We went and looked at some houses this weekend. Our budget means we’re kind of scraping the bottom of the barrel in the Seattle market, even with the down economy.
But we did find that cute farmhouse. Here’s a picture I took while I was taking refuge from the rain. It was pouring. And the inside isn’t too bad. We saw worse. I was racing through, took some pictures and ran back to the car to take care of the Pie.
The kitchen needs some work, but is useable. And the appliances aren’t old.
All in all, the house needs some work. A new roof, new gutters. The fence needs some repairs, the sunroom built onto the back of the house has a corrugated plastic roof, chicken wire for windows and the door is falling down. I’m sure it’s not a legal build, it’s kind of teetering and it’s built on top of the deck.
There’s a hot tub, which means that (depending on how it was installed) there could be pest access through the exterior walls where the tub gets electrical access. There are some droppings in the crawl space and some water in the subfloor of the bathroom upstairs. The carpets need to go. There are big pieces of wood in the garden that need to go – they’re just houses for termites and moisture ants. It smells a little mildewy in there – not bad, but just a little damp. It could need new windows or seals on the doors or something. But boy is the price right. It’s appraised at about $62k more than asking price, and I think we could get it for about $10 to15k less than asking. It’s big, and is the “dumpy” house in a nice, quiet neighborhood. It’s in a suburb of the city that makes commuting fairly easy, to either side of the lake.
It’s not quite as close to the mountain man’s work as we’d like, but in our price range this one is a lot of house, and has the best potential for resale value that I’ve seen. Most of the houses we looked at were at or under 1,000 square feet, some 100 years old. They had small rooms, lots of bizarre remodels and additions, and weird work-arounds like the washing machine hookup on one floor and the dryer hookup on another. Or strange, slightly creepy hidden rooms. Or basements that I can barely stand up in that have wood paneling on the walls and lots of scary exposed wires. Or the house is built exactly one car-length from a super busy road. (When we pulled in I really thought that the back bumper was still in the road.)
I’m willing to walk away from this one if we don’t get a good price, but if we can wrap some rehab into our loan I think we’re going to make an offer. We could get the house and rehab for less than or equal to our budget. Then the resale value in a few years would be great. And it’s pretty stinkin’ cute.