1.24.2012

House Hunting Continued - The Townhouse

actual townhouses we are looking at...

Hey everyone! So our house/apartment/condo hunting has been underway as usual, and we spent this weekend checking out more places such as condos, apartments, and a townhouse. The townhouse was by far our favorite in terms of layout, location, structure, space, HOA, and privacy. It is 2-stories and has 2 bedrooms, 1.5 bathrooms, a 1 car garage with a driveway, access to a rec center (membership fee included in HOA), and it has an enclosed front porch in addition to a small backyard space overlooking an elementary school (in an award winning school district!) - so I know you're thinking it's perfect. The price is right and within our budget and we love everything about it but there is one catch; there's always a catch right?

Well for one, it's a short sale and two, it's 41 years old and it's listed at $175k. It was reduced from $200k and other townhouses in the same complex/area are listed and were sold for much more - ~$250-350k. Yes I know there are lots of you that live in other parts of the world that sell mansions for this price, but in Southern California, this is the norm for us. I love it here though and I wouldn't change it for anything. Prices in Northern CA (my hometown) are similar and tax is higher there so it's a better deal in SoCal (for us anyway).

This place doesn't look that old except that there is a lot of remodeling to do (mostly cosmetic). The good news is since it's a SS, we'll likely have to wait a few months to find out if our offer was accepted. This will give us a chance to save more money for the remodeling costs. Right now we have just over 20% which will be put towards the down payment. We went to Home Depot on Saturday just to check out everything we would need to buy, and everything seems pretty cheap but thinking about it altogether is a bit overwhelming. Currently there is a tenant living in it and the way he treats the place is atrocious. It is a mess, and I felt disgusting just walking through it. He had a dog and there are pee stains everywhere, and the stench is just gross. I have a dog so I know what urine smells like and I can't believe the way this guy has treated the place. The good news is we received a credit report and my credit score is 783. OH YEAH!

Things We'd Have to Remodel/Fix:

- So, we'll have to rip out all the carpet and replace it with fake wood or carpet. Not sure how much this will cost but our realtor said that she has a contact who could do it for under $2,000. Idk if this includes price of the actual carpet.

- Doors - No need for new doors, but they are sorta messed up. We'll have to fix them - sand, paint, etc. and get new doorknobs

- Appliances - Definitely needs a new stove and fridge. Not sure about the dishwasher.

- Lights - New light switches definitely, and new fixtures.

- Drawers/Cabinets - Just need fixing up. New knobs and hinges probably, paint, sanding.

- Sinks - New sink heads/handles are needed.

- Kitchen floor - unsure if this needs replacing

- Check plumbing, vents, electrical

- Need to double check toilets - If they work we aren't replacing them.

I'm waiting to hear back from the association on the roof (how old is it, when will it need to be replaced), how often do they increase the association fee, and how much reserve money they have.

In total we are expecting around $185k including closing costs and hopefully less than $10k on slight renovations. We aren't ripping anything out or knocking down walls so they're mostly cosmetic repairs. Of course this is all planning but I like to be prepared in case our offer is suddenly approved by the owner and the bank. If we get this place, I will need help from many of you who have done renovations before, all advice is welcome!

Anyone have tips on buying an older house/townhouse?

8 comments:

Newlyweds on a Budget said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

i have no tips for you on buying a townhouse, but congrats!! that is a major step! eric and i are looking into RENTING a townhome, hopefully by the summer. got to get our savings up before then.

Michelle P said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Good job on your credit score! And I love the house.

shoppingtosaving said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Am I allowed to share my credit score? LOL fail.

Money Pincher said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Wow.. town home for $200K and less! I can not even get a 1 bedroom condo for that price here in Vancouver *sob*

Well BF and I renovated the house last year and just changing the floors to laminate, ripping out carpets,new paint, new fixtures costs us less than $10K for the whole house. Well BF did all of it himself so most of the money just went to buying the materials that we need to fix the place up.

We've been buying a lot of our renovation stuff from Lowes. BF compared the prices with Home Depot and found that Lowes is a bit cheaper.

shoppingtosaving said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

THANKS MP!! I'll have to call you to talk about this again cuz we will need all the advice we can get. BF wants to do everything himself too...I'm hesitant cuz it means more work for me haha

Well Heeled Blog said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Congrats! this is so exciting. I think it'll be ages before we can buy a home... so I'll have to live vicariously through your real estate adventures. :)

Ash Louise said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Looks super pretty. I hope you guys find your absolute DREAM HOUSE :) And definitely for the right price ;) Cali is pricey!

Armandina Skerl said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Geez, so there's a lot of remodeling going on! So how's it going so far? Good luck on that house you're planning to buy! Check every corner for any problems! BTW, congratulations on your credit score!

Armandina Skerl

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