Whew that was a cliffhanger I left you at. So here’s the deal. We put an offer on the house in Berkeley. Someone else put an offer $15,000 higher than ours and they weren’t asking for closing costs. That freed us up to put an offer on the Oakland house.
Because the owner wanted the deal done quickly, they gave us an inspection report that showed a little over $10,000 worth of repairs. That scared us, but we put in an offer at what our real estate agent recommended and asked for closing costs. The owner came back with a counteroffer that was $5,000 higher and no closing costs. As we thought about the work we would need to put into the house and having no closing costs, we decided to hold firm and were prepared to let go of the house.
And then we got a counter counter offer from the seller that offered $5000 towards closing. And we talked to our real estate agent and went through the inspection report and realized we didn’t have to get everything done immediately. Given that we would get a monster refund check in 2010, we could space out the repairs and renovations over the next year. After watching a zillion episodes of House Hunters and Property Virgins, I knew that an additional $5000 in the asking price would result in something like $10 more a month in monthly payments. Which I why I want the cash up front!
So we said yes to the new counteroffer and got our inspection done to make sure that the repairs really were going to cost what we expected. They turned out fine. In fact, we’re probably going to do less renovating in the kitchen than we thought. So we talked to our loan consultant and talked to another loan consultant who will be getting us a better rate and we’re underway. The house is being appraised right now and I consider this a win-win situation. Either the house appraises and we move forward with the sale or the house doesn’t appraise and the seller has to drop the price. Otherwise, by the end of June we’ll be part of the landed gentry.
For you homeowners out there (I’m looking at you Scott and Jason), what does owning a home REALLY cost? Being renters, J and I don’t have to pay for water and we’d need to get homeowners insurance. And then there’s the getting a repairperson out when things go wrong. Has the tax break made up for the increased fixed costs?