Last week we decided to tell our friends, whose house we’ve been wanting to buy since April, that we’re glad they had other interested people lined up behind us because we’re going to have to step away from it.
It’s a beautiful place; picturesque; country enough to be left alone but still close to shopping and other humans; a good-sized workshop and a lovely porch; a place for Tim’s aunt and uncle’s RV, home mail delivery, internet access, a dirt road that the neighbors are not responsible for…. pretty much everything we were looking for in a place. Plus, it would be easy. They need to sell it; we wanted to buy it. It would save them shopping it around and it would save us having to look at a million places.
Alas, it is not to be.
We actually still haven’t even heard from our bank – when last we talked to them about two weeks ago they were going to arrange for an appraisal (we had given them our friend’s appraisal but the bank was required to use their own). What we heard when we did talk to them was that it seemed they were reluctant to loan us that much more over the appraised value. While we could have come up with the difference… that difference was set aside to do two things that are necessary for us. One necessary thing was to be able to renovate their workshop — it’s fine just as it is used for, garage and storage, but if I’m going to be working in there all day every day, we would need to insulate and drywall the interior, and install an AC. Not to mention building more shelves than I have now, a couple of work tables, and we had plans to install a few skylights to get more natural light. The other thing we definitely need money for is to repair a few things in this house once we move out. New doors and doorframes from years of dog scratching, half the windows in this house we either can’t open because they don’t have screens or we can’t open because they’re broken, and the house has neither heat nor AC, which might need to be rectified in order to sell.
Making up the difference between the cost of the property and what the bank was willing to loan us would have left us, well, not a whole lot to do either of those things. Having a workable workshop for me is at least 50% of the reason we’re looking to move. If we can’t afford to do the renovations, and that keeps it unusable for an unspecified amount of time, would it be smart to buy it? And if we can’t do repairs on this house, that’s money we’d lose when selling it. If that means we get a lower price, or gawd forbid lose money on it, would it be smart to sell it?
So we decided that we needed to shop around, and look for something that maybe offered close to what we’d be getting in buying our friend’s property, but for not as much. Or something that came with a finished workshop, so even if it was close to what our friends were asking, there’d be one of the two things we need money put aside for, taken care of. And we’d only have to take care of repairing things in this house.
Did we pass on paradise? Maybe. But is there another place out there, a place where I might not have a lingering worry my dogs would hop a fence and suddenly find themselves on I-75? A place with a finished workshop? A place with a good area for a garden for Tim? Maybe. Stay tuned for another blog post, hopefully tomorrow. Because while you can’t always get what you want, if you try, sometimes, you just might find… you get what you need.