If nothing else, I feel as if I did all I could.

Karsten and I scrambled all morning to pull together quotes on renovations. We went by the house and snuck around the back to measure the broken window, and then went to Home Depot for a quote. Got a carpet quote, a paint quote, a door quote. Lots of quotes.

Then, after much stressful phone tag and several stressful conversations with the mortgage rep, I pulled together a proposal letter that I faxed over to her at 4:30 PM along with the quotes. The idea was to have the appraiser review them and determine a post-renovation value so they know how much to figure for the loan.

The renovation grand total? $1640. Yes, that’s sixteen hundred forty dollars. One thousand six hundred forty dollars. For a “renovation.”

It’s so absurd I could barely stand it.

And apparently, it served its purpose, because the mortgage rep called me, confused.

Yes, I patiently explained, there’s a lot more we could do to the house, definitely, but not without living in it and understanding the long-term renovation strategy. (Whatever we include in the list, we’re obligated to do. I sure wasn’t going to list anything we’re not definite about.) But these were truly the only things we’d determined to be necessary for us to make it inhabitable.

So why is her appraiser is telling her there’s $10,000 worth of work to be done to raise the condition from “poor” to “average”?

I couldn’t begin to guess. Is he skittish with older houses?

No, she says. We’ve done historic homes before. We’ve done renovations. That shouldn’t be a problem. And he says the value is there, she tells me. He says the house will be worth well more than the purchase price when it’s fixed up — that’s it’s worth well more than that now, she adds.

Anyway, several phone calls later, between mortgage rep and buyer, between buyer and buyer’s agent, between buyer’s agent and seller’s agent, between buyer’s agent and mortgage rep, we finally think we may have the answer, if the underwriter will agree. The bank can give us 90 days to finish our renovations, bring the appraiser back to get our “average” condition, and then close on conventional terms. Everyone seems pleased with this scenario.

Let’s hope it actually works.

We’re not there yet, but…

8 thoughts on “We’re not there yet, but…

  • March 30, 2005 at 11:38 pm

    Go, you! Fingers crossed.


  • March 31, 2005 at 2:02 am

    how frustrating for you! I’m hoping that it all works out for you.

  • March 31, 2005 at 9:56 am

    I just took a “How to Buy a House” course a few weeks ago, and the realtors teaching it explained a similar scenario to what you are going through, and then said “but this pretty much never happens.” They did say when it did it usually had a good outcome, so I’m crossing my fingers for you!! 🙂

  • March 31, 2005 at 10:49 am

    Go you (and Karsten). Best of luck to you that this gets settled quickly. 🙂

  • March 31, 2005 at 4:46 pm

    Argh, what a pain over, basically, cosmetics! (Minus the window, of course, can’t have the kitties escaping! 😉

    I hope it all worked out and you are closing either today or in the next few days. One day you’ll look back on this and laughhhhh…

  • April 1, 2005 at 9:44 am

    Aren’t you a litte nervous about doing the work and the deal falling through?

    Just how obligated is the seller after you have done the work? Does your contract extend beyond the 90 day renovation period? If the deal does fall through, is the seller obligated (by contract) to pay you for the renovations?

    Sorry to play the paranoia role .. 😐

  • April 1, 2005 at 10:56 am

    Well, the house wouldn’t belong to the seller anymore; it would belong to the bank. And yes, it did make me nervous, but more from the standpoint of making sure we get a list from the bank of all the things needed to be done to qualify for average condition.

    Anyway, that’s no longer the plan, exactly. We’re trying to get financing from someone else right now. I have no idea if this is going to work.


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