mellowtigger: (Daria)
[personal profile] mellowtigger
My brief house-hunting adventure is nearing its end. I will either own a place soon, or I will resign myself to living as a renter from now on.

The first place I liked (on the market a year) sold as soon as I started looking at it. The second place I liked (also on the market a long time) had an assessment of $8,100 on it from the city of Minneapolis, meaning that I would have to pay somebody's else's prior bill, so I stopped pursuing it too. I've decided that this third place is my final attempt, win or lose.  I'm done considering ownership as a possibility.

There are still two things that could prevent it from happening.
  1. We can't get an engineer's certification for the basement/foundation repair work that was done sometime previously.
  2. The banks decide that they dislike me after all. I was pre-approved for a mortgage because of my high credit score (805), but the final loan review is still ahead of me. Anything could happen, since my credit score is highly variable. The last time that I tried this process, all 3 credit agencies couldn't confirm that my credit score even existed, so banks turned their collective noses at me.
house listing on MorganHere is the listing for the place that I want. It has several really nice features for me.
  1. It's a very small footprint (136.25 square meters / 447 square feet), so the size is quite appropriate for me and the cat.
  2. It's cheap at US$55,000.  The mortgage cost is basically the same as I currently pay in rent, so I can clearly afford it even while poor and working a part-time tech support job.
  3. There is a 2nd bedroom if I find it necessary to take a tenant. (I really hope it's never necessary.)
  4. The yard is a "blank slate" covered in grass that I can redesign as I wish (lots of food-producing trees, shrubs, and plants).
  5. Just 1 block away is a very tiny park.
  6. Just 2 blocks away is a tiny community garden.
  7. Just 3 blocks away (length-wise) is a NiceRide bicycle station.
  8. Just 1/2 block away is a designated bicycle pathway (26th Avenue N). It goes to another pathway that leads directly to where I work. If I get my old injured leg in better shape, I could bicycle to work again.
  9. Just 1/2 block away is a bus stop, although the trip to work would require a transfer to a 2nd bus, and the trip would take 30-40 minutes.
  10. It's very near my old workplace at Animal Humane Society, just a short bicycle ride. Maybe long from now I could semi-retire with a part-time job there to cover my costs for food, utilities, and taxes?
It has some drawbacks too. Keeping in mind that I can't afford anything that qualifies as "nice", this place is actually pretty good.
  1. The foundation/basement repairs need an engineer's review to confirm it's up to code (for my peace of mind and also for later resell). The inspector couldn't perform that service. This item is the only "blocker" for me.
  2. It's never had a garage, just some gravel by the alley for parking a car.
  3. The outdoors air conditioning unit (for central air) has been removed, and some cables (phone? tv?) in back have been cut, possibly all taken by thieves trying to recover copper from an empty property.
  4. Oh, yeah, did I mention it's in a relatively high crime area?
  5. The upstairs bathroom needs to be redesigned completely. The shower/tub has an outside window in it, plus a "shelf" area behind the tub that basically exists only to collect water and drain nowhere.
  6. I can't even guess where the nearest grocery store is.  Probably on Broadway Avenue somewhere... but I can't picture where.
If this purchase doesn't work out for me, then it means that I spent $1500 (earnest money plus inspection with radon test) on a very expensive lesson to never get involved in any process that involves a bank.

Edit 2015 Nov 06 Friday 10:20:
Yes, the seller produced the engineer's report for the reinforcements and has agreed to the other terms of repairs.  The only holdup will be the final yea-or-nay by the bank.  I have my Home Stretch homeowner class all day tomorrow (Saturday), and I'll send the lender my certificate of completion.  That's the last of the paperwork that I have to submit.  So... this might actually happen.

Edit 2015 Nov 13 Friday 17:49:
Do they know something that I don't know?  We haven't even set a date yet to sign the closing documents.
house sold sign 2015-11-15

Edit 2015 Nov 17 Tuesday 16:58:
I got the email this afternoon that my closing is scheduled for 2015 Dec 28 Monday 10:00.  I guess that makes it a post-Christmas present?  I'll believe it only when somebody hands me the keys to the front door.

Edit 2015 Dec 15 Tuesday 17:56:
Their running the 3rd (and final) credit check on me this Friday.  If there's any roadblock to closing, this is when it'll be decided.  Otherwise, I'm ready to move in and start paying my own bills.  Their last estimate that they sent me was $420/month, compared to my current $400 for rent.  There are utilities to pay on top of that amount, but it still totals to a reasonable price for my income.  For insurance purposes, it is insured for a replacement value of $130,000, so that price tag is hopefully a good sign of its value.

Edit 2015 Dec 18 Friday 17:28:
The semi-official PDF of closing documents totalled $393.92 monthly, which is $6 less than I'm currently paying in rent.  I hope this purchase finally happens.  It's 10 days until closing, though, and the 3rd credit check was supposed to happen today.  I have received no emails confirming that we're on track.  I'm assuming bad news for Monday, when I should be calling utility companies to inform them of my imminent acquisition of the property.  :(

Edit 2015 Dec 21 Monday 09:56:
I emailed since I hadn't heard anything.  The loan agent replied, "we are on schedule to close next Monday". I think it's finally time to start getting excited.

Edit 2015 Dec 21 Monday 11:32:
As the mortgage company's customer service agent recommended, I called utilities today to arrange the new ownership.  I decided to go with CenturyLink (formerly Qwest, *shudder*) and got 40Mbps service for $30/month.  I avoided the bundles for phone service and tv service, which increased the price considerably.  Why does home phone cost as much (or more) as internet?

Edit 2015 Dec 28 Monday 15:29:
I have the keys.  It finally happened.  I had to help the guy load the air conditioner unit into the kitchen area (for installation outside with the central air in the spring season).  I'll just throw a tablecloth over it and pretend it's a table for a few months.  Now begins the slow process of moving in.  I cleaned the floor of the many dead box elder bugs (doors badly need new weather stripping) and disinfected the toilets.  I got a few boxes of books unloaded.  That may be all I'm up for today.  I got 2 hours of sleep last night.  Hopefully tonight is better for me.  I shouldn't be on the roads or sidewalks soon anyway.  We have a winter storm warning in effect with heavy snow expected to begin in about 90 minutes.  Winter in Minnesota is not the best circumstance for moving.

Edit 2016 Jan 02 Saturday 09:18:
I finally got the bookcase and books entirely moved last night.  I had to strap down the boards to the top of my car and drive slowly there over bumpy roads.  My back and wrists are not as invulnerable as they used to be.  This process is taking longer than I expected.  I'm glad I have the whole month to make the transition.  Today will be for cleaning the kitchen and bedrooms.

Edit 2016 Jan 10 Sunday 00:24:
I've relocated into the house.  New thread here.

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