Last week, I got an alert from Zillow about a house for sale that caught my attention. The price per square foot was under $110, which is less than half of our home would appraise at. At nearly 4500 square feet, it was quite a bit of house. The location was just a few streets over. I figured it must be a huge dump, but the pictures of TWO new kitchens indicated otherwise.
As luck would have it, the house had an open house scheduled. I had to check it out.
I pulled into the quiet cul-de-sac and there was a couple there about to enter. This worked out well as the real estate agent gravitated to them first. I like to look around, especially when I'm in browsing/not buying mode.
I quickly learned that the pictures were very strategic. The new kitchens were very impressive... granite counters and stainless steel appliances. They were big and there were a couple of big areas for entertaining.
The house even had a sound system installed throughout it. However, in sharp contrast to the kitchens, it was cassette tape. The bathrooms were from the 70s. There was certainly signs of age, but not nearly as much as one would expect for the price.
There was some work to be done, but I don't think it would be too expensive to bring it up to date.
Just a Few Problems
I think the house is a steal for someone, but maybe not us. We just finished putting solar on our house, so we are somewhat committed for a bit. While our house may get a little small with two growing boys in it, this house was much bigger than what we needed. I thought about what it might cost to heat and cool it. Then there's furnishing it.
It lacked some of the features of our current house such as a master bedroom with a master bath. It was nothing that couldn't be fixed... the question is whether you wanted to.
The biggest problem though is that we don't have the cash for a down payment. We could do something where the sale of our house is a contingency, but I don't want to get into that situation. I don't think it would be worth it considering the other problems.
Despite all this, I love a good bargain, and I have had the house rolling in my mind since I saw it.
Taking a Step Back...
It was then that I realized something, new opportunities are always just around the corner. It was just a couple of months ago, I wanted to buy a huge property for AirBNB. Before that, I was intrigued by a neighbor's house that was put up for sale. I had envied it for awhile, but again the liquidity wasn't there to seriously consider the discussion.
If we go back a year or two, we did take the opportunity to expand our real estate empire, and thus far it has been a terrific decision.
I'm starting to learn that it is okay to let things go. There's something else coming around the bend. Time to work on getting prepared for it.
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