Yesterday, we made our first offer on a house (House A) for 27% below the list price.
The owner's came back today and dropped the price by 14%.
Our first counter-offer was for 3% more.
There is currently 10% separating us.
We estimate that tomorrow, they're going to come back and suggest that we split the difference, so that we each take a 5% hit. Tonight, Charlie and I created our most elaborate spreadsheet yet scrutinizing the numbers. What we've determined is that House A needs approximately 25% of the value (assuming we meet them half way) in repairs and upgrades.
All of those things do not need to be done right away, but we've got in mind what we want our home to be like and although the renovations might not happen immediately, very soon, they'll definitely be necessary.
Now. Approximately three miles away (and approximately three miles further from work), we have found another house (House B). The listing price is similar to the original listing price on House A. However, the listing price on House B has actually dropped 12% from what it was listed at approximately two months ago. It is located on a similarly sized plot of land, in a similarly nice neighbor, in the same exact school district, and has the same number of bedroooms and a half bathroom extra. The closets and bathrooms look like they are CONSIDERABLY larger and actually have double vanities, which would be especially useful for our masses of children. House B also has a study and a beautiful screened in porch, both of which are lacking at House A.
House A does have a beautiful creek. But when we were there the other day, as much as the children loved it - they were EATEN ALIVE by mosquitoes. Elizabeth had so many bites it looked like she had the chicken pox, and William had one bite on his forehead that was so huge it could have had it's own zip code.
Although the kitchen and bathrooms are somewhat dated in House B, the house is 20 years younger than House A, which means that it isn't quite as pressing to have updates completed. House B is also approximately 1,700 square feet larger than House A.
What that means is that OUR ENTIRE California house (plus another 100 square feet) could fit in the difference in sizes between House A and House B.
(Excuse me for a minute while I calculate how long it will take me to vacuum.)
(I think I'll need to bring a snack and wear a Camelbak.)
(Or, get a Roomba with a solar battery pack.)
We estimate that our mortgage payment would be approximately the same for the two houses, because although House B is more expensive than House A, our loan amount for House A would be approximately the same as House B so that we would have money for upgrades and repairs.
The question is: do we buy the smaller sized House A that requires a lot of work, but when that work is done the house will hopefully be beautiful? And do we even know what we are getting in to - buying a house that NEEDS so much done?
Or, do we buy the larger House B that won't necessarily be as nice as House A (once we get all the upgrades completed) but is more "move in" ready? And how much will those additional three miles, per way, driving to the office effect me everyday? What exactly is my tolerance for commuting an additional 1,440 miles per year?
Tomorrow, we're going to look at House B, again. And then we're going to smother the children in deet and go "kick the tires" on House A to make sure it's as great as we think it is especially since it's being sold 'as-is.'
And then, I have no idea what will happen.
I'm just preparing myself that at this rate, we very well might be cooking our Thanksgiving dinner on our itty bitty hotel stove.