Adventures in House Hunting: Part 2

Well… I’ve been on roller coaster ride for the past 2 weeks and now it’s come to a close, I felt it the perfect time to share it with you guys.

Felix and I saw a cute, single family home Sunday, June 9th.  What’s funny about this is that we have some friends of ours who are looking to buy a s.f. home in the same area (along with everyone and their mother) and they were there looking at the same exact house at the same time we were.  Awkward and funny at the same time.

Anyhow… Felix and I went home and had a healthy debate and decided to put in a bid on the place.  It was a totally thrilling & scary experience to do this might I add.  We found out the sellers live in Hawaii and with the time change, it took over 24 hrs to hear back from them on any & all communications.

We heard back from the sellers with a counter bid on Tuesday.  We went through 3 rounds of this bidding and it was very nerve-wracking since I just wanted to settle on a price and move forward.  We eventually met half way, as I predicted on Thursday afternoon.

BUT… this is where the roller coaster of mine starts falling downhill.


I was pre-approved for a home all on my income.  (I was quite surprised to say the least.) We can’t actually take Felix into account with the financials since he is working as a contractor, and has been for the past 6 months.

It’s handy to get pre-approved before start your home search to know what kind of financing you can get before you fall in love with a house you can’t afford.  Of course you should always know how much you can afford before even getting pre-approved, but that’s another topic in itself.

On Monday when the bidding process started I sent the property listing to our mortgage broker.  She was busy and didn’t get back to me until Thursday.  In which she basically said, in a kind way, that I wasn’t approved for this home!

I can’t tell you how low my heart sunk at hearing this news.

It was really perplexing to me since I was pre-approved based on the asking price of the home we negotiated down a good 20k less than the pre-approval amount.  Needless to say I was shocked and confused.

All evening on Thursday Felix and I were talking about how we could make it work.  You see… he’s in transition to becoming a FT employee, but isn’t quite there yet.  So if his income was taken into account we would have no problem being pre-approved for this particular home.  But he currently wasn’t.

I set up a time the following day to walk through the numbers with our broker to see where we goofed up on this house.  She was going through things and was listing out the various items and amounts when she got to “assessments”.  She kept talking and I was like “hold up, can we go back to assessments.  What do assessments include?”  She was like… since this is a condo you have monthly assessments…

And this was the *high* moment!  This was a single family home not a condo so there are no assessments!  For some unknown reason she had the property listed as a condo even though she had the right cost, taxes, and address listed.  So once she fixed that I was once again pre-approved for this specific property.

*SIGH*  Huge sigh of relief for Felix and I.  This is when it started getting real and exciting again.

I went from the lowest of the low on Thursday to a lovely high on Friday.

All that was left to do was an inspection on the place.


These are pretty mandatory these days when purchasing a property.  You need to know what you’re getting yourself into before you buy it.  For any other newbies, the inspection HAS to take place within 5 days of the seller signing the contract on the price you agreed to.

We had our inspection for the following Wednesday.  Felix and I both wanted to be present at the inspection, and we met the inspector, our Realtor Seth, and my step-dad who we made sure to invite since he’s super handy and is an expert at nearly all home repairs and could give us good ball-park estimates for the fixes.

The inspector was really nice, but talked quite quickly and I’ll be the first to admit that many of his jokes in Spanish went over my head.

We stared on the outside of the house and with the fast talking I quickly got overwhelmed.  But he was pointing stuff out to Felix and I and explained things very well as to what kinds of repairs we would need to tackle and how.

From looking at just the outside of the house, he spotted a major issue.  The foundation had totally started to shift going from what should be two parallel lines (on the foundation of the house): | | to looking like \ /.  Eeeek!!!  So with the foundation doing something funky that is one major thing he wanted to check inside the house, in the basement.

I’ll say right now that the home we’re looking at was built in 1890-something.  So really old, and was built pre-plumbing.

We went inside the house and the list of things that was wrong with the house kept piling up and up.  I looked over at my step dad and he was just standing in the entry way with his arms crossed shaking his head *no*.

We pushed through and did the full 2+ hour inspection on this place.  It was getting so bad with things that were wrong with the property that the inspector was taking pictures to send to his buddies so that they would “believe him”.

Now, I know it’s an old house and some of the things that were wrong with it we knew right away and were happy to address.  But this is the short list of things that we’d have to do to this house:

  • New Roof (approx $11k)
  • Totally new plumbing ($6k-15k, depending on the severity of the issue)
  • All new Electrical (??)
  • New HVAC (heating/airconditioning ducts) (??)
  • Stabilize load bearing walls in basement and first floor (???)
  • New back deck ($1-2k)
  • Eventually fix the foundation walls ($60-80k)
These are just the major things… not even the minor things like moving the ac unit from under the deck or fixing a gas leak in the basement (which is also a major thing to be done.)
Once all of these issues were fixed THEN and only then would it make sense to start in on the surface level things like doing a new kitchen, bathroom, etc.
Our inspector was even saying that if we decided to purchase this home, he wanted to know so that he could bring his students in since it’s a perfect training house (since there is SOOO much wrong with it).
About half way through the inspection Felix and I were like *okay… no*.  If the house was $100k less than what we settled on maybe we’d think about it.
After the inspection, we took my dad out to a local beer garden and chatted about the place.  We got real and were going back and forth on what we would have to do to the place and how he would go about fixing some things here and there.


If you’ve stayed with me to this point, I don’t think you’ll be surprised to hear that we decided NOT to pursue this home any longer.  This place is the money pit.  You could really ponder knocking the whole thing down to start fresh and it probably would save money in the long run.
We signed a cancellation today and it will go to the seller to sign, and then will go to the lawyer.  After this is done we’ll get back our earnest money-aka deposit on this property.
It’s been a whirlwind of highs and lows.  While it does suck, Felix and I are relived to get out of this unscathed and are already joking about it.
  • You know you should get out when “the inspector is taking pics to show his friends”
  • You know you should get out when ” the inspector can’t find anything good besides the doors and garage”
  • You know you should get out when “the inspector is laughing and cracking jokes about the place”
  • You know you should get out when “your dad is shaking his head no”
and on and on….
The good thing to come out of all of this is the fact that Felix and I are much more aware of the process and now have things to look out for in the next home.  I for one am going to be weary of homes where the floor is in any way uneven or homes built pre-indoor plumbing.  It’s not to say in general that these homes are bad.  But with this particular area, some of these types of homes just weren’t built to last and were never intended to.
Felix and I are starting back at square one, hopefully a bit smarter this time around.  Wish me luck as the adventure begins once again.  Any other home-owners out there have some crazy stories to tell about homes-gone-wrong?

In: House Adventures

Blogger for 6 years and counting, I am a passionate creator who loves to tinker.

Comments (27)