As a Realtor, my morning usually begins with me eating breakfast while I browse homes on the MLS. Most of the time I'm looking with a particular client in mind, but sometimes I'm simply looking at the market so that I'm familiar with current conditions. The morning of September 4th was no different. I was browsing around, mind half on what to make for dinner that night when a listing caught my eye. I was immediately intrigued. We'd been thinking of moving for a while- I really wanted a garage, and I wanted the kids to have their own bedrooms. I was not sure why this house in particular intrigued me so much. Yes, it had a 3 car garage. However, the lot was about half the size I wanted, it only had 4 bedrooms, and it was about half of the anticipated budget of the new house. It also was significantly smaller than I wanted- I wanted a house with at least 3500 sq feet, and this one was only about 2300 sq feet, which is 200 feet bigger than our current, incredibly cramped house.
It was a HUD home, and had been foreclosed on twice in as many years. Since I have the awesome luxury of having all four kids in school, I drove over to look at it. It was the typical "Utah Mushroom", which is a multi level. Kind of an updated twist on the "tri-level" that was all the rage a few years ago. Yet something about the house called to me. The house was filthy, and smelled very, very bad. The paint was atrocious. I still saw potential though.
This just SCREAMS potential, right? Well, to us, it did. We had both sets of parents walk through- with J's dad being a contractor and my dad owning an HVAC company, I knew they could determine whether structurally and mechanically it was sound. They deemed it to be not that bad. So, with less thought than I've put into some family dinners, we made an offer for the property. With it being a HUD home, there were all kinds of fun and different paperwork to do, but we got word the next day that our bid was accepted. Getting financing wasn't particularly easy. The appraiser, astute fellow that he is, noted that the house was missing flooring in the front room and the family room, as well as all major appliances. He noted that as a livability factor. Normally if there's livability factors, you have to get a special type of FHA financing. We didn't want to do that because then we'd be stuck with mortgage insurance, and we definitely didn't want that. We were able to convince the underwriter to let us close, and then have the appraiser come inspect the house 10 days after closing to confirm that there was flooring in those two areas, as well as a fridge, dishwasher, microwave and stove. This was deeply inconvenient because we had to tear out all of the flooring. I didn't want appliances in the house just yet. Plus, about a week after we closed, J was scheduled to go to Europe for two weeks. Nevertheless, we were able to fulfill those requirements. We closed as scheduled, and were able to show the appraiser that we had appliances in the kitchen and flooring in the main living areas. Jim jetted off to Europe, feeling bad that he left me with such a mess.