I found a house

One of my new year’s resolutions is to buy a house.  I really, really want to have a place to call my own.  Someplace where the neighbors’ marijuana smoke doesn’t waft into my living room.  Someplace where I don’t hear gunshots with regularity.  Someplace where I can do laundry whenever I want.  Someplace where I can have a heater that works and appliances in my kitchen that are good, and….  you get the idea.

We almost have enough saved for a down payment.  If we’re really conservative we can buy a very small house by June.  So of course I’ve started dreaming and looking at houses for sale.  And of course I found one… and quickly found that it’s not the right house (whew!).

OK – it sounded awesome on the surface: 3 bedrooms, 1 bath, farmhouse style, 1.75 acres with a creek running through, hillside views, country living close to civilization.  All for $219K in the SF bay area.  My jaw dropped.  I mean, seriously?  So I looked closer because the 4 pictures I saw showed some work needed, and I found a video and 5 more photos.

You have to cross a bridge to get to the house.  The bridge was washed out in 2010 (I think).  The guy who owns the house rebuilt the bridge but without permits.  So first strike: need to get the bridge certified.

The house is water damaged.  There’s no sheet rock, real flooring or kitchen.  The foundation “needs work”.  And the roof is currently a ginormous tarp. I don’t know what it costs to fix a foundation, but I do know that my Mom’s kitchen was redone a few years ago for $30K, the bathrooms were $15k, the floors were $10k, and the roof for her single story home was $20k (this place is 2-story)…  it was all high-end stuff to be sure and this was just before the markets crashed, but it gave me an idea of how much money would need to be sunk into this house to make it livable.

No wonder the house is going for so cheap!!  To give you an idea, there’s another house with the same acreage and same square footage going for $670K just down the street from this one.

Oh well…  if I was a contractor or if I had the $150k+ to get all this work done I’d be all over it.  But I’m not and I don’t so I can’t.  Oh well.  That just means that there’s a better place for us, right?  Right.


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