click on the pics to enlarge them quick
After many weekends of looking at houses, mostly found by searching many weeknights on the internet, we have found some we like enough to maybe buy. The pictures above are of our top choice. It is also the one that needs the most work. It is bank owned, and while it was unoccupied, some pipes burst. The refinished walk-out basement had water in it. The flooring from the basement will have to be taken out and replaced. And some water soaked up into the drywall, so the lower part of that will have to be replaced. The light fixtures and wood stove the previous owners took with them when they bailed out will also have to be replaced. But, it is bank owned in a glutted market, so we are hopeful that we can put in a low bid that would allow us to use a big chunk of the money we got from the sale of our old house for the repairs and yet end up with a lower monthly mortgage payment than if we spent the same money totally on the down payment of a move-in ready house.
Second choice is a for sale by owner home that has a mother-in-law apartment over the garage. That apartment is the only bit of fixing up that is needed and if we bought the house, we were thinking we'd convert it into the master bedroom suite. It needs better floor covering, some work on the stair railings, and a solution to how bright it would be on moonlit nights shining in through the skylights. But certainly not as much as the first house.
Third choice is an absolutely beautiful place that suffers from being a little further away from amenities that the others, and from a very steep unpaved driveway that my little car would not be able to climb in the winter. We would have to talk the price down enough to allow us to buy at least one 4-wheel drive vehicle and the asking price is already over our budget.
Fourth choice only needs to have rugs in the living room and basement family room replaced. We might want to get a little bit more customization done, but the rugs would make it ready to move in if we wanted.