I haven't really mentioned it here yet, but we have been looking around for a house to buy. We originally started talking about it when we moved into our current place a little over a year ago. We figured with the difference in rent, we could put that money back into savings towards a down payment. In the meantime, any extra money we have is also funneled into savings. We figured by the end of our lease, we'd have a fairly decent chunk of money to work with.
Then we started having issues with our landlord so we decided that if we could find the right house at the right price, we would go ahead and buy now rather than waiting out the lease. We can break the lease without penalty as long as we give enough notice so that's not an issue. However, it does mean we have less money to work with.
Unfortunately, having less money to work with means our options are pretty limited. The right price for us means settling for houses like this tiny one
or this one in a bad neighborhood
or this one that's falling apart
None of which we really want. Then I noticed that a house I had previously fell in love with when we were looking at a higher price range had been reduced. The reduction brought it down to our new price range.
It was an older house, but had nearly everything on our wish list. The catch was it was listed as a renovation project. However, since Steve works in construction, that wasn't a major sticking point for us as long as the renovations needed weren't too much. I had did a little research and found out that there is a type of loan that rolls the house purchase and money for renovation into a single loan so we were even willing to go that route if it needed a little more than we felt comfortable tackling ourselves.
Over the weekend, we went to check out the house. We went without the realtor so we could only look at it from the outside and peek in the windows, but from what we could see, we liked it. We did notice a few things that would need to be fixed, but they weren't anything too major so Steve told me to call the realtor and see about getting a real tour.
I was a little hesitant. After all, this was my dream house and I was afraid that the realtor would mention something that would make it impossible for us to get the house. The fact that the house had been on the market for a while added to my fears. So I kept putting off calling until Steve told me to call or else.
Unfortunately, I was right. The realtor told me that the house needed major renovations, renovations that we wouldn't be comfortable handling ourselves. She estimated that would probably cost 2-4 times what we would pay for the house just for the renovations. I was actually kind of surprised at how much she said it needed because it really doesn't look like it from the outside. The final nail in the coffin was her announcement that since the house did need so much work, it was considered distressed, therefore it was impossible to get a loan on it.
Needless to say, I was crushed. Now it's back to the drawing board.