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Housing Dilemma (sorry, quite long!)

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I've got a tough choice to make, and I'm hoping my fellow TCSers can give me some input! Sorry this is so long, please bear with me.

I've been searching for a place to buy for about a year (things keep changing) now since I will be here in town for another four or five years getting my PhD. My parents are willing to help with the downpayment, so I am now looking for something around a 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath condo or townhouse.

I emailed the realtor I had been working with for the past year that I was again looking on Friday, and this morning (Monday) he emails me letting me know he has a great 2bd/1.5 bath condo in a nice neighborhood about 10-15 minutes from campus. It has an extended deck compared to other condos in the area, two bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs (bathroom seperate from both bedrooms), living room/kitchen/dining downstairs. The living room is seperated from the dining/kitchen by the stairs that lead upstairs, small half bath off the kitchen area, and the current tenant has recently replaced the cabinet doors with glass fronted doors. The kitchen is small, but she's put in an extra island on wheels. Refrigerator, washer and dryer will go to the buyer, and the pantry (where the w/d is also located) has a kitty door in the front of it as she has the litter box (for her two adorable kitties!) in there as well. The living room is a little small, but not terribly so. All in all about 1100 sq. ft and this for $55,000.

I cannot move in until sometime this summer as my current apartment lease, but she's willing to lease from whoever buys until at least April, and then month to month with two-weeks notice until the summer. There is no covered parking, which I would like, but its hard to find in this town, especially for a low price.

The biggest problem is I have to make a decision on whether or not to offer on this place by early tomorrow morning because there are already two offers down on it, and I just don't know if I'm ready to commit myself to basically the first condo I've seen so far. Am I crazy for not just jumping all over this? Or am I right to feel like holding out a little longer to see what else is on the market? In a way, this place would be settling, but only just a little bit, and its only four or five years..right? I'm driving myself crazy thinking about it!! Advice from those older and wiser would be much much appreciated.
post #2 of 14
I've never bought a house. But this is my advice. How do you feel when you walk in?

When I was looking for a place to rent last year I was warned about jumping too quick too. I ended up renting the first place I found because it just felt right. Now I have a cozy little home with the furkids and the s/o and everything's right.

Hope this helps! Good luck!
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I think you're right. I've come to a sort of decision that I would be happy there, even if that isn't the happiest most perfect place in this whole town, it certainly would be pretty close. I think I'm going to talk about putting a contract down to at least buy some time for my dad to look at it and give me his opinion, but I would certainly appreciate any other input! Thanks for replying!
post #4 of 14
Dang, I just about fell off of my chair when I saw the price! That's the about what a parking spot costs here (no exaggeration)!

That being said, obviously it's a different market, and I don't know what that kind of place usually goes for in your area. It sounds really nice.

Trust your gut. There's certainly no harm in putting in an offer, especially if the seller is flexible about closing/leasing times, and you feel you could be happy there. Four or five years is the perfect amount of time for a first home. If you're concerned about acting too quickly, remember that any offer is contingent upon inspection. If you get an inspector in there, and he finds too many things wrong (they always find some things), then you are within your legal rights to back out of the deal.
post #5 of 14
You said you've been looking for about a year. This can't be the first place you have seen. If you have a reasonable sense of the market, and feel that this is a fair price, then what's holding you back?

The only reason I can see to not jump at is would be if you didn't know what prices "should" be, or what else is available. This sounds like it meets your needs.

Last year, we got my Dad to look at a condo. He hadn't even been thinking of moving (although we were keeping our eyes open for an appropriate place). He looked at it, made an offer, and it was his 10 days later. So even if a place is the first and only place a person looks at, I can still see merit in jumping at it, if it suits their needs.
post #6 of 14
If you didnt feel the place was right for you, you wouldnt even bother asking us. so i say GO FOR IT!! like someone else said if an inspector finds a few major things wrong you have the rigth to change your mind. and other people have alread bid on it so you might not even get the place. so take a chance and jump in with both feet! good luck!!
post #7 of 14
A comparable one here sells for $69,000, and about to go up. I really do not have any advice on buying, since I never have, but the price seems reasonable to me.
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys! I guess you're right, I do want this place, as its one of the nicer (and cheaper) places I've seen, though not the nicest. This is actually the first condo I've looked at - the others have been mostly houses, which would no longer work for me due to a change in roommates. I'm getting pre-approved for a loan now, and then I call my realtor. Fingers crossed, we'll see what happens! Thanks again!
post #9 of 14
As a couple others folks have said - you'll know if it's right for you. I looked for a home for a little over a year with the same fears - committing, yet afraid to let them go for fear of not finding another one like it and my realtor (a friend) was the one who told me - don't settle. You will know your home when you see it. And wow, was she was right. I toured a home in our town last fall and put an offer on it in the driveway. Fell in love with it instantly and knew it was my house.
Have lived here for a year and a half now and couldn't be happier.
You will know. If it doesn't feel like it's yours already when you walk in, then it probably isn't right.
post #10 of 14
If there were 2 other offers that could signify that when it comes time to sell it you might not have a problem. When we bought our house back in 1987 we looked at LOTS AND LOTS!!!! I couldn't believe some of the living conditions!!
Anyhow it sounds like a good location, you liked the deck. I would go for it!!
post #11 of 14
Wow that's cheap- I know Texas is cheaper for housing, but wow!!!! I saw houses in connecticut w/less sq feet for almost 200k, depending on what town. Probably a condo like that here would go for at least 125k. My friend bought a one bedroom condo a few years ago in Massachusetts for 100k. I would say to go for it, you've obviously been looking for awhile- just make sure that the agreements for the leasing situation is spelled out and it is pending a inspection. I don't know what the story is with your sewer- if you are responsible for a septic tank make sure it is inspected. I would also make sure you know what the scoop is with the condo association.
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Well, my parents seem to have pulled the plug from this little venture (they were providing the down payment) so it looks like it isn't going to happen at this time. They're supposed to call me later, so we'll see... Thanks for all the wonderful advice though, everyone, I really appreciate it!
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
O_o Dad came and saw it today....and they said yes!! I close on February 15th!!
post #14 of 14
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