Thursday, April 17, 2008

another one bites the dust....

so yes ANOTHER house has slipped through our fingers. here is the saga of the "fixer upper".

we check it out. it's in bad shape, but the price is right. the kitchen is HUGE, it has a decent sized bathroom, tons of sunlight and a great view of the city. with two porches, a HUGE unfinished attic and yard space, this place was screaming for a remodel and some love. we were excited to make it our own.

haggle haggle over the price. we went a little higher than we wanted to (about $5K), but in the end, we were happy. oh - back story. so it is a two family owned by an old lady and her son. they tried to sell it off last year as a set, but had no luck, so now they are trying to sell it off in pieces. which means they need to convert it into a condo, which is time and money and paperwork. they didn't want to go through all that until they had a solid offer on the place. fair enough. we were a solid offer.

since we would be owning it with this lady until she sold the lower unit, we wanted to make sure that she was ok with maintaining the place (the gutters need work, the roof needed some work, the steps were crumbling and needed to be patched- all small stuff). we asked that we put some kind of clause that they will be open to fixing the things that need fixing, since we knew they wanted out. we got a big fat no. they didn't want to put any money into the house because they were selling. now, there was a family with FOUR kids under the age of 5 living in a 2 bedroom, one bathroom downstairs (renting). we went in for that open house and walked right out. it smelled like garbage, stuff was everywhere. it is never going to sell as long as those tenants live there. so josh and i were scared that we would be stuck with these co-owners for a long time, co-owners that were unwilling to put anything into the house. this would have been our HOME. and all the wonderful equity we would add to the inside would mean nothing if the outside is falling apart. so we were like - this is unacceptable, we are walking if they say they won't make ANY changes with us.

ok ok - they said, we will make changes. then our lawyer calls. THEIR lawyer says they will still not make ANY repairs. we are shocked. emails are forwarded, and it turns out that the lawyer had not talked to the sellers in a week and didn't know that they changed thier minds. this has all put a very sour taste in our mouths.

things are cleared up. they are willing to maintain the place with us. so now how to tackle the money? they came up with an idea of setting up a reserve at closing; we would both put some money into a pot and just use that. fine. good. they said $2500 each. it seemed like a lot, but we would use it anyway, so it was fine with us. great! settled! let's move on!

then the weekend. we get a call from our lawyer Monday. the seller wants to get estimates for all the work before she puts in $2500. fair enough. i get some just on my own, bc i am control freak. I send them on. one day. two days. now she wants to extend the P&S date to the following Monday to get her own quotes. we are now approaching our early May closing.

Monday comes along. she has not gotten any quotes. her handy man has company and can't do it until Wednesday. She needs a few days to "think about everything". She claims she doesn't have the money to do the maintenance required.

we then decide to walk. our real estate agent says that she doesn't understand the concept of co-owning, she is old, she needs to adjust. we come back with, will every change, every condo fee check, every little thing that needs to be fixed be like this? why should we break her in when there are so many other properties out there? the only way we have made an progress is by threatening to walk, and we won't have that leverage when we own with them. she seems to be so hard up for money that she will never kick those tenants out, which means, that place could be on the market forever.

oh - and she STILL has not done anything with the conversion. which means that we would still have to wait on that, negotiate condo docs and THEN close.

for a place that had so much potential, could have been our place, with a new kitchen and new bathroom and all that sunlight and maybe a finished attic, the deal was off because we couldn't get into business with a women who had no intention of helping us run the place. who is letting a wonderful property go to waste. it's such a shame.


Blogger si gracieuse said...


People suck. You guys WILL find something, though, and it will be amazing! I can feel it in my bones and even my teeth.

You've learned so much since the first round of house-hunting!

2:33 PM  
Blogger Deepa said...

thanks for the support, my darling. we will find something.

until then, we are chestnut hill bound! yay 3.5 bathrooms and a jacuzzi!

4:55 PM  
Blogger Tracey said...

You will be so happy you didn't get any further into this situation. Roofs are NOT cheap. It is a terrible shame--especially months from now if some other lucky bastich comes along and the old lady gets her act together. Regardless, we were turned off from 2- and 3- family homes for this very reason! You'll find something, and it will be great.

10:31 PM  

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