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Buying A Foreclosure Means Work

08/24/2011
glass slider with caution tape

Caution! The First Step is a Doozy

I recently bought a foreclosure house that was built in 1972 and it seems to have been neglected over the years.  It has also been empty for almost a year.  Thankfully that lowered the price to the point where the bank would give me a loan, but now I have to bring the place up to par and that is going to take a while and cost me some big bucks.

That seems to be the story with buying a foreclosure, but if you have to go with an FHA loan, you might have to put money into fixing things before you even own it. I had to get the back of the garage painted and have some electrical issues fixed with almost $1,000 of my own money before they would okay the loan. The door, seen in the picture, is my back slider. Since the steps were gone and there was a three foot drop, caution tape had to stay up with the door nailed shut, to satisfy the bank.

Now, I’d like a deck off the back so I can use the back door,  but my contractor is too busy to add one until November!   So it might be a while until I can “step out back”.

Although I now pay less to own a home than I did to rent a home, I will be forking out lots of money to make the place livable. I live in New England, where the cost of living is high and the price of houses has not seemed to go down much even with the big housing crisis in full swing. I looked at a few scary places in my price range and ended up being able to get this place which looks like a palace in comparison.

The inside of my house is in pretty good shape. The kitchen is updated and nice and big. The white cabinets and lots of windows, make it bright and sunny. It’s the best feature of the house although the floor is noticeably slanted.

The two big rooms upstairs are fantastic areas for my son to hang out, and my office is large (and still very cluttered) but sunny as well.

Water is an issue here. The living room has a water stain in the ceiling and the chimney and roof are in the process of being repaired. Every time it rains, I get water in the basement but I have someone scheduled to come fix that (hopefully). Until then, I throw towels down to soak it up. I’m also looking into adding gutters.

Another big issue is the siding on this place. It’s clapboard, which I call “crapboard” and it has not been taken care of and there are holes and lots of rotted placed all along the front of the house. It looks horrible and is probably harboring all kinds of creatures.

I new I’d have lots to fix when I moved in and I was prepared to spend money, but finding contractors to do the work I can’t do has been an issue.  It almost seems like no one needs the work around here.  Then yesterday I used a site called Service Magic and got some results.  I have two companies giving me estimates on new gutters, and a couple are coming for the siding.  Maybe I’ll find someone who needs the work and will do it in a timely manner!

So I spend most of my days looking for help and getting quotes and of course – working to pay for it all!

It took time and effort to get in here and it’s not time to relax yet, but it’s worth it, because I own a home.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. ann permalink
    09/22/2011 3:14 pm

    With regard to using your back door. I had a similar problem. Lowe’s had an all ready made landing and steps that did just fine for a whole lot less money than the contractor wanted and no wait for installation. Be creative. Good Luck. Ann

    • 09/24/2011 9:48 pm

      Thanks for the advice Ann. My new little deck is in the process of being built. It’s expensive, but it will last forever! It’s nice to see my money go toward something I will enjoy instead of just a fix (which is where the rest of my money is going!)

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