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BosstonesOwn

join:2002-12-15
Wakefield, MA
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

Sort of home improvement questions

Heya folks, me and my wife have been looking at homes now for 9 months and haven't found many we liked. Matter of fact some that we did like were purchased before we could offer. We have seen over 100 homes now

Im trying to open her eyes to how much time it would take to rehab a home and costs as well.

So 2 questions ,

How long did it take for you to find your homes and how much time do you currently spend in a month "making it yours ?"
--
"It's always funny until someone gets hurt......and then it's absolutely friggin' hysterical!"

averagedude

join:2002-01-30
San Diego, CA
Reviews:
·Cox HSI

2 edits
said by BosstonesOwn:

Heya folks, me and my wife have been looking at homes now for 9 months and haven't found many we liked. Matter of fact some that we did like were purchased before we could offer. We have seen over 100 homes now

Im trying to open her eyes to how much time it would take to rehab a home and costs as well.

So 2 questions ,

How long did it take for you to find your homes and how much time do you currently spend in a month "making it yours ?"

I highlighted a sentence in bold that I (IMO) is most important.

If you want a home, you got to be ready to be aggressive.
By that I mean (in no particular order)
A. You both have made the metal decision that you really really are going to buy a house - this can be a big hurdle as house buying is scary.
B. have all your financing completely ready plush plenty of cash for the deposit and inspections.
C. You all ready know the stats such as how nice each neighbor hood is, age of areas, traffic, and all sorts of stuff like that because you have done all your home work.
D. You need a better real estate agent than the one you have.
E. Be mentally and financially ready to put down a deposit immediately. That does not mean your actually buying the house as you still have to do a home inspection, but you have to have the mind set.

I am going to paint with a very broad brush so fair warning:
You are competing against a group that has cash or cash + very solid financial backing...and most importantly persons or entities that can make snap decisions because they have done all their home work. Ask your self (seriously) are you both "all in?"

After 100 homes, you and your significant other should be exactly on the same page because you have done your home work.

Doing you homework might also mean, that the house you have dreamed about may not be financially possible.

Don't get discouraged that home are "sold" when they might come back on to the market - Have your agent put in writing that you want 2nd dibs just in case it comes back on the market.

I could go on, but I will let others chime in.


LazMan
Premium
join:2003-03-26
canada
reply to BosstonesOwn
Couple of big questions there...

First off, where are you? The market in one location has nothing to do with another... That will help.

I'll speak to my most recent experiences...

Bought this house as a foreclosure in '09; for 150k. It was rough, but not a total disaster... I'm a handy guy, and was able to get it livable within a few weeks, and continued to work on it, while we lived here. We spent probably 6 months looking before we bought this place, finding the right location, house, and price-point.

I've put in about 40k in materials (and labour for work I couldn't, or wouldn't do myself - just because I CAN roof, doesn't mean I want to!) over the 3 years we lived here. There were months I was doing "something" every night, and months I didn't do anything but routine maintenance...

Sold it for 230 last month. So, recouped our investment, and turned a 40k profit, but that's counting my labour as "free". If I'd had to pay someone to do what I did, it probably would have cost 50-75k over the the 3 years (refinishing hardwood, re-wiring and re-plumbing were the biggies... Although drywall, paint, decks and fences all add up, too!!)

We're building a custom home now - I don't want to talk about what it's costing me... LOL - all I'll say is my wife has EXPENSIVE tastes, when given a clean slate to work with. (OK, it's about 225/sq ft we're paying to build as a rough breakdown...)


The Pig
I know you want to be me
Premium
join:2009-09-11
reply to BosstonesOwn
said by BosstonesOwn:

How long did it take for you to find your homes and how much time do you currently spend in a month "making it yours ?"

Finding my house? under 2 months/23 houses!
Making it mine? the house was move in ready (completely renovated) I have changed very little inside, most work was in my yards!
Been here 7 years now!


Pacrat
Old and Cranky
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-10
Cortland, OH
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
reply to BosstonesOwn
Firstly... if you undertake to remodel a home... to make it yours... you're never done! There's always something else to do. Trust me on this!!! There's an old adage about having to build the exact same house three(2.7, actually) times before you finally get it the way you want it.
--
Keep your eye on the ball, your shoulder to the wheel, your nose to the grindstone, and your ear to the ground. Now, try to work in that position!!!

guppy_fish
Premium
join:2003-12-09
Lakeland, FL
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to BosstonesOwn
Lets be honest here, you don't like the city living, your wife will never ever leave Everett. ( Family I assume)

I already sent you so some of the best areas to live in and when you posted the response, its was clear as could be be your wife was humoring you

As to putting money into a house in Everett, you should just go outside and throw the money into the wind, you be getting the same return and you won't have to have your house torn apart for 9 months to deal with.

I rehabbed 7 property in Lynn in the 90's, know the area well

dougis

join:2000-05-02
Everett, WA
reply to averagedude
averagedude supplied what is probably the best advice you could get (I live in Everett already just east of Mill Creek off Cathcart so I know the area you are looking in).
This area isn't THAT hot so you may need a better realtor and more ability to move NOW when you see something you like.
I have a couple of local realtors I can refer you to if you like (I love the one we used in 2005) who will really get things figured out for you and help you find what it is you really want.

To answer your actual question DW and I bought this place in 2005, spent about 2 weeks looking (actually found the place the first weekend but had to look at others while the offer process went through).
Still a lot of things we want to get done but probably 6 months and 25K after we moved in we were very happy with what we had (new appliances, new paint job in and out, new carpet, new windows, replaced garage door etc, etc)
Still working on getting it the way we REALLY want though.


nunya
LXI 483
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
Reviews:
·Charter
·voip.ms
·surpasshosting
reply to BosstonesOwn
If you have seen 100 houses and couldn't settle on something:
a) you need a new agent
b) you are too picky
c) a combination of both

It's still a buyers market almost everywhere USA.
Rehabing a house is hard. It's difficult if you try doing it while you live there. I'm doing one now (for profit, not to live in), and it's like having another full time job. I get to rush away from someone else' rehab, and then go right to work on my own.

My advice is to keep looking and find a house that only needs "sugar coating" to get it livable.
--
...because I care.


tschmidt
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-12
Milford, NH
kudos:9
Reviews:
·G4 Communications
·Fairpoint Commun..
·Hollis Hosting
reply to BosstonesOwn
We spent several years looking for a house once we moved to NH. Anything that we could afford was a fixer-upper. So you wind up paying for house, tearing it apart and then rebuilding. As nunya See Profile posted rehab is a difficult and lengthy process. Often times a marriage buster.

Then we lucked out and found a large (13 acre) parcel and after fumbling around for sever years closed the deal in a couple of weeks. We bought a used mobile home and lived on the property in it for two years. We build a house the second year. Started in June and "officially" moved in Christmas eve when I disconnect the mobile home sewer pipe from the septic tank and connected up the house.

That was 30 years ago. You asked how long does the project take, The short answer is forever. Last year I finally built the attached greenhouse we designed when we the house. This year need to re-stain the siding, replaced most of the exterior windows and doors, finish the greenhouse, and over this previous weekend and next I'm replacing the well pressure tank and installing a whole house sediment filter.

Bottom line owner built or owner rehabbed houses are never done

/tom

AsherN
Premium
join:2010-08-23
Thornhill, ON
reply to BosstonesOwn
Know how much you can spend.
Get an agent that knows the area.
Know what you need and what you want.

Be ready to put an offer right after visiting a house. An agent familiar with the neighbourhood will know how muc it's really worth.

If you get in a bidding war, be ready to walk away as soon as the amount goes above your limit.

Rehbing house is hard work. Doing it while you're living there is hell. Be prepared to spend times outside the house.


bobrk
You kids get offa my lawn
Premium
join:2000-02-02
San Jose, CA
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET
reply to nunya
Indeed, I've owned 4 houses now, and I've never looked at more than 10. The last one I bought was one that came for sale in my neighborhood, and I had to overbid to get it.

Rehabbing is a hassle, but can be worth it. All depends on the numbers, where you are, and how long you want to live there.


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
reply to BosstonesOwn
said by BosstonesOwn:

Matter of fact some that we did like were purchased before we could offer.

Ah yes, that's usually a problem. The trick is to be informed and educated on what you're looking for and how to judge the price of a house.

You can't waste time to make an offer when you find a good house, because usually the good houses don't stay listed for long. Well, sometimes they do stay listed for a couple of months and then one day the sellers drop the price to a sweet spot where everyone rushes for it (Psychological point, where a house at 339,000$ will gain a lot of interest but had no visitors when it was listed at 350,000$)

said by BosstonesOwn:

How long did it take for you to find your homes

Visited 4 houses before finding mine, but I visited a total of 10 houses (needed to see more before making a decision).

It took about 3 weeks total, if you don't count the months before where we were just browsing on the realtor websites.

said by BosstonesOwn:

how much time do you currently spend in a month "making it yours ?"

Depends. We bought a house that was in a good state, but not everything was to our liking. So we're taking our sweet time making changes. First of all, since it's "good enough" we aren't in a rush. Second of all, what you imagined to change before becomes less important later vs. other things.

Also, there's the house maintenance.

If you come from an apartment, you might not realize that making a house "yours" is a never ending project. There's always improvements that are possible and nothing is stopping you except your wallet.

For me, i find that fun. It changed my hobby from playing video games to being a handyman.


cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
reply to BosstonesOwn
Took
-3 months of looking at neighborhoods without agent to figure out the location
-1 month of actively looking for a house, saw 4 houses

We bought a pre-foreclosure that was in very poor cosmetic shape but in which we saw a huge potential (not to mention it was 100k less that the similar neighbor home), put some 9 months of after-work and weekend DIY and spent some 55k in the process (20k for central air alone and almost 20k for a full kitchen DIY re-do).
There is no "monthly cost" since we already did it our own... I am very handy and can handle anything from carpentry and drywall to plumbing and electric, I'm sure that hiring contractors would have added 100k easily.

I'd say that if you saw 100 houses you are way too picky. Only look at the houses you think you would like based on your criteria (location, price, size, style, acreage...)

BosstonesOwn

join:2002-12-15
Wakefield, MA
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to guppy_fish
Indeed , I definitely am not rehabbing in this city, Im getting the hell out and finally got her to look into moving out near the 95 belt. I commute now almost 2 hours each way to work, I can't keep doing that.

Houses we looked at were great but before I could put in an offer on 3 of them in Melrose/Stoneham the people had already accepted offers on the house over asking, which is bizarre as hell. But they were nice homes priced well.

Now we are looking at rehabs in 4 cities and Im trying to even get her to understand the price differences, 500 K gets me a nice home done , not having to do much. 380 to 400 and we have to spend 100 to make it close to ours. So Im trying to reason with her at this point to explain the differences.
--
"It's always funny until someone gets hurt......and then it's absolutely friggin' hysterical!"

BosstonesOwn

join:2002-12-15
Wakefield, MA
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to cowboyro
Not to picky , but most of the houses really were way over priced. The communities we are looking in are "old money" areas where people are looking to sell their homes they bought 30 years ago and didn't even do maintenance on so they can buy condos in florida.

This was the case in a lot of them so far, or the parents died and the kids are looking to sell the house almost 100 K over assessed value. Which is absolutely nuts to me. Im not going to pay for their sentimental value, and it seems most people agree since a lot of what we are looking at is still on the market after 50 + days.
--
"It's always funny until someone gets hurt......and then it's absolutely friggin' hysterical!"

BosstonesOwn

join:2002-12-15
Wakefield, MA
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to averagedude
Thanks so far I have all of these, and a really good buyers agent, for about 3 months now, who keeps sending us homes but my wife don't like the cities so she schedules showings with the sellers agent instead bypassing our agent.

Annoying at the least.
--
"It's always funny until someone gets hurt......and then it's absolutely friggin' hysterical!"


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
reply to BosstonesOwn
said by BosstonesOwn:

the kids are looking to sell the house almost 100 K over assessed value.

Municipal assessed value? That's usually rock bottom value, especially if the house wasn't sold in decades.

I bought my house at 70k over municipal evaluation and that was very much normal. A professional evaluator came (For the mortgage) and valued it 20k higher than what I paid.

telco_mtl

join:2012-01-06
said by alkizmo:

said by BosstonesOwn:

the kids are looking to sell the house almost 100 K over assessed value.

Municipal assessed value? That's usually rock bottom value, especially if the house wasn't sold in decades.

I bought my house at 70k over municipal evaluation and that was very much normal. A professional evaluator came (For the mortgage) and valued it 20k higher than what I paid.

low municipal assesments can be dangerous too, i dont know how they calculate emminent domain pricing in the states but here in quebec expropriation is based on municipal evaluation. People tend to want to keep that assesment low to keep taxes low, but if the government comes along and wants to build an expressway thats all you get.


cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
reply to BosstonesOwn
said by BosstonesOwn:

Not to picky , but most of the houses really were way over priced. The communities we are looking in are "old money" areas where people are looking to sell their homes they bought 30 years ago and didn't even do maintenance on so they can buy condos in florida.

This was the case in a lot of them so far, or the parents died and the kids are looking to sell the house almost 100 K over assessed value. Which is absolutely nuts to me. Im not going to pay for their sentimental value, and it seems most people agree since a lot of what we are looking at is still on the market after 50 + days.

The price is what the free market sets. If you think a price is too high you can just skip it and not bother looking at it. Or make an offer in line with comparable recent sales in area.
Keep in mind that the assessed value is typically calculated as 70% of the estimated market value, so for a 350k house it will be 245k... more than 100k difference!


workablob

join:2004-06-09
Houston, TX
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to BosstonesOwn
We looked for a couple months back in 2000.

To date we have put over 100K into it. But we plan to be here another 20 years.

New Roof - 10K
New Hardy Plank - 20K
New Windows - 10K
New Laminate Floor - 5K
New room addition, garage attic floor, garage ceiling, garage door, paint, etc... - 40K
Two new, complete HVAC units and all new duct work - 13K

Dave

itguy05

join:2005-06-17
Carlisle, PA

1 recommendation

reply to BosstonesOwn
said by BosstonesOwn:

How long did it take for you to find your homes and how much time do you currently spend in a month "making it yours ?"

Just went through this - sold out house after 1.5 weeks on the market in February, closed in April and moved in our new house Saturday.

You shouldn't have to see 100 houses. Get an idea what you want - SQ footage, land, style, etc. That will narrow it down. Then do areas (city/town/etc) and you will end up with a narrow list to look through. Weed them out from the computer (either agents or sites such as Zillow, Trulia, etc). Drive by them and if you like it see it with your agent.

Good stuff will go quick. The house we bought was on the market less than 24 hours when we made our offer. Those that were on for a while needed work. Seemed to be the longer on the market the more work it needed or the more issues it had.

Don't be afraid to make an offer and then walk if you don't agree. We did that twice. Our agent probably didn't like it but she was OK with it.

You will know "the" house when you see it. Be prepared to make an offer that day/night. We must have seen 25 houses - some were junk, others were good but we knew the one we bought was the one when we walked into it.

That being said, get a list of likes, wants, and go from there. Don't look at anything not meeting those requirements. And be realistic with what you want for the price and area.

BosstonesOwn

join:2002-12-15
Wakefield, MA
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
yeah Ive done , though to be honest the area is most important to me, I have seen a couple I loved but the wife did not.

Going to see some houses today and trying to explain to my wife in this area 350K is just not going to get us a house that we won't have to work on.
--
"It's always funny until someone gets hurt......and then it's absolutely friggin' hysterical!"


djrobx
Premium
join:2000-05-31
Valencia, CA
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·VOIPO
reply to BosstonesOwn
If houses you would have wanted to put an offer in on keep getting sold before you have a chance to offer, your agent isn't doing their job well enough. After 100 homes, a good agent should be on the same page as you, and should spot good candidates the moment the listing comes on the market.

As others have noted, you need to be ready to offer. It sounds like your market is similar to what we have here - inventory is poor. Good houses are rare and when they come up, they go very quickly often after a bidding war unless their pricing is way out of line.

There's also no such thing as a perfect home. Every house is going to have something you don't like about it. After 100 homes you should have a pretty good idea what things are really must-haves.

Rehab is expensive and can involve a lot of unexpected costs. Living in a construction zone also sucks. Your wife has good reason to be concerned about it.
--
AT&T U-Hearse - RIP Unlimited Internet 1995-2011
Rethink Billable.

guppy_fish
Premium
join:2003-12-09
Lakeland, FL
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
The issue has nothing to do with the brokers, its an issue between the mister and misses have a differing view points. This is the third or fourth post by the OP over a year or so about home searches, bottom line is he hates the city, the mrs isn't moving and is just humoring the OP.

The cost thing is a red herring, Mrs knows what Mr doesn't want, "oh that's to expensive, let find one lower cost that you can spend the next 5 year fixing up"

If its worth anything, I have complete sympathy for the OP. Everett MA and surrounding areas are the last places in the country I would choose to live.


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
reply to telco_mtl
said by telco_mtl:

low municipal assesments can be dangerous too, i dont know how they calculate emminent domain pricing in the states but here in quebec expropriation is based on municipal evaluation. People tend to want to keep that assesment low to keep taxes low, but if the government comes along and wants to build an expressway thats all you get.

Not that much of a real danger in most suburbs in Montreal
Either way, from my observation, most municipal evaluations are under the market value of the property in the west island (around 75-90% market value).

bemis

join:2008-07-18
Reading, MA
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to BosstonesOwn
We started in 2008 looking casually to get ideas. Then in 2009-2010 we looked aggressively... found that much in our price range was junk, or had some glaring unchangeable issue (or two).

In late 2010 we bought one... I was aggressive about it, we saw it once, we knew it had major problems, but they were due to neglect, not some feature we couldn't alter.

In hindsight, this resulted in a few things---
- I paid too much considering all the work we had to do
- I underestimated the time and money it would take to do what we needed... the big things I got, it was the little things like, let's replace all these old hollow core doors...
- The street ended up being busier than I expected. The only way to have figured this out would be to have literally sat outside of it on a weekday morning--the street is a cut through between two areas, so we'll have 2-3 cars every minute and being after a curve in the road we get the wonderful sound of every a**hole driving jamming on their gas so they can go from the 25~30 around the curve up to 40 past our house before stopping at a 4-stop 150' later...

I'm still in the process of actually doing work. Yes, it's been 18 months! We even kept it empty for 4-5 months for the really heavy duty work. Once you move in it becomes a real struggle to find the time and energy to do things, especially once stuff is "functional".

The yard also takes up an enormous amount of time. It's about 2/3rd of an acre. I spent from 11AM to 7PM in the yard each day this past weekend... had to mow, had to pull a few older stumps from cut down shrubs, ran a new underground line from front to back for my downspouts, etc... you tell yourself, once I get these one-time things taken care of, it will just be maintenance--well I suppose that may be true, but it will take you a couple of years worth of weekends just to get there!

For me, buying this house ultimately ended up being a negative experience, I would have preferred to have stayed looking for something that was closer to complete and a better fit. In the market we were in (receding, down market) it was actually quite dumb of me to be aggressive, I should have accepted that I might have needed to spend 2011 or 2012 still looking. In a hot, appreciating, market, maybe this would have been OK because I could walk and make money... Right now I'm into this place for at least $60-70K more than I could take away after sell costs, etc...

Good luck.

BTW, during my rehab my relationship ended. Supposedly nothing to do with the rehab or house, but in hindsight I feel that it contributed. It added stress to our relationship, it took an enormous amount of my time and money which had previously gone to us. Maybe this wasn't a bad thing that it ended (I think it was a bad thing now, but maybe with time it won't)... but if I had it to do over I'd just keep renting.


cableties
Premium
join:2005-01-27
reply to BosstonesOwn
How long did it take for you to find your homes and how much time do you currently spend in a month "making it yours ?"

1. As long as it takes. I spent over 14 months. I was lucky to have that luxury but I went through 2 realtors till I settled on 3rd one (charm) that LISTENED to me and pointed me at those with features I requested (e.g. gas for cooking/heat, garage or walk-out basement).

2. After 10 years, STILL spending time/$$$ on it. At time, it was 12 years old (appliances failed shortly after), builder had failed with roof (used now-banned retardant sheathing) so some work was picked up by association/insurance, windows were crap-grade, no storage in home, previous owner had pets that pissed everywhere (wish inspector had UV lamp...can hide the smell, but not the staining), also hidden damage (builder never flashed deck to house so imagine that one...). I can go on about paint, trim, remodeling, fixing backstabs (I prefer screws), and on...

I learned that (almost) everything can be fixed or changed. Yes, it depends on time/money. But the satisfaction of making it nicer, and getting folks to appreciate what I've done... all worth the loss...(I live in a townhome but I miss having yard...grrr...Ex got that )

But I think my next house will be a rough cut gem...and I the lapidary! Either than or I'm gonna get a builder...
--
Splat

BosstonesOwn

join:2002-12-15
Wakefield, MA
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to BosstonesOwn
Thanks Folks keep em coming,

we actually made the decision finally of just upping the purchase price a bit and going with an already done house.

Hopefully it will save us some aggravation in the long run.
--
"It's always funny until someone gets hurt......and then it's absolutely friggin' hysterical!"

guppy_fish
Premium
join:2003-12-09
Lakeland, FL
kudos:3
6 pack says mrs won't find a house she likes this year .. the games is a foot

BosstonesOwn

join:2002-12-15
Wakefield, MA
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
hehe im going to keep bumping till i run outta budget at this point, I make good money but dont feel like spending more then 1/3 of my monthly income on a home.

At this point , Im about ready to just buy another house and move there myself
--
"It's always funny until someone gets hurt......and then it's absolutely friggin' hysterical!"