Everyone knows that generally speaking, paying a mortgage makes so much more sense than paying rent.  For one thing, sometimes the monthly payment is less for more square footage.  For another thing, even if it’s about the same price per month, the money is going to come back to you in resale in a mortgage.  When the landlords decided to raise the rent after Matt moved in, our discussion on this point became much more thorough. We decided it was time to “keep an eye out” for the right thing.  And maybe in, you know, about 3, 4 5 months we’d find something in our price range to buy.

Shortly thereafter, Matt ended up waiting on a real estate agent at his restaurant and we had instant access to any property we wanted to see.  And we visited a few in the neighborhood, all the while I nagged Matt, “She does realize that we aren’t going to buy anything any time soon right?  I just don’t want to waste anyone’s time.”  It turns out her job is to work with people who are “just looking” and trying to “get a feel for what’s out there” until she encourages them enough to think that they could buy something and fix it up.  Still, I was pretty sure we needed to learn how to pay our credit card bills on time before we started thinking about getting a friggin’ mortgage!

And then last Monday happened.

Last Monday.  Just a few short weeks after we’d looked at our first property.  2 months, maybe a bit more, since we’d started talking about it in the first place.

I’m signed up to get updates from a few realtors and this place popped up on the market that day.  Well below our price range and in the most up-and-comingest part of our up-and-coming current neighborhood.  In fact, less than half a block from my current high end condo building I was renting from.  We were familiar with the neighborhood and the unwieldiness of the home prices in the blocks around us.

Great opportunity for today’s investor or first-time buyer interested in 203K financing. Property needs total renovation. Roof was replaced. Make an offer on this conveniently located property.

Uh huh.  How bad, exactly, is the fire damage/crumbling foundation/termite nest?  I emailed the listing realtor and didn’t hear back, so on his way to work later that afternoon, Matt called our agent and asked if she could take me over (I was off all last week for the holiday).  Take pictures, I was commanded and off we went.

shit hole dining room

I thought I might die.  The place was a complete Shithole.  The Shithole has feces, bits of gunk and crap, leaves, actual soil, leaves, clothing, cans, and various other bits of disgusting pieces of shit littered throughout the place.  I did not wish to touch a single thing in the house, but fully understood the unbelievable price.  I snapped tons of pictures.  The moment I got home I called my dad and told him to check his email. What did he think?  Not the worst renovation he’s ever seen, but definitely near the top.  But can we handle it?  Well… you get some of the big stuff taken care of by the experts, I think you could handle it maybe…  Matt and I agreed.  It had strong possibilities, and with a promised 300% return on our investment, how could we not consider it?  Despite it being a Shithole.

The Shithole is the definition of investment, sweat equity, climbing the property ladder, and various other titles of shows on HGTV.  We were doubtful and intrigued and cocky but realistic.  We slept on it and then invited Matt’s dad (professional plumber) over to check the place out.

"The plumbing is the least of your concerns."

"The plumbing is the least of your concerns."

He concurred. The place was a Shithole.  But he didn’t notice any horrendous problems one could cope with.  Except the roof, which during my dark tour the first time around, I did not notice the significant water damage on the south corner of the house.  Oops.  This would be a problem, but hopefully not something our 203K financing couldn’t cover for us to make the place livable.

So we made an offer.  Just like that.  We made an offer on our first house yesterday.  We slept on it one more night of course, and discussed how much we would offer (I suggested $20,000, but evidently this isn’t enough) and what our contingencies should be.  (We ended up offering about 11% less than the asking price, plus the seller had to clean out the debris and contingent upon a satisfactory inspection).  The next day we met the real estate agent at Matt’s restaurant and signed the papers.  Our 14 day clock starts now.

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