So my husband and I are buying our first house in south King county. We never thought we could afford a house and when we decided to move we thought we were going to buy a mobile home, but after learning about the cost of space rent and the home mortgage combined being the same as a mortgage for a house, we tried for a loan. Low and behold we qualify for just about enough to get a little, three bedroom, low-end foreclosure. So we looked around, made an offer, got turned down, looked some more, made another offer, got turned down again, and again, until on the fourth offer, we finally were accepted and entered into a sale-agreement. There we were, excited and disappointed on this roller coaster ride of seeing all these houses and finding “the one” and then we’re rejected. Now we can just be relieved to settle into this one that accepted our offer. It’s a little like being engaged and the day is less than a month away. Only in this deal you get to have a list of all the things wrong ahead of time and you are responsible for fixing all these issues prior to finalizing the purchase. In what kind of economy is the buyer responsible for making repairs to a damaged product before the sale of the product?
The problem is the big named bank that owns this house (like many other bank owned properties) has not done anything to the property the entire time it has been on the market, which has been months. No one has even cleaned up after the previous resident (who apparently had several dogs) let alone investigate or fix any necessary repairs. Because we are first-time homebuyers we are buying with an FHA loan, which requires us to buy a home that meet certain living requirements, such good roof, floors, plumbing, etc. Rather than the bank paying to make necessary repairs in order for the loan to be applicable for the purchase, the bank would rather let the house sit there, even after reducing the sale price twice already. Therefore, the only option we have is to make repairs ourselves so it will pass the inspection and qualify for our loan. This has been both exciting to choose the new flooring to replace bathroom linoleum when the floor is fixed as well as stressful at the thought of putting all this effort and expense into a house that we have no guarantees will be ours.
After all our anxiety levels get back to normal, we hopefully will be able to move in and enjoy the fruits of our labor. Now that we are buying in a market that is “buyer’s paradise” we may be acquiring instant equity, because part of the ups and downs of home buying also involve the down prices and the upward investment.