Seeing the house
Our Realtor set us up to see the aforementioned house right after my husband got off work. Given that it was mid winter, we knew from the beginning that it would be dark at that hour. What we didn’t know right away was that the property had no utilities! That meant that when we went to see the house, it was dark. Not only a little bit dark, but pitch black!! Additionally, it was reallllly cold. Still, the Realtor was willing to humor us and show it to us anyway.
We all brought flashlights and met at the house. We got the key out of the lock box on the front door, but weren’t able to get the it to open it. The side door wouldn’t budge either. There was a secondary key in the box that opened a padlock on a back door, sort of a covered cellar leading down some stairs into a basement. We figured if we’d come all this way we might as well give it a try. So we all headed down into the basement, not knowing what to expect.
The basement itself wasn’t too bad! It was dark and had low ceilings, but was completely dry and sound. In it we found a decent boiler, updated PVC plumbing, and antiquated wiring with a fuse box. In one corner it had steps up to a hatch, which thankfully did let us up into the house!
We weren’t expecting a lot given the list price, and were pleasantly surprised to find that the house was not in bad shape. On first glance we didn’t find anything that put us off. In fact, it seemed like just the right amount of space for us! We looked around downstairs then upstairs as well.
The Realtor didn’t have a lot to say about it, other than that he thought it was in an area that might not have good resale value. When my husband and I talked in the car, we were both excited about the house and of course wanted to see it again in the daylight!
Are we crazy?
After our bizarre nighttime showing of the HUD house, we were eager to see it again in the light of day. We contacted the Realtor to set up a repeat showing of the home. We got a message back from him saying that he was concerned for us, and was wondering what was happening in our lives that would cause us to consider making such a drastic move!!
My first thought was a gut check. Are we crazy? No. Of course we aren’t! He just didn’t know our circumstances, or enough about us to know why this move might make sense in our minds. We hadn’t really told many people about our plans. Not many people know we are working to get my husband out of his full time job and hoping to do a lot of traveling.
I wrote back and explained that to him, and also went over the reasons why we felt it would work for us. I explained that we’d both grown up in old houses and had lived in a home of comparable age/condition before. We liked the location because it was near one set of grandparents, half way between two major local towns. I also mentioned that we were hoping to keep it for long enough not to be too concerned about quick resale.
I then responded with some pointed questions about the bidding process, what we might need to do, what we’d learned about the property, neighbors, etc. this far. To this his response was to ask who we were working with. o_O He thought we were going behind his back! I quickly explained how all the information was available online.
His response was to readily admit that dealing with red tape is not his scene (though I’m sure the low commission was a factor too) and turned us over to one of his excellent colleagues that handles HUD home purchases.
In the next post, the HUD buying process!