Sunday, April 8, 2007

Made an Offer

Last Sunday, I went to open houses, as usual. I found [1386311 - 20981 W 116th St - $310,000], which has an amazing backyard. It's got a two-story deck with a screened in sun room (which they filled with a hot tub that wouldn't stay). The yard continued on into a park with sand volleyball, community pool, and a basketball court and playground. The location is fairly ideal, and it's got a lot of cool things about it. My mom found the kitchen to be a bit small, and I found the basement to be a bit smaller than I'd like.

We also found [1376482 - 14557 S Greenwood St - $289,000], which was better than [1375753 - 14116 W 53rd Tr - $288,500] from last time, and in a better location. I still wasn't in love with it for any reason, but it had a decent yard, and was surrounded by nicer houses (which can help resale, apparently).

On Friday, JD and I went to 7 houses, including [1385690 - 15969 Clairborne St - $299,950]. It's a very open house, has a large basement (in two main sections), and large bedrooms. While walking through it, I kept asking, "Where are the negatives?" The only two we could find were the small backyard and the tandem garage. But, the backyard doesn't have a fence to the right, so it opens into the neighbor's yard, which is nice for now. A three-car garage would help while having roommates, but it's not necessary, really. If you go look at the listing for this house, don't worry about the two bedrooms in the basement - they're actually on the top floor with the rest.

Yesterday (Saturday), JD, Carrie, my brother Brian and his girlfriend Aimee, and my parents all joined me in visiting these top three houses. We saw them in reverse order. Everyone liked the Clairborne house and found the Greenwood house lacking. As much as we liked the 116th St house a week ago, it just didn't compare to the Clairborne house. It's considerably smaller, a bit more expensive, and more cut up into actual rooms, instead of areas. The greenspace was the main selling feature, we felt. But, you can't add openness to a house, or much size. For the price difference, I could add a pretty nice deck to the Clairborne house, if I really wanted to. The basement wasn't as nicely finished in the Clairborne house, but it was much bigger, should I ever want to upgrade it.

So, I went back to my parents' house and watched some tennis until JD showed up with some paperwork. He talked about how the comparable houses in the neighborhood have been selling for more, often, and how the subdivision is ending its new construction, which means houses in the area should start to appreciate more. Basically, that this appears to be a pretty good deal. So, we drafted up the paperwork and I signed an offer for $280,000. This includes a home warranty, but little else. Being vacant, there is no washer, dryer, or refrigerator to negotiate over. Once we agree on a price, we can add in closing costs so I can finance those as well. The owners bought the house for $265,000, though, so at $280,000, minus 6% in agent commissions, they'd only be taking in $263,000. The $299,950 asking price is after coming down from about $330,000, so I'm not sure how much lower they can go. We'll find out, though!

I'm pretty excited about the house. It's over 4200 finished square feet for under $300,000. It's located right around 159th and Ridgeview, so it's close to at least one friend from work. The basement has a little exercise room or den, which would be perfect for our LEGO room. At 151st and Ridgeview is Garmin, so it's possible my brother can keep me with a supply of roommates. So, my brother can come over and play ping pong or darts after work, and it's got fairly ready access to I-35.

So, probably a $290,000 house, $230,000 in debt, an extra little bit in monthly income, and lots of maintenance. But, I'll have a house of my own, and I'm pretty happy about that.


Lord Hughes said...

Yayy!! Finally picked one. Hopefully you don't offend them by offering 280K for what's listed at 300K. Hope you get it since it is close to MEEEEEE! And I enjoy Ping Pong too :) And the LEGO room will rock!

The Leezle said...

I hope it has a good north facing window for when I come to visit! I'd pay rent just to have a good window to call my own... even if I don't live there. Its hard to do nude art without some good true light! hehehe :P

Clearly, legos would be the preferred housewarming gift :P You should definitely have a housewarming party... I'd finally have a somewhat appropriate venue for making a Deanna Troi cake. All my other friends insist that my desserts be Star Wars themed. *le sigh*

I'm enjoying the serious blog! It makes me feel financially inadequate... and that just happens to be my thing! ;) I hope to someday have a house too... but I was just planning on making it out of sod.

Hopefully see you again soon... or someday! - Liz