Okay, so I know this is probably the 20th blog you’ve seen from me but just think of this as an extension of my other house blog, just new insomuch as the actual status of the house buying is more a joint effort now than it was before.
What can I say, I like to keep my domain names accurate.
So yes, this is exciting, very, very exciting. I almost don’t know where to start because at this point, the beginning is almost impossible to pinpoint.
I guess I can start with the time my house got infested with carpet beetles.
Yuck, I know, who has carpet in New York??
In any case, I got some pretty alarming bug bites back in November 2011, i.e. they looked exactly like bedbug bites and I freaked out and asked my landlord to have the place inspected. His trusty exterminator came and luckily, no bedbugs. Just more harmless, more gross looking bugs called carpet beetles (of which I refuse to post a picture, you can google it later).
He would need us to move all of our furniture and plan to be out of the house for the day. Then we would need to vacuum and clean like crazy.
The only problem was, we didn’t have a working vacuum cleaner. So I ordered one online that would take 10 days to get here (a purple dyson, totally worth it) and in the meantime we got the brilliant idea to paint the apartment since all the furniture was now sitting in the middle of our living room.
This meant I ended up staying at my boyfriend’s house for about two weeks and, well, we nested. I got an official drawer. We cooked dinner and washed dishes together. I woke up to him stumbling in at 3am and he woke up to me stumbling out at 7 am.
After the vacuum cleaner came and the paint had dried, we realized that while living separately would always financial sense (our living situations are dirt cheap right now), it might be time to think about whether or not it made relationship sense.
So we started looking. Casually. What would it cost to rent a one-bedroom in bushwick these days? Wait, almost as much to buy? Maybe it was time to revisit the thing I’d put out of my head for some months because it was just so discouraging. Maybe doing it under this context would change everything.
So back to my old website haunts we went. Trulia and zillow every day. No one would really take us on realtor-wise because we dropped our price range after looking at our budgets together. It was just us, calling realtors every week, getting email alerts and checking the website anyway because we (I) was OCD about missing ANYTHING.
December passed us, then January, with almost nothing. No, less than almost nothing. Just nothing. We were starting to panic. Houses in our price range were almost non existent and if they were, we were told that they had 18 other offers, all higher than the asking price of course.
February rolled around and almost ended before we even looked at something. The other problem was, there were all these co-ops in our price range where they required you to have a $50,000 down payment but somehow also be making less than $65,000 a year.
We finally finally got our first appointment at a condo building on Flushing and Bushwick that was in our price range, in the right location, and would take 3.5% down.
We saw it and we fell in like with the place. The thing we were most excited about was that if we moved out in two years, it would be a great investment property. But we panicking and it was there and it could be ours in two months. We told the realtor we wanted the weekend to think it over. Think it over and decide how many compromises we were willing to make.
It didn’t have a backyard for the dog. It was only a one-bedroom so an office or studio would be nixed. It was newly renovated and had no real personality except for the intentionally exposed brick on one wall. It was still a lot of freaking money – top of our price range actually.
We then reminded ourselves of a house we had been following up on just about once a week, trying to schedule an appointment with the agent, who kept telling us every week that the house would be ready to view next week. We made our final plea:
I wanted to follow up on the property you said was still available when we last spoke. I know you said the owner isn’t quite ready to show it, but if there was a way to see it this week, we would really like to take a look sooner rather than later. We are deciding on another property but want to see this one before we make are decision. We understand it needs some work and are willing to take that on as well.
And we got ourselves an appointment. I saw the house first – it was filled with trash, it smelled like a combination of stale bodily fluids and vomit, squatters had been taking turns in it for the last few years, and I loved it! I immediately made an appointment for Brian to see the house and before we knew it, we had a lawyer reviewing a contract and a HUD inspection scheduled. It had everything on our list – backyard, second unit, fixer upper, at least two bedrooms, big kitchen, laundry room.
It’s going to be a weird journey to recount all the crazy that happened in the last 4 months that I didn’t actually have time to write about at the time I was in the middle of it, but here we are, short sale approved, tentative closing date scheduled, and so very very close to buying a house.