02 May 2012

Short Sale

I had scheduled to see homes with our realtor on Saturday, April 21 weeks before we left Oklahoma.  I narrowed it down to ten homes I had found on-line.  Two of those homes had gone pending in the couple of days since I had made the list so we couldn't see those so we went and saw eight homes the day after we arrived in New Mexico.  Quentin was such a trooper.  He did have a breakdown during the last two homes, but we made it through.  There were three homes that really stuck out to us and I felt like we were on an episode of "Home Hunters" on HGTV.  

One was totally move-in ready had granite counter tops and laundry upstairs.  It was nice.  I didn't have a lot of privacy in the back yard and there were empty lots in the back and front of the house so there is a lot dirt and probable construction in the near future.  It was also at the top of our budget even though it was a foreclosure.

The second home was also a foreclosure.  It was spacious and the bank had painted it so it looked good inside.  We liked the layout and the price.  We really loved the price.  The major problem was that although there were no backyard neighbors there is a busy road in the back and lots of dirt (a problem when it comes to sand storms).  The neighbors were really friendly, the guy across the street is running for U.S. Senate as an independent, and there were lots of cars the street.  It was hard to get through because there were so many cars and people outside.  

The third home was the home we had been looking at on-line non-stop.  It is over 3700 sq ft and has a .24 acre lot and is a short sale.  I had talked to the listing agent while still in Oklahoma and she said it just needed paint and new carpet so we were a little surprised at the condition of the home.  The listing said "well maintained" and "backyard oasis."  Maybe five years ago.  The upstairs smells like dog urine and the living room has painted concrete flooring.  Not exactly what I was expecting.  The price is at the top of our budget, but it's really worth a lot because of the high end fixtures and upgrades.  It has five bedrooms and three full bathrooms upstairs and a 1/2 bath and office downstairs.  Huge!  It's in a quiet and somewhat affluent neighborhood with lots of big well-maintained homes.

That night we narrowed it down to the last two and the next day we revisited them after we went to the church in the ward where we would go if we bought the third home.  People were pretty there and said they liked the neighborhood.  Albert took loads of pictures of both homes and we were really torn between the two.  We couldn't decide.  The cheaper home seemed so much more reasonable.  It didn't need a lot of work and it was cheap!  Plus our realtor said the bank would probably cover the closing costs while they never do with short sales.

That night while praying about it I felt like we'd better at least try and get the short sale otherwise we would regret it.  It needs a lot of work, but it has potential to be our dream home.  We wanted something we could put our mark on and this definitely has enough room.  Albert said he felt the same way so we called our realtor on Monday and said we wanted to put in an offer.  We also discovered that the second home was now pending anyway so it wasn't much of a decision anymore.  

living room/dining area with painted concrete floors

family room & Christmas decorations



from family room facing kitchen and eat in area


kitchen

backyard oasis

loft with bar

view of Sandias from front bedrooms

luxurious master bedroom

Tuesday, April 24 we put in an offer for 10% below asking price.  It's low and I worry maybe it was too low, but it's been on the market for over six months as a short sale with a couple offers that have fell through because the bank has been taking too long. We are worried about having enough cash to pay the 20% down payment and have enough money left over for renovations and furniture so we'll have to see what the bank comes back with on the counter offer.  The listing agency has merged with another agency and has taken their listings off market.  They said they were going to put it back on as pending, but it still says expired.  This is good for us since no one else will put in a bid.

At church on Sunday we met a guy who is a real estate agent and his client is one of those who put in an offer on the house and after waiting three months for a response from the bank, found another home.  We hear that Bank of America has a bad reputation for taking their time on short sales, but they have a new system that's supposed to stream line things.  Also they say that after there has been an offer that falls through, it goes faster the next time because there is a system set up for that property.  The lending agent said that she expected a response from the bank in two weeks.  When I spoke to her while I was in Oklahoma she said the last counter offer came back in three weeks so I'm planning two to three weeks.

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