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Old 11-08-2012, 03:42 PM   #16
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Thinking of selling out of this big house and buying a forclosure.


Befriend a good carpenter! Carpenters actually tear out some amazing, beautiful cabinets, built-in units, etc. Get the word out what you're looking for and they'll tell you when they come across it at a tear-out. If you can find a way to pick up the items, it saves them time and money because they don't have to get rid of it themselves, and you can get some very nice stuff. Take them to dinner, hire them for the jobs you can't do yourself, pay cash whenever possible, and over time a trusted relationship can go a long way in helping you both.

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Old 11-08-2012, 09:58 PM   #17
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Thinking of selling out of this big house and buying a forclosure.


sdsester pointed out some important things.

I don't know what your situation is, but you really need to consider this whole foreclosure fixer upper project based on the time, money and skills you have to put into it.

Again, I don't know your situation, but you've mentioned you have kids, how much time are you willing to sacrifice with your kids to work on a house?

We bought a small house that was already remodeled, but the last owner let it go, so it needed some cosmetic work, but everything was functional and all systems and appliances were updated. We still haven't gotten around to do everything we want to do, cause we have jobs and other commitments, so remodeling sometimes have to be put on the back burner.

The reason why I'm saying this is not to discourage you, but I know it would drive me crazy if my house needed major work and I had to put it off for whatever reason. To put off replacing carpet or painting walls is different than not having a functional bathroom. I have one project I posted here, that have been standing still for the past 4 months. It's a minor project, but life just happened in the meantime. Hopefully I'll pick it up again over the next few weeks, but I could never imagine taking on a major remodeling project without knowing I had the time (and skills) needed to work on it.

So if you know you have the time, energy and skills, then go for it. If not, I would probably look into properties that needs more moderate remodeling, and maybe stuff you can do over time rather than a major overhaul.

I would also do as sdsester suggested, and get your current house ready for sale. In today's market I would probably sell first, and if needed move into a rental while looking for a new property. Since you are complaining about your electricity bill, I assume you don't want to carry two mortgages at the same time (unless you have cash of course)

Again, I am not trying to discourage you, I'm just encouraging you to really think this thing through so that you can find a property that's right for you.

Good luck!
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Old 11-09-2012, 01:20 PM   #18
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Thinking of selling out of this big house and buying a forclosure.


JEng however much work you think it will take to fix up a foreclosure, quadruple it. Your muscles will ache, you'll be filthy from worming around in the crawlspace and attic coughing on dust and mold, you'll be running up your credit cards with unexpected purchases when major stuff breaks. Usually at 10pm on a Friday or Saturday. And that's just the first week! You'll still have a to-do list four pages long.

I also hope you like camping. We bought a foreclosure, and spent several weeks shivering by space heaters until an HVAC guy could come put a new furnace in. We also spent days without laundry or showers or flushing toilets because we were working on the plumbing. Ever have dirty hands and not have any water to wash them in? Get used to that.

And we almost lost the mortgage (which would have led to bankruptcy) shortly after moving in -- our homeowners insurance canceled our policy because they saw the roof was "old". They didn't even give us enough advance notice to get a roofer to come out and do a new roof. (We eventually worked it out, but not before I aged about 10 years in one month.)

If you're made of sterner stuff then I, then perhaps it will be a fun adventure. However, my experience with our foreclosure strained my sanity and my marriage. The ONLY way I'd ever do this again was if I had the money to both buy AND renovate while still living in my old house during the ENTIRE process.

Renovating a foreclosure while living in it? Pfft.

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Originally Posted by sdsester View Post
Have you factored in how much you will need to sink into your place to make it saleable at a fair price?
Yup, the many many hours painting and a several grand for new flooring and other odds and ends were expenses we had not initially expected.

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I think in addition to a good real estate person you should line up an independent inspector to go through your current place and any place you find to let you know what you are in for.
Man I wish I had this advice before we sold our house. Our buyer's inspector found a major issue that I SHOULD have found and corrected before ever putting the house on the market. Stupid me.

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