Thursday, August 13, 2009

Freakin' Short Sales

For those of you not in the know, Tom and I made an offer on a house about a month ago. It was a pretty good deal for the house. There were a few issues on the house, but things we were willing to overlook because overall the house was a good buy. Tom might have a different perspective on these things, but for are my issues.

The look of the front of the house is not your normal look I would choose, plus the driveway is really short and the plot is a very strange shape. It's also built kind of on a slope, so the backyard is sloped down on part of it. The backyard is also not landscaped at all, so it will take a lot of work and sweat equity to make it into a workable space. Because the house is built on a slope, the back of the house is a long way from the yard. It has 3 different balconies, but no back entrance into the backyard. What this means is when Jake needs to go outside, at this moment, we would have to go out the front of the house and walk around to the backyard.

However, there are a lot of really good aspects to the house that I love. It is a split entry house, that is fairly new (built in 1995). The inside of the house is in really good condition. The kitchen (which has become kind of important to me) is pretty large and the kitchen, dining room, living room, and upper hall ways have wood floors. Plus there are a lot of open windows and good lighting & a gas fireplace. It has 3 bedrooms and an additional living room downstairs.

So, I like the inside of the house not so much the outside. However, with a lot of work it has potential. Here's the problem we're running into though, it's a short sale. For those of you that don't understand what I'm talking about, a short sale is a house that the owners can't pay the mortgage on and hasn't had any luck selling the house for the amount they owe the bank. So, the bank has agreed to accept less (or short) of what they owe. The problem with this for buyers is that your offer has to be approved by the owners (who get nothing from the sale so probably could care less) and any bank or banks that are owed money for the house.

When we were considering weather to make an offer we were told that the seller's agent said she had spoken to the bank and had a verbal agreement for the sale price. However, we knew from other stories we had heard that it was iffy. Turns out we were right. We put 30 days as the expected time to hear back from the bank. Our 30 days are up on Monday so we have little hope that we'll hear back on anything in that time. Last we heard it would be probably the beginning of Sept. Than another month or so to close. However, we have friends that are in the same boat and are still waiting to hear on their house that they were suppose to know about a month ago. I personally don't have a lot of faith in this process. The most annoying part is not having any idea when we'll know. It seems their process is to say we'll be getting an answer any day and then say the next thing the next day to string us along. ANNOYING!!!

So now we're thinking maybe we'll spend more money than we were originally thinking. This has been kind of difficult for us. Going from real estate prices in Utah and Idaho to here in Washington has been a bit of an eye opener. It takes some mind warping to not freak out at the higher prices. And now to go even higher than we were originally anticipated is even funner. The reason for this is the quality of the house. You go from a house you're so so about to houses that are actually in pretty good neighborhoods and are in good condition. It does bump up our monthly price by about $150 per month, but there is a part of me that thinks it might be worth it.

What do you think? Not that it will change my mind, but I'd like to know what you think!


Janssen said...

Wow, hard to say.

I think for us, who are ultra NON house-fixers, we'd be really hesitant to buy something that needed a lot of work inside or in the yard, but other people love those projects so it could be great for them.

I'm also hesitant to buy a house that has very odd things about it since it makes it more difficult to sell and the chances you'll need to sell at some point are really good.

Good luck with whatever you decide!

Danae said...

That is exciting and annoying all at the same time! Good Luck on your search!

Shirley said...

It depends on if you like to or at least dont mind putting in the sweat equity. You can make a yucky area great with a little (OK maybe a lot) of work! As long as you like the inside of the house that is what is important. Personally, the waiting on the short sale thing would drive me up a tree!

Packrat said...

A short sale would drive me nuts, too. The main question I have is - Is there a good/easy way to put a door out to the back yard?

Good luck. Just remember that if the deal should happen to fall through, you were meant to have a better place. :)

Ashley said...

I would saw keep looking. But that is just me and I HATE waiting on other people...I think to myself, if you dont want me to BUY this house from YOU, then I wont.

Tom said...

They say that short sales take about 90 days to close, and if that number were accurate then I would be more interested in waiting. But we have one friend who offered in February and closed in July, and another friend that offered in May and is still waiting. I don't like those odds.

Why are the banks so uptight anyway? As I recall Uncle Sam gave them $700B to unclench that shpincter. What about that?

Anyway, to heck with 'em. We're going to pony up a little more and see what happens.

Marie said...

Unless it's a screaming deal, I would keep looking also. Little things that bug you at first can turn into big things that bug you down the road when you are stuck with the house. Plus, fixer upper jobs sound great but when it comes time to actually scrape the money together to say, put in a backyard, it can be a different story. (We have been in our house for almost a year and a half now and still have no yard...) We have also purchased a short sale before and know what a pain it can be. Good luck with whatever you decide!

Leslie & Chris said...

My friends here in Utah are trying to do a short sell. They got the verbal approval...about 2 months ago and they are just stuck now at this point. I totally understand what you are saying.

Tara said...

Grrrrr! Just reading this brought back memories of the place we bought. It seems like buying a house is a lot of waiting and waiting and then hurry up at the end. I hate that.

No back door would drive me crazy. But if its not that big of a deal for you and you aren't in a hurry to close then why not hang out and see what happens.