Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bid 2

So I got overly excited about the first house J and I put a bid on. Whoops. I guess you really shouldn't announce things until they really happen. But guess what? You all are on the roller coaster with me now, so why not continue to talk about it.

Last Thursday the inspector came to look at the house. He did a full report and it was ok. There were lots of minor/handyman type stuff to do, like tighten this, cover that. BUT the major problem turned out to be the FOUNDATION! The inspector said that we should have an engineer come out if we really wanted to think about purchasing the place. It was an extra thing to pay for but better to pay a fee than become involved with a money pit. And we really liked the house, so we thought we'd need to follow through.

The engineer came in the morning on Saturday, and we met him over there. He looked at the inside of the house, the inside seemed sound enough. We went down to the basement and that is when everything fell apart. He checked out the multiple cracks we didn't even notice before, and told us that the types of cracks that were in the foundation now could be fixed, but it would be expensive ($10,000), and there would be no telling what would happen with in 3-5 years.

Apparently Alexandria and some parts of Fairfax County are built on areas that have Marine Clay. So what happens is when it rains it absorbs all the moisture, and then cracks when it dries out. This is bad because the house will shift a lot. Not to mention it's kind of on the side of a hill. The yard slants towards the house, and the house is slightly lower on one side. And since half of the foundation is exposed (because there is a walkout basement) there is nothing supporting the structure and the side of the house come apart. NOT GOOD! So we didn't even ask him for the full report. We just paid his fee, and decided it would be best for us to move on. -phew-

That Saturday we were a little unhappy, a little pouty. But our really nice realtor said he would be happy to show us other places in the neighborhood, if we wanted. He actually said he had never seen a foundation that bad. We were initially worried about having him play both sides of the card for the other house. He was actually the seller's agent. But he has been nothing but honest, and now he's actually become our own realtor.

Later Saturday afternoon, he took us around the neighborhood (he also lives there). He showed us five places in our price range, and one above our price range. It really varied, one place was really scary, dirty, needed tons of work. The next place ok, but needed tons of work. The third place, great price, clean, well taken care of, new windows, great wood floors, a finished basement. The fourth place was on a hill side and also needed a lot of attention. 5th place was nicely painted, corner lot, but the kitchen was really strange, lots of wood paneling in the basement (think 70's), and there was carpet that might have been covering up a problem with the floors. The sixth house was the nicest. Beautifully landscaped, kitchen completely redone and expanded, new windows with nice woodwork, lots of paneling-- but nice would paneling. CLEAN. But a little out of our price range (we'd be pushing it).

So after all that, he also took us to some neighbor's places. These guys were really nice to let us see the work they were doing, and it was amazing. They both had these beautiful additions on the back, and sides. Amazing kitchens (the one guys kitchen had granite with actual fossils in it), beautiful light throughout. Just amazing what they did with the duplexes. So that gave us a bunch of ideas.

With all that inspiration, we decided to go with house number 3. All brick, enclosed porch on the front, and room to put on an addition in the back (a couple of years from now, of course). We feel we can really make it our own. The price was perfect, the owner had an extremely low price, so we offered the full price plus helping us with 1/2 the closing costs.

We met our realtor early Sunday morning and signed all the paperwork, and finally heard back today that the seller accepted our offer. The next step is another inspection. It may happen tomorrow or next Monday. I'm hoping for tomorrow, and then we can figure out the appraisal, and then get to settle. Or final closing date is still set for September 12th! And we'll actually be able to move right in after we paint and clean!!! I'm so excited, J is so excited. I hope this goes though.

It really is like a roller coaster. It's up and down, and nights thinking about all the things you can do, and then all the money it may cost. But we're hoping to be in there for a good 7-10 years (especially if we decide to put on an addition).

So wish us luck on house 2. I'm saving boxes, and I'm planning on packing up little things tonight. I'll be ready to move. I'm ready now...well, just mentally.

1 comment:

Grant said...

Congrats, I know you'll have fun tinkering over the next little while.