire 2000 sf painted inside for less than $1000. we ourselves bought a true fixer upper and over the years have done many, many things. our house is 80 years old....and had had many things left undone and let go over the years but it was affordable and we absolutely adore our house. we have replaced all the appliances (they average about $600 each for low to mid end power savers) and the insect thing is something we have to watch all the time. over the years we have replaced the roof, the heating system, gotten rid of asbestos (in the old heating system) and replaced doors and windows....we did a lot of work ourselves and bargained with people. get a firm price to go back to the sellers with on all these things. there are many, many houses for sale on the cape. in our area many are selling for around $100,000-125,000 but those also need a lot of work and are not in a conservation area.

i would be careful about what other people, especially friends, say about your house or whatever. this is to be your house, not theirs. this is about you. not them. do you love this house? never mind the money or the work or whatever. this is where you will probably live out your life. does it make you happy just to be in it?

if not, then by all means move on. but none of the things you mention are insurmountable.

Annie said...

Suki, I am so sorry about all this stuff, and after you finally took the plunge! If not for the ants, I would say stick it out, but if it is toxic to you and animals, I say move on. I was so sure this was the place, perhaps I was just tuning into the fact that you would make an offer :-). This is your house, so YOU have to decide what to do, first I would research those ants and make your choice on what is best for you. Big hugs. xoxo

kikipotamus said...

Unless you are just in love with it, I would walk away. This was wonderful practice in saying yes, and you are so wise to have asked OP to attend the inspection. We are with you no matter what you decide. Keep us posted! :)

The fearless threader said...

Having purchased a house 10 years ago with lots of problems and never quite got on top of the problems, I'd advise you to walk away and find something readier to move in. Only someone completely gung ho! about fixing it up should take on something like that. The right one is just around the corner, but it really isn't this one. If it was the right one you wouldn't have been suspicious about their immediate acceptance of your second offer. If your gut tells you something isn't right, then pretty much something isn't right.

Marion said...

I live in Canada, so any estimates I might have wouldn't mean much.But I'm with Mary. I would buy an older home...there is so much character hidden in the walls. I understand the insect problem, that is one we face continually here. It is an accepted thing, especially if the house is near a forest.

Do you have to have the roof done immediately? Would it last another few months? I think cleaning and new appliances would be paramount for me. And redecorating.

I don't know, Suki, I would probably do something rash and go for it...just because it looked like it could be charming. At least the photos looked like that.

All homes I have owned cost money...it was always a matter of which thing needed doing the most that determined what was done first.

Good luck with whatever you decide. But if you have a vision as to what this house might look like after a few seasons of work and you still like it, well...

sukipoet said...

so interesting reading everyone's perspective/

The house itself is somewhat ordinary but I think it's cute and could be made cuter w/updates. But it is the proximity to the conservation land and pond that I like and the sense of privacy surrounding the place since most of the houses in my price range have little privacy and are on busy roads. This one is on a short dirt road off the main road.

The location, to me, is a gem. The house does have a lot of trees around it thus maybe the insect problems.

After looking quite a bit on the Cape I think my choices end up as these: a more expensive spiffy house near the highway or a house needing work but in a nice location. I cant seem to get both.
And a new house is probably way beyond my budget on the Cape anywya.

I have ended up feeling paralyzed tonight. I told the realtor I wanted out and she convinced me to think more about it. She said I wont find a house for the price I got it for in a quiet location. I am getting a deal and that the repairs are not a big deal.

Anyway, I am just ending up wanting to run away.

Marion said...

Sleep on it, Suki. Quiet your mind, do a little meditation, and sleep. I'll bet you're tired, after all this. Making huge decisions aren't easy, especially if you are not accustomed to making them. And then, in the morning, follow your heart.

My thoughts are with you and I really, really wish you all the best.

kj said...

i agree with marion, it will be good to sleep on it.

i will tell you this, strictly from my perspective. it sounds like you negogiated a hell of a deal. the roof will run 10 k, new appliances 3,500k, new water heater $1500, terminate repairs and treatment $ 2k. if you knocked off $ 15k from your original offer, i think you would be okay.

i would not expect the seller to address painting needs.

i would probably go for it. you can fix up a house. it's the location that is paramount, and if you like the location and the price is right, maybe you will have a good time redesigning the place to your liking.

i know how hard this is to do alone. i wish i could offer to look at it with you, suki. :(

maybe do one more walkthrough? let the house tell you if it will be a happy rehab for you.

i wish you well, my friend. don't let fear push you around, either way.

love
kj

kj said...

ps the roof is probably closer to 8K. so hopefully you would have a few extra $$$ for misc.

best of luck, suki

xoxo

Teri C said...

Oh my gosh Suki, just reading about your problems and all the helpful advice has my head spinning and I'm not even buying a house!

All I can offer is some prayers that the answer comes soon.

kikipotamus said...

Oh, my gosh. I do not envy you! Just from reading the last couple of comments, already I see the other side of the story. Location, location, location. Yikes. Another walk-through AND sleeping on it both sound like great ideas.

cris said...

In reading everything here. It sounds like you like the location. It is a cottage. I love cottages. You dont need lots of rooms to clean. you dont need more structure to pay for. This might just be the right house for you. Things fixed up can make it a pretty special place for you. You said you like the trees and privacy. Dont panic. Maybe you have to much in put here. You liked it before we put our two cents in here. We arent living in your shoes You have to do that. So make the decision with your heart and gut feeling. We will support you no matter what you do. Remember that. Sounds like you cant have all you want so go for the most important thing that matters to you. Mine was the sunroom. The bedrooms & bathroom are smaller then I would like. but that sunroom makes up for anything else I dont like.

layers said...

I am afraid I have no suggestions and no opinions-- buying a home is such a big step-- life decision-- with so many pros and cons-- I don't envy you having to make these decisions.

Cris, Artist in Oregon said...

That Cris was me. I dont know why that does that sometimes.

Julie said...

We had carpenter ants and found that the actual nest can be quite a distance from your actual house!!! They came in and released a chemical in the attic, and after that no more ants (ay least not carpenter ones). We left for the day and took animals out as well just for the day...but you could have tis done before you move in...no big deal. My friend just bought a house too, and she is replacing slowly, as she can, the appliances. If you love it, too, you don't have to have absolute top of the line appliances either...forgo the stainless, etc....I agree that none of these problems should keep you away if you really love it! Could you get a contractors opinion??? Just get a second opinion. Good luck!

Mim said...

If you love the location, that means alot. I lived in an old house for 20 years and we had termites etc and basically got rid of them, but I loved that location, next to an apple orchard and conservation land. I was always outside. Then we moved into a new house and after a few years we had an infestation of ants - oh it was disgusting! We had to have the guy come with the poison...and you know what? it was not a big deal really. The ants are gone and we didn't notice any after effects. And while I really do love the newness of this house, I miss the old house location and quirkyness.
I agree to go back down and walk thru again and see if it speaks to you. Old PJ's might certainly be right from a practical standpoint but maybe not from a "feelings" standpoint. Plus...it really is hard to find something on the cape that works for you -

sukipoet said...

Thank you all again. It was heartening this morning to read your comments.

I do love the Cape, I do love this particular location. OPajamas is a large person os this house may have felt tooo small.

And does feel squishy to me but I can maybe find a place to do my artwork somewhere else.

Its such a long drive for me I don't think I'll walk through it again. Though that is a good idea. It is true the appliances can be done slowly as probably they still work, at least the fridge does.

In some ways it feels easier to go with my original excitement and just deal with the problems one by one and get this settled for myself. And not give in to the fear around the ants and all the work.

Marion said...

Way to go,Suki! It's a lot to take in all at once when you buy a house. And I can certainly understand your reticence about all the work. But when I bought an old house, there was such satisfaction in bringing it back to its former charming self...

And down the road, you can always either add on or build separately a small studio, if you find the home too small. It'll work, you'll see.

I wish I lived closer...I'd love to come and help you.

studio lolo said...

It looks like I've come too late to this party but it seems like there's a lot of great advice to glean from.

Location is paramount to me. If I had the option to buy a home I'd find the quietest location I could.

You could also buy gently used appliances Suki. There are so many things doscarded by the wealthy because they don't want yesterdays model.
I agree about doing what calls for work the most and then do the rest in baby steps. You can only eat an elephant one bite at a time.


Meditate some more on it. Don't let anyone push you (realtors, not OP.) Close your eyes and feel the space. Ask local people who they use as conractors, roofers, etc. Word of mouth is the best reference.

best of luck Suki. What a ride you're on! We're all pulling for you.

♥ Lolo