Buying a House

Discussion in 'The Hens' Nest' started by Scout, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. Scout

    Scout Chicken

    So SO and I have been looking for a house for a few months now. We have scrapped together a deposit of about 80 k or more, and already pay around 1,500 per month in rent, so it won't be a significant hardship to us money wise.

    We had an inspection tonight for a house in the perfect location. The outside was beautiful....but inside was like a hovel. It's currently being rented out, and there were mattresses on the bedroom floors (about 2 per bedroom). There were rugs all over the floors (which thinking back, I realised could have been hiding damage to the floors). The shower base was filthy brown with grit, as was most of the bathroom.

    But the worst part was the smell. There was an overflowing ash tray just sitting casually in the living room, and the house stunk of smoke.

    SO really liked the house - he likes the lay out and location, and thinks we can fix it up. But I just feel sick about the whole house. It did not leave a good impression on me and it's kind of giving me the heebie jeebies (no idea why! It's just dirt, right?)

    So, chickens, please tell me how silly I'm being. I need some success stories of dirty/smoky houses that were perfectly fine after a good clean. I'm just feeling sick and anxious, but I know if I think about it and get used to the idea, I'll come around. Help me get there faster! :)
  2. snarktopus

    snarktopus Chicken

    Ugh, that would be awful. I'm super allergic to smoke, so eugh. Anyway. My in-laws' house was a nasty smoker house when they bought it. Nicotine stains on the walls, the smell, etc. You'll have to deep clean everything, prime the walls with an odor- and stain-blocking primer (no idea what brands are available in AUS, but in the US, it's B-I-N), and replace the carpet/padding. Hardwoods you'll probably have to sand and stain. There's a unit that you can get and stick in the house to get rid of the smell, it's called something like an air purifier or ozone generator? Basically this thing that cleans the air, you can rent one and stick it in the house and then leave the house while it's running.

    I don't know how real estate works in AUS, but here we have a professional inspector go through the house once we put in an offer and it's accepted, and he/she is supposed to find anything and everything (hopefully) that's wrong with the house. However, if you don't feel good about the house, there's no point in buying it.
  3. CoolWife

    CoolWife Chicken

    Killz is magic, but you'll have to do the whole house top to bottom and deep clean carpet if not rip it up.
    I ain't got time for that - but if you do it's possible. Or if it saves you enough money to pay someone else to do it, you could still come out ahead.
    Look hard at it though, you don't want to buy a money pit (experience speaking). It's not good for your bank account or relationship.
  4. Vespidae

    Vespidae Antagonist Staff Member

    My aunt and uncle's next door neighbour had a fire once, and they had to rip out all their own carpets because of the smoke. Even after professional heavy-duty cleaning, soot was coming off on their socks, and they could smell smoke in their house. Obviously smoke from a fire and smoke from cigarettes is a bit different, but it's going to travel and penetrate the same way. I really don't understand why anyone smokes in their home, all their fabrics will be ruined by it. My rooster smokes outside, but I still get told sometimes that I smell like smoke. :sad:

    Personally, I'd be really concerned about the grimy bathroom. In the place we're renting now, whoever lived here before us clearly NEVER cleaned the tub - which was the only thing not replaced in the remodel. The surfaces in the corners are rough from rust and stains. Even when it's clean, it feels dirty. I'd replace it if I could, I don't know why they didn't.

    I agree with snarktopus, you should definitely have a home inspector go through (that's typical here too, almost every purchase includes an inspection) and tell you if you're going to have to gut the place to make it livable. If it's something a deep-cleaning and repainting can fix, then maybe it will still be worth it, especially if everything else about the home is perfect. And hey, that's home ownership for you. :lol: And also, I bet you can get a huge chunk of the price knocked off based on what the inspection report says, since you'll have to sink so much money into fixing the place up. So that's another thing to look at.

    Exciting news, good luck!
  5. Scout

    Scout Chicken

    Thanks everyone. Any offer we put on the place will be subject to an inspection to our standards and satisfaction - so we can always get out if we are told that the smoke damage requires too many repairs.

    Yeah the bathroom is just so gross it makes my skin crawl. I'd have to get it professionally cleaned before I ever set foot in that place.

    They've put the price at 385 k negotiable. I want to offer 370k, while making it clear that we need the extra 15 k to make the place liveable (it doesn't have air con, and we'd need to repaint/get new curtains), but my SO is afraid we might not get the house. After sleeping on it, I feel better about the whole thing. Honestly, after a year or two in the place, I'd have replaced most of the heeby jeeby feelings with my own happy feelings - and I have two dogs. They'll DEFINITELY create their own messes, so it's never going to be as pristine as I'd like things in my head.
  6. VanillaCoke

    VanillaCoke Chicken

    Can I just say - and I mean this in the nicest, learned from experience way and not to be a downer? - seriously think about whether you want to own property with someone you're not married to. I bought a house with someone that I planned to marry, and when we split up it was a fucking nightmare and I got financially screwed.
  7. Honey

    Honey Historian Staff Member

    I get what you're saying, but marriage doesn't necessarily mitigate that risk. Scout and her partner have already been together for longer than the average first marriage lasts.
  8. Scout

    Scout Chicken

    I hear you VanillaCoke, believe me. We have definitely had THAT conversation before, and it ended in a huge fight. To him, getting married is a non-necessity. It's something you do when you've got spare cash and nothing else to do, once you're financially settled and have a house. Yet getting into our own house and out of a rental is something that needs to happen asap so we stop wasting our money.

    When I said I'd rather be at least engaged before buying a house, I was told my priorities were out of whack - no way should we think about getting married BEFORE buying a house.

    I've ended up just going along with his plan to buy a house before getting married just to keep the peace, all the while hoping that he'll come around to the idea of at least getting engaged first before we sink money into a house together. It's not exactly helping my anxiety levels about buying a house, but he's the one that's got the most money, so he has more to lose than I do, as he keeps telling me. And his twin bought a house with his now wife before getting married, so he has an example of it 'working', and I'm the crazy one who doesn't get that it's not the 1950s and you don't have to get married before a house.

    Ugh. It's all a giant nightmare. He's so set on the house first.
  9. VanillaCoke

    VanillaCoke Chicken

    I'm so sorry - I didn't mean to tap into anything big but of course it is big. And Honey, I hear you, but depending on where you live, being married does give you some legal leverage as far as dividing assets (or debts, in my case, since the house had dropped in value and I had to sell it and take the hit myself because she just walked away from it; not to mention that it was my $ that went into the down payment).

    Scout, would he be up for a legal agreement about ownership and equity etc? I do know people including one of my best friends who bought a house with her now-husband before they were engaged, and it did work, but having the financial stuff plotted out and put on paper helped. I know other people, like me and another friend, who didn't and got screwed so I feel compelled to speak up when I hear these things.
  10. Scout

    Scout Chicken

    I might bring that up when we meet with our broker - when we first met with him, he didn't address it at all, and he knew we weren't married or engaged. Hopefully a bit more discussion of the financials will make me feel better.
  11. VanillaCoke

    VanillaCoke Chicken

    That sounds like a plan! Maybe ask the broker what other similarly situated co-buyers have done.
  12. Vespidae

    Vespidae Antagonist Staff Member

    You know, it couldn't hurt to ask your closing lawyer for some advice on that as well. I'm sure they'd have plenty of experience with situations like yours.
  13. CoolWife

    CoolWife Chicken

    You might need something more involved than a cohabitation agreement, but you can get one of those from legal zoom for $15. :)
    Co-ownership was where I drew my line in the sand. I'm fine with D owning the house and I made no major contribution to it before we were married. We'll buy our next place together.
  14. Scout

    Scout Chicken

    My SO is a sole trader - he needs my stable income on the books to look good for the bank, but in reality, he earns much more than me every week. So not having me on the martgage isn't an option. And we are both contributing towards the deposit too.

    He just saw the agent and put an offer for 370k (subject to pest and building inspections, finance and viewing of section 32). Apparently the agent seemed pretty happy with that. I'm probably warming up to the idea more and more of this house. I wouldn't mind inspecting it again though, so hopefully I can do that again sometime soon.
  15. CoolWife

    CoolWife Chicken

    Definitely not saying it can't work for you, it just wasn't the right thing for me.
    But, congrats! Fingers crossed it all goes well and you'll be painting in the new year!
  16. megatron

    megatron Wordsmith Staff Member

    Yay! Buying a house is exciting but so very stressful. I think having an inspector through is an excellent idea. It will help give you a better idea of the cleaning that will be required.

    Regardless, there is a house out there for you, maybe even this one! Good luck!!!
  17. gimmeoatmeal

    gimmeoatmeal Chicken

    Jealous. We're still about five years off from buying a house because, California. Good luck and Godspeed!
  18. Lh718

    Lh718 Chicken

    Fingers crossed for y'all, Scout!
  19. Fitz

    Fitz Leslie Knope Monster

    Right? Us too (Massachusetts, man!). I'm very impressed with the down payment!
  20. CoolWife

    CoolWife Chicken

    Midwest ftw in that department at least. Weather and politics suck, but our mortgage is $800/mo!
  21. gimmeoatmeal

    gimmeoatmeal Chicken

    $800 a month is less than half my rent. FML, I'm leaving. Goodbye daisy dukes with bikinis, on top. No longer want to melt your popsicle.
  22. android

    android Founding Messiah

    Ugh mine too
  23. CoolWife

    CoolWife Chicken

    D put a huge downpayment, but you can save that when rent on a huge 1-bed apartment with heat, water, and 2-car garage is $630/mo.
  24. snarktopus

    snarktopus Chicken

    For sure. Our apartment is on the expensive side ($605; we got a 2-bed and we had to find a place that allowed cats without a huge deposit), but our mortgage will be about the same with taxes/insurance/PMI, and we'll have more space, a basement, garage, yard, and we'll be able to do whatever we want.
  25. user63

    user63 Chicken

    So jealous of you guys with mortgages cheaper than our rent. I really want to move back to the midwest because of the affordable housing alone!