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House Hunting is Frustrating - Especially when Two People have to Agree ...

March 19th, 2016 at 09:38 pm

Warning - a bit of a vent ahead.

I'm getting a wee bit frustrated in the house hunt. If it were up to just me, I would have already found a house. Probably the one we looked at a few weeks ago - the one that would have made a bike-able commute still possible. But no ... that basement just wouldn't work for Mr FT.

Oy.

So we looked at the auction house today. A definite no way in h E double hockey sticks. The basement would have been amazing - super amazing. It just was that the humongous cracks throughout the basement, huge bulges, etc., kind of detracted from it. Not to mention that ALL of the outbuildings were in major states of disrepair and full of junk. Plus it would be at least a 40-45 minute commute in good weather. Partially on gravel roads.

I did really like the second floor. I could see making it into my own little sanctuary. Oh well.

--
After looking at the auction house, we decided to drive over to the $129k house. The outside / yard looked as good as the pictures on the internet depicted. However, the neighborhood left a bit to be desired. Lots of run down mobile homes, but also lots of nice modular / real wood homes. Mr FT was excited to see that someone had a flock of 5 chickens. On a place that was really run down ...

We timed the drive from $129k place to my place. 30 minutes -on a Saturday afternoon. Going through an intersection I've had the misfortune of having to go through on a weekday before (14th and Warlick if you know it CCF.) So ... doubtful that the commute would be much better than from the house we love.

Mr FT and I had a conversation comparing and contrasting the $129k house to the house we love. His two main things are that the $129k house doesn't have a basement and has a somewhat smaller yard/less secluded feel. He also thinks that if we can get the house we love for $80 - 90k, then the price differential would make up for all the improvements we would need to make.

Both houses would require us installing a privacy fence. (planning on DIY, although may ask for help with doing the gate part.)

$129k house, at least from the outside, doesn't appear to need much, if any work. We'll see about the inside tomorrow.

House we love will need at the very least - basement repair, major overhaul of land (clearing brush, clearing dead trees, removal of weird stone fountain thing Mr FT hates ...), renting of a huge trash thing to put all the junk left behind in the garages, the greenhouse, the storage shed, the house ...

Future issues - roof replacement, kitchen appliances, adding walls to main floor room(s) to make them actual complete bedrooms.

If we put in an offer, I plan on insisting on having a plumber, an electrician, a roofer, and a foundation inspection specialist come take a look at the place. Besides the regular inspector and radon inspection.

I have the feeling we are going to end up putting in an offer on the house we love. I'm okay with that (as long as we get all the professionals I listed to take a look at it before finalizing said offer.)

I mentioned to Mr FT that my aunt had texted me a few days ago asking if we needed any help with the downpayment. And that I had told her thanks, but we've got it covered (basically.) He told me that if she made the same offer to him, that he'd take her up on it. He didn't understand why I did NOT want to do that. Money = obligations. $1500 for the wedding expenses ... I'm okay with that. However much they'd offer for the downpayment? I'm thinking it would be an amount I would not be okay with.

Mr FT was again complaining about how stressed out the wedding and house hunting was making him. Well ... the wedding stuff - I've asked for minimal input from him - getting a tux, choosing the music for the rehearsal dinner, figuring out the honeymoon stuff, going to pre-marital counseling once a week. And oh yeah, I asked him to meet the photographer Thursday night so he'd feel more comfortable with him - Mr FT thought that was kind of pointless. We'll see I guess.

As for the house hunting ... he's putting the stress on himself. Spending hours upon hours searching houses on the internet. Then spending hours upon hours driving around the outlying towns looking for sale signs (they're not all listed on mainstream sites apparently.) I think he's looking for the "perfect house" - and I just don't think we're going to find it. So I think we should be willing to compromise on what we MUST have.

For example, the $129k house w/no basement. It does have a 4 car heated garage. That would be plenty of room for my car, his eventual boat, and then the leftover space could be used for his man cave space + 1 of the 3 bedrooms in the house.

This has a big plus in the fact that he would not have to deal with stairs. His answer is "if I lose ___lbs, then stairs wont be an issue." Ohhhh kayyyy.... what happens if you never actually lose __lbs? Your knees get worse, and you can't manage the stairs at all ... the basement goes to waste? (I didn't ask him this. I try really hard to not comment on his weight loss efforts one way or the other, unless he brings it up himself.)

I wonder how he'd handle putting together all the details of the wedding that I have already handled, or am in the process of finishing? Not well, I'd imagine. Probably would throw up his hands and say, let's elope at the courthouse! (That's actually what he would prefer to do. If I would have realized how unimportant my having an actual wedding was to my mom, I think I almost would have been okay with that idea myself. But I do like that Mr FT is going to actually get to meet some of my family in person which he otherwise probably would never meet. So .. it's a wash I guess.)

Sorry, like I said, just a wee bit frustrated.

May delete this post at some point ...

21 Responses to “House Hunting is Frustrating - Especially when Two People have to Agree ...”

  1. VS_ozgirl Says:

    You guys are planning a wedding and house hunting, that's huge.. Planning a wedding was so hard, it took me a full month to recover and you two are also house hunting.. Be gentle with yourselves and each other, you're doing massively stressful things and you're doing the best you can {{hugs}}

  2. Ima saver Says:

    Yes, I think you are doing a great job! This is your "starter" house. It may not have all the things you want.

  3. creditcardfree Says:

    There is no perfect home, but I'm sure there is something for you. Not sure of the exact intersection you are referring to, but figuring out a commute is a good thing to consider. It can become pretty tiring after time to travel such a distance.

  4. ThriftoRama Says:

    Sounds like you have a lot on your plate. I understand about the aunt's money. DH's aunt tried to give us $20k for a downpayment for our first house. We declined. Money = obligations, and we didn't feel right about it. She worked hard her whole like. I felt like she should spend that money on herself.

    As for the house itself. It's a big step. We're in our third house now. By this last time shopping we knew what was essential for the way we lived. (for us, 3 beds, full basement, large yard for garden, fireplace, master bathroom.) We made a list of absolute must haves (not dream bonuses) and honestly, we bought the first house we looked at! (we did look at a few others, too, but it's all about 'know thyself'.) And as for repairs, some things aren't as big of a deal. We steer clear of structural and water issues, but new roof or windows? Doable.

    Maybe you both could agree on a list like that?

  5. Petunia in a Flower Garden Says:

    I cannot imagine doing a wedding and house hunting at the same time.

    The wedding for us was 10 stress-inducing months.

    The house hunting took over a year. During that time we continued to save, moved up in price in what we could afford, and bought our "starter" home. We are still here over 20 years later and we are never going to move. Sigh. (I would have moved about 5 years ago as Daisy got older - so that we could have a better social gathering space for tweens/teens - but no way will Mr. H agree).

    It may take some time to find a house you can both agree on. It's not a bad thing to take the time to get what you both want/need.

  6. MonkeyMama Says:

    ((HUGS))

    Welcome to married life! But that said, yeah, probably won't be in such stressful situations/change all the time.

    I think if moving in together is of very high priority then I would focus on the needs and let go some of the dreams. If it's not working out then maybe the dreams are a bit much for now. Doesn't mean you can't ever have them. That said, though we did the starter home thing it was only because we had no choice in the matter. Crazy expensive city and could not even afford a house to start (or probably ever). But I suppose at the end of the day I am glad that is the route we took because it gave us time to live in a home and decide what were going to be long-term deal breakers for us. I think it's hard to know before you are even married or living together. The other side of me hates moving though and maybe rather just put it off until after the wedding. Give it time to find the "perfect" place for you.

  7. Rachael777 Says:

    I just saw your house posts and wanted to give you some ideas for that house a few homes back (the one w the bowing walls). Obviously that is a serious issue but does not mean it is not fixable and maybe the house can turn out. Clearly if you saw the issue .. it is obvious and known and you have found out that FHA and Rural is likely not going to work. That clears out many people. Conventional loans have inspections. Is it going to clear that hurdle (maybe not) and very few people would try. All that is to say. WHO are they going to sell this house too?! Very limited buyers means MUCH lower price. Possibly you are in a good position here. I suggest you can get a lot info without expending a lot of effort and money. I suggest asking the realtor to find out: when someone last lived in the house, what the owners know about the bowed walls, estimates they have gotten to fix them, is it wet and then say you may be interested but need to get some quotes on fixing the walls first. Then call up some foundation people (you got to find good people) and get some estimates to fix. (not usng wall-bands but to rebuild the bowed walls) You do not need an inspection you need an estimate to fix.. clearly there is an issue. Estimates are free and you can attend and get all info you need. I had a situation where I bought a house w bowed walls (I did not get a preinspection .. should have . but knew about the walls). I ended up paying $12k for a MAJOR fix.. but realistically had I gotten that inspection or ESTIMATE for free I could have gotten much more than $12k off the house and the owners would really have a hard time negotiating. I suggest you do those few things up top and then also get comps in the area based on homes in POOR condition with structural issues and evaluate using that and your estiamte. I am NOT saying the house is in poor condition. it looks cute etc.. fun.. but you need to negotiate from strength and WHO ELSE are they going to sell this house too. particularly after you get your FREE estimate (which may give you piece of mind and a quote .. that you can elevate for their purposes) and they have written documentation of the issue. You need an aggressive realtor but since you love the house so much . it may be worth it to do these quick things

    If the estimate/info comes back you can then work on a low ball offer (based on your revised comps and estimates) and ask the seller to carry the loan (seller finance) or a year or two while you fix the issue because YOU and pretty much no one else can get a loan anyway. Then in a year or few months whenever after you have fixed it then you get an FHA or whatever loan

    Win win. seller sells house. you get an awesome deal and a fixed housse

    This is hard to explain via text but would be willing to talk offline if you want help w investigating this strategy.

    I do not know numbers.. but Example if list is $100k. your estimate is $12k ..you add in some items to your estimate..and you base your offer on comps in poor shape and do aggressive negotiation (point out who are they going to sell this house too etc).. offer say $62k or less .not sure of the comps.. you really come out ahead with a perfectly fine house after fixed.

    with bowed walls their market is cash buyers .. and a cash buyer is going to go in at 1/2

  8. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Thanks VS. It would definitely be easier if we were just dealing with the wedding right now. I can't exactly tell him to let go of all but two of his cats so we could actually rent a place together while looking for *the* house ... so, house hunting and wedding planning need to happen together if we're going to actually live in the same place once we're married ...

    Thanks Ima. The thing is though, we are not looking at this as getting a starter house. Both of us want to find a place where we'll be, probably for as long as we both are alive .. once it's just me, then I'll probably go for a condo or a townhome... less upkeep for when I'm much older.

    CCF - it's near 14th and Pine Lake if that helps. Yeah, I'm not looking forward to the commute. Trying to see it as an opportunity to brush up on spanish skills, listen to books on tape, etc.

    Thrift - I thought we kind of had. But it's turning out difficult enough to find something with just what HE wants. Plus now that he's seen the yard of the house we love, everything else is paling in comparison...

    Petunia - Thank you. I was hoping by keeping it very small and simple, that the stress would also be small ... I've gotten to the point where I'm willing to sell some of my inherited stock so we can do a 20% downpayment and still have cash reserves. The longer it takes us to find a house we can agree on, the longer it will be before we can actually see some of the savings from sharing finances (i.e one Internet bill vs two, one utilities bill vs two, etc.)

    Thanks MM. Yeah, the moving part is partly what is making us want to find THE house. Both of us are So tired of moving. And I've done it way more than he has, with ten years less of life ..

  9. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Thanks Rachel!

    Our Realtor suggested putting in an offer of 80k pending inspection- to see if they are even willing to entertain a low ball offer. Are you thinking that even a conventional loan wouldn't pass a place with bowed walls??

    I think you're right though - this house is going to be a hard, hard sell. Not many people will be able to do a conventional loan. I think when we see the Realtor today I will ask him to get comps on the other homes in the area in similar condition.

    Can we really get a free estimate without having put in an offer on the house? Our Realtor was suggesting i=beams - but you are thinking rebuilding the walls completely? I was reading about basement repair, and rebuilding the foundation walls completely sounded like it would mean having to dig up all the landscaping surrounding the entire house.

    Maybe this would be a good way to see if our Realtor is actually willing to put in time and effort for us ... so far, it hasn't really seemed like he's put in much, other than to show us houses WE found on two different days.

  10. PatientSaver Says:

    Oh, you have my sympathies. I agree with you, that the basement and garage are pretty much the same kind of space, good for fixing or repairing things and getting dirty. Wouldn't he go for it if you said look, hon, we could get a row of cabinets in here and set it up for you, etc.

    Just remember you will never see all the repairs/updates you'll end up making. There will always be some invisible to you until you've lived there a while. I hope you find the right house that makes you both happy

  11. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Thanks PS.

  12. ceejay74 Says:

    big ((hugs)) ... I would say just live apart for a while longer, take your time ... but I know from recent experience that once the bug to own your own house bites, it's hard to think of anything else. As you probably remember, we made the mistake of house-hunting a year or two before we were financially ready "just to get a feel for what's out there," and ended up falling in love with a shabby old giant that we just HAD to go for.

    It was the most stressful year of my life for sure, but now it feels so worth it. But it does test your relationship, and your wallet ... and we had to consider our relationship with two of our best friends as well as our marriage in the process. At least we weren't planning a wedding too, holy smokes!

  13. crazyliblady Says:

    Looking for a house can very stressful. When my dh and I did it about 5 years ago, we had the same kinds of problems. He would love one house that I hated. Or we would find a house that overall we hated, but it had one aspect that we loved. Finally, we resorted to each making our lists of must-have features. Then, we combined our must-haves, some of which were the same for both of us. Then, we took each house we had looked at and and made check marks indicating whether the houses had the must have features. We also did the same thing for the would really like to have features and the nice to have but not required. I think overall we wound up with a house we both like but will require getting some work done on it in little bits, and bigger bits, over time. Don't worry about whether the house is perfect, as long as it is perfect for you. Good luck on house hunting and your wedding. Big Grin

  14. Kaycee Fisher Says:



    Do you ever watch House Hunters on HGTV? The couples NEVER or at least very rarely ever agree on the style of house they want. It is almost comical. At least as a viewer of the show. Probably not so much as a participant.

    Also some of the people have the most unrealistic expectations. As I like to say, they have champagne dreams on a tap water budget.




  15. rob62521 Says:

    As frustrating as house hunting can be, I honestly believe you will know the house that is for you. Our first house not so much. We lived there 8 years and started going through open houses talking about things we liked and things we didn't. Eighteen years ago we just knew this house was the one for us. We didn't settle. Not that things are perfect, but we picked a few things that were must haves. Hang in there!

  16. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    Good luck! It's never easy. I find myself in the same situation.

  17. Dido Says:

    Wishing you good luck with the process. May a satisfactory option turn up soon!

  18. Rachael777 Says:

    FT..I thought I had subscribed to this to see if you responded but turns out either I did not or it did not work. Anyway I feel somewhat hampered advising you without all the information but I think I can say a few things. This may sound bold but you can and should ask for anything you want. There are clear issues with the foundation so there is no law or restriction against you saying to the seller, via realtor that before making an offer you want to get an estimate. Also no reason why you can or should not ask what the seller knows about the walls (cause, how long bowed, what have they tried, are their water issues etc etc). I suggest you do both. If your realtor will not assist then find another. also no reason to stay with a realtor. you have no ties with them. If they will not help then move on. But realistically all they are acting as is a mouthpiece or an avenue to talk to the seller. All they are really doing is probably making a call to the realtor or sending a note. Regarding what the fix is for your walls I can not give much thought without more information and am not a foundation person anyyway but if the walls are bowed I would be thinking you need to straighten/reinforce the walls. That CAN be done from inside too by the way without disrupting the landscape. From what I have learned in my experience is that bowed walls can sometimes indicate the foundation was inadequately prepared in the first place (not laid on gravel, laid on dirt) and it may have bowed in due to the lack of adequate bottom foundation and water. If the floors are leaning etc.. sometimes that can indicate the piers that hold the house up are rotted or getting old or again not laid on concrete. that is another issue but maybe that is not what you meant. I can tell you that I have learned that placing 'metal bands' or maybe this is what you meant by Ibeams in front of the wall to brace it does not work effectively. Hope that helps. if you want to talk offline we can do so but trying the best I can to give thoughts via this. Hard to give thoughts on first estimate but I would start pretty low and would estimate that based on homes in REALLY bad shape and then add some negative in there because so few people want to deal with foundation issues. You are not at the offer stage though as there are a lot of unknowns still htere and these unknowns can realistically become known or more known in less than a week by asking questions and getting an estimate. Also if these walls are bowed it would not be unheard of for some other homes nearby to have the same issue as it is often called by poorly prepared foundation. Are there near by build round the same time. ask then what they did or know

  19. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Thanks everyone! The last few days have been pretty busy. One thing that happened is that Mr FT found out that the house we love does NOT allow chickens within city limits. So ... that's out.

    He was over here last night, and I told him I was getting frustrated and that maybe we needed to take a break from hunting. He didn't like that idea ... So the hunt goes on. All the more frustrating now because he's got his mind set on a house outside of L, and anything inside of L has something or the other wrong with it. Oy vey!

  20. creditcardfree Says:

    It is better to find out about chickens before buying a home if that is a priority. There are fewer homes to choose from I would guess, but I would keep looking!! It just may not happen in time for the wedding, but finding the right place is most important. Smile

  21. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Yep, that it is. Smile

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