Friday, October 30, 2009

Inspection Report

So. I got the home inspection report yesterday evening. Along with it came requests from the buyer. Essentially, based upon the home inspection that they had done, they either want me to fix things they point out before they purchase, or they want a credit in the price. Generally speaking, me fixing things will cost less than the credits they will want in the sale.

Below, I'll outline precisely what they want fixed, in their words, and will attach a portion of the inspection to give you a sense of why they want those things changed.

1. The front portion of the dormer has no flashing and the inspector wasn't 100% on the rear portion, but was fairly confident that there was no flashing there either. Evaluation and installation of proper flashing around dormer to prevent water leakage from penetrating the structure was highly recommended by inspector. Buyers are requesting that this be addressed and proper flashing be installed.

2. Two issues with garage- a) The rear portion of the garage roof has a fairly large section of exposed rotted wood with roofing shingles no longer in place. Buyers are requesting that all damaged wood boards be replaced and shingles installed in the damaged areas. b) The left hand door on the garage is off track and very difficult (inspector couldn't close at all) to close. Buyers are requesting that this issue be resolved, so that the garage door opens and closes properly.

Here are the sections of the inspection report that mentions these issues:

*Aside alert*

I really think that crappy red arrows I make in Photoshop are hilarious. They make me laugh consistently. I'm the worst.

*Aside over*

3. Termite treatment by licensed pest inspection company prior to closing. There was evidence of termite in the basement. Exact location will be detailed in report which I will send over as soon as I have it.

Here's the section of the inspection report that mentions this issue:

Wait. There is nothing in the inspection report that outlines or even mentions termites. Sweet.

I have no problem fixing the relatively minor, and hopefully inexpensive Roofing issues. Those are not a big deal. paying for a termite treatment however, for seemingly no reason? I probably won't do that.

That said, John is going to go back to the seller and find out what the hubbub is about.

Lastly, I'm going to a Celtics game tonight. Hopefully, they are as good as this one and this one.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Round Two (and Three?)

No real news to speak of. I'm still waiting on the buyer's requests from the inspection (I should get that info today), and I applied for pre-approval of the next mortgage. I have yet to hear back about that, which would normally be troubling, but I asked for a lot. Here's what I asked for, after furnishing all of my pertinent money information:

Pre-approval amount for an FHA 203(k) loan

Pre-approval amount for a regular FHA loan

Pre-approval amount for a conventional loan

I hope to hear back about each of these things this week. Also, these requests didn't include a co-signor (my mom co-signed the first one), so this may be only the first round of pre-approval requests.

While it may seem dumb to ask for all of these things, I assure you that it has been thought through (though I cannot give any assurance that it is not dumb). While it would be easier to get the same loan I was granted for my current address and go from there, that may not end up being the best strategy. It's complicated (not really, but I'm generally an idiot), and I may lose people because I'm not a good writer, but here's why:

The plan is to get into a multi-family (3-4 units) as soon as possible after closing on the sale of my current house. In order to do that, based upon the months and months it took to close on the house I live in now, the dwelling probably can't be a foreclosure. Since it may not be a foreclosure, I may not need the vast amounts of money it takes to rehab the place. The profits garnered from the sale of my current house may cover the expenses. If that's the case, I may not need the 203k loan (as it will give me funding needed to rehab). Again, if that's the case, a conventional or FHA loan will suffice.

If a conventional or FHA loan do suffice, then that may leave the door open for Round Three of this endeavour by allowing me to apply for an FHA loan to cover the costs of rehabbing a multi-family dwelling that has been foreclosed upon. The FHA doesn't generally like folks using their 203(k) program for house flipping (so please do not tell them about this blog), so I wouldn't be approved for one if I applied shortly after purchasing the aforementioned non-foreclosed upon multi-family place.

In short, and hopefully more succinctly, here's the rough plan:

Buy a multi-family with three or four units ASAP with a conventional or FHA mortgage.

Shortly before or after purchasing the first one, make an offer on a foreclosed three to four unit multi-family dwelling.

While waiting for the foreclosed upon multi-family place to close, rehab the first purchase, using profits from my current home's sale.

Once the foreclosed upon place finally closes, and is in my possession, the first place should hopefully be finished up, and either rented out, or put on the market for sale (or both).

Put the first place on the market and work on the second place, hopefully using funds from the FHA's 203k program.

What are the chances that this plan actually works? I'd say terrible. There will, more than likely, be some issues with the mortgages and some sort of restrictions on what I can buy with what mortgage and on and on. One thing is for sure however, Amanda and I are probably going to be landlords in the future. That's kind of terrifying, more for our future tenants that for us, but still...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Quick Update

The house was inspected yesterday. No word yet on how it went. Hopefully, everything went well and we won't have to spend more money fixing this place.

Secondly, I had a preliminary discussion with a lender to get my second huge home loan started. Multi-family this time around? More on this as it develops.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Purchase and Sales. Church.

So this week, we sold a house (in theory). Another big step was taken, as I received a signed Purchase and Sales agreement (the contract between buyer and seller) from the buyer, and we signed off on it. Closing will be on December 18th and that will be that. I'm mildly excited about it, only because it's so far in the future until we get paid.

Also, the home inspection will be on Monday. Once that's done, we'll get the big "SOLD" addition to the For Sale sign on my lawn and my neighbors can marvel at how quickly this place went.

Also, it's time to start looking for the next place. I have no idea how that will work, but it should be interesting to find out.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Turns of Event

I feel like, and am probably wrong grammatically, the title of this post should be correct if you're talking about one event taking turns, rather than the turn of many events (more popular/widely accepted 'turn of events'). Whatever. At any rate, here's what went down yesterday:

I countered the initial offer of $230k around noon. I figured that the buyer wanted to end up on $240k. I wanted to take no less than 241K. My counter was $245,900.

An hour or two later, a new offer was relayed to me at $238k. My immediate counter-offer was $242,900.

An hour after that, another call from Realtor John McCann brought yet another offer at $240,500. So close.

I countered with my final offer of $241k around 3pm.

One last call from John on my way home from work brought news of an accepted offer. The Purchase and Sales paperwork will be completed tonight around 5pm and I'll sign it, provided everything looks OK. Sixty days thereafter, right before Christmas I think, we'll close and I'll have a big check that will be doled out to various parties, leaving me with a smaller, but still relatively substantial sum of money.

Back to this post's title. One of my biggest problems with people is their general inability to pluralize a select few words/titles. The most common one I can think of right now is the plural form of Attorney General. If you have a big group of them, it's Attorneys General, rather than Attorney Generals. The reason for this is obvious, it's a group of lawyers, rather than a group of high ranking Army officials, but lazy people still get it wrong.

The one that gets me most often, as I deal with it at work all the time, is the plural form of Statement of Work. If you have more than one of them, they are a pile of Statements of Work, not Statement of Works (that's still a single document, chronicling the many works to be done). One fellow here at work constantly gets it wrong and it bugs me. I am a snob.

Stupid grammar rules aside, in my limited experience, it is very easy to sell a house.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bonus Post!*

*Read below this post for today's actual post.  This is only supplementary.

I just visited to start the process of looking for a new place to flip, and came across this homepage:

My house is featured on it for people searching in or around Providence. Kind of sweet.

Lastly, I hope that fellow who relies on his credit to stay in business means 'I rely on a fiscally responsible and financially healthy amount of credit to stay in business...'

Weekend Work and Last Night's Visit

This looks longer than it is. It's long to be sure, but there are a lot of spaces between the listed items below.

As I stated yesterday, I busted my ass over the weekend to get the house ready for the Open House. Amanda was in NJ visiting her family, so I had a lot to do. I took Friday off and worked until 11pm. I got up at 7am on Saturday, and worked pretty much straight through to 1am on Sunday morning. I then got up at 6am on Sunday and worked until 11:32 am for the Open House that started at 11:30. I have never worked so hard in my entire life.

Here's a rundown of what was done:

Figured out correct square footage (measured entire house, arithmetic). In a nice surprise, it's about 2300 square feet now.

Hung 5 doors (three closet, one basement, one Living Room, 2 of 5 were about 75 pounds each).

Yard Work (raked/mowed lawn, raked plant beds, laid new mulch to said beds, swept driveway, weeded plant beds, washed fence, swept walkways).

Garage (organized, swept)

Finished the shower (sealed tile & caulked) in the Master Suite (Dan's Room).

Finished the ceiling in said shower (joint compound x2, sanded x2, coughed x27, painted).

Cleaned Master Bathroom (scraped shower of excess grout, removed all tools, scoured toilet/sink, scrubbed scuff marks on floor, swept/vacuumed/mopped floor).

Finished little attic door thing (trimmed it out, fabricated door, installed door).

Cleaned Master Closet (organized, swept, mopped).

Cleaned Master (Dan's) Bedroom (removed all tools/garbage, dusted, swept/mopped floors).

Cleaned Landing (dusted, swept/mopped floors).

Finished Huge Second Floor Bedroom (touched-up paint on ceiling, tidied up, dusted, vacuumed carpet)

Cleaned Office (dusted, organized, swept/mopped floor).

Cleaned Arty Fart Room (dusted, swept/mopped floor).

Cleaned Kid's (we don't have kids) Room (dusted, swept/mopped floor).

Cleaned First Floor Bathroom (scoured shower/sink/toilet, applied new caulking to shower, dusted, swept/mopped floor).

Cleaned Hallway (dusted, swept/mopped floor).

Cleaned Mud Room (removed paint on floor, dusted, swept/mopped floor).

Cleaned Foyer (dusted, swept/mopped floor).

Cleaned Living Room (put away all non-essential TV peripherals (Wii, ps3), dusted, swept/mopped floor).

Cleaned Dining Room (dusted, swept/mopped floor).

Cleaned Kitchen (scoured counter tops, bleached and scoured white sink, organized, scraped/swept/mopped floors, cleaned/polished all appliances).

Staged Entire House (set dining table, downloaded classical music, cropped images to display on the TV, lit fire, lit candles throughout the house, purchased and cut 7 bouquets of flowers to display throughout the house, baked terrible cookies, made beds, sorted 7 bags of peanut M&Ms to fill jars in the kitchen, etc).

That folks, is what it takes to have an Open House. If you don't do that stuff, you're either lazy, or have run out of time. Even though I worked for that long, I still ran out of time. The basement is still a relative mess and I was placing the last of the cookies on the cooling rack when the first two groups of people showed up.

Overall however, the Open House was a success. Eight or so groups came to walk through the place in the one and a half hour event, and all liked the place.

If you've made it this far, you'll get to read about the good news; as I mentioned yesterday, one woman wanted to come back and see the place again last night. She came by with her husband (I think) and made an offer around 7:30. Her offer was $230k with 20% down and a 60 day close. Very solid. I countered this morning at $245,900 and will most definitely get a counter offer soon.

Also, I have asked that Realtor John McCann contact the folks who came to the Open House and let them know that there is 'significant interest' in the property (he can't say there's an offer in, which is lame). Hopefully, that will drum up some more interest and possibly get a second bidder. If not, I'm sure that the woman and I will reach a solid compromise and I'll sell this house this week and close in December.

Apparently, it's very easy to sell a house. What's the big deal?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Before and After

I am too tired to detail what went on over the weekend. It was a lot. I will write about it sometime this week though, I promise. In short, it was a lot of work to get the house ready for the Open House on Sunday. I got it all done (for the most part) and the Open House was a relative success. Some folks will be coming back to see the place again tonight, so that's a good sign.

Much easier for me than writing about it all? Pictures. Some before. Some after. Some combos.




Mud Room:

Living Room:

Dining Room:



Kid's Bedroom (we don't have kids):

Art/Sewing Room:





Huge Second Floor Bedroom:

Master (Dan's) Bedroom:

Master Closet:

Master Bathroom:

Yard and Garage:

Thursday, October 15, 2009


The house is listed:

Please buy it.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Breakup(s)

So. I broke up with two Realtors last night, which was surprisingly nerve wracking. I talked to Doreen from Century 21 first, who took it pretty well. She seemed to be a little bummed out, but also seemed resigned to her fate. She came off as a bit of a dour woman, so I'm sure she was pessimistic about her chances.

Michele from Coldwell Banker, however, went a little nuts. I called and left her a message, asking for her to call me back. She finally called back around 8pm, and I broke the news to her. It didn't go well from there. She asked me a million questions, each one more frantic than the previous. I tried to answer them all, and be as nice as possible, but she wasn't having it. It was a mix between her trying to sell me on herself (which she did for half an hour on Monday), and her implying that I made a huge mistake. I thanked her for her time and effort, and finally got to hang up the phone. Amanda was amused by it all.

In summation, the breakups were, surprisingly, a lot like ones from my dating past. For instance, the Doreen call was like breaking up with someone after only a few awkward dates. She seemed to think it was a little too good to be true, and while disappointed, didn't seem all that surprised.

The Michele breakup, on the other hand, was more like breaking up with a girl you've been dating for five years, who is a little nuts. Things aren't going as well as they used to, and the girl (I'll call her Caitlin, because that's my crazy ex-girlfriend's name) is going a little crazy about fixing things and it's only making things worse. She used to focus her craziness on overachieving in college, but is now out of college and has nowhere else to channel that being nuts energy. She drags you to couples' counseling once a week to crap on your for an hour and is a mess at home. You finally try to pull the ripcord on the relationship, but she ends up collapsing at your feet in a defeated puddle of her own tears. The whole process takes a few months to end with any finality, and everyone is exhausted, bitter, and has had a few years removed from their life at the end of it. That, and you had a deaf/blind dog that she wanted, bugged you about taking him via email for awhile, but never actually took him when you offered repeatedly before moving to Providence.

Maybe that's a little dramatic, as it was only a ten minute conversation, but I think it parallels a lot of the above. Michele focused all of her nuts-ness on researching the house/comps (college). She then made a long winded presentation to us to try to strengthen her chances of staying with me (counseling). Finally, when I tried to end it, she tried everything she could to get me to reconsider (defeated crumpled heap in tears). Also, I'm sure she hates me and thinks I'm an idiot (just like Caitlin probably does (definitely does)).

In the end, I'm much happier now, both in my chosen relationship, and in my Realtor. I'll be signing with John McCann today at lunch and the house will hopefully be listed for $249,900 today. I spent an hour or so last night cleaning up a few select rooms to snap some pictures for the listing. I still have a lot of work to do, even in the rooms pictured, but they should serve well for the listing images.


Living Room:

Huge Second Floor Bedroom: