A quick update before the weekend…
The Corn House is still on the market — 50 days and counting. While I’m not too terribly surprised (like I’ve mentioned before, it was my first purchase and I’ve learned a lot since then), it’s a little disappointing to have such a nice house just sitting on the market with no offers. On the bright side, the few people that have looked at it have had some very good reactions. One put in an offer but couldn’t get financing, and another would have put in an offer had it not been in a location that reminded them of the middle of nowhere (it’s about 2 miles from a major shopping area, but it seems like a lot more than that).
We found that we had a roof leak when we last had some major rain; specifically, one of the HVAC vent pipes that goes up through the roof wasn’t properly sealed, and water was coming into the attic and staining the bathroom ceiling. The good news is that we had a roofing company come out, and for $225 we had maintenance done on the entire roof — including gutter cleaning, rust-free vent painting, and a thorough inspection of the entire roof. The bad news is that the $225 officially put us over budget for this project. While it’s only a little bit over, it’s still a bad feeling. But, at least we don’t have to worry about ceiling stains any more.
The Second Chance House is days away from completion.
On Thursday, the electricians and plumbers finished up, and we finally got running water and light in the house; all the recessed lighting and new fixture look fantastic! On Friday, the second coat of polyurethane is going down on the hardwood floor, over the weekend we’ll walk through with our GC and point out all the minor issues that need to be touched up, and then on Monday we have carpet going down and a shower door being installed. After that, we just need to stage and put up the window treatments, and we’re ready to market it.
Because our first set of staging furniture is still at The Corn House, my wife bought another set. It will be delivered on Tuesday, and hopefully by the end of the day on Tuesday, we’ll have some final pictures to post.
The big question now is whether to put this property on the market before Christmas or not. While we don’t expect to get a lot of traffic between now and the New Year, would it really hurt us to put it on now?
We’ve considered a few different options:
- Wait until January 1 to start marketing the house altogether
- Don’t put the house on the MLS until January 1, but start marketing (signs, Craigslist, etc) as soon as it’s ready
- Put the house on the market as soon as it’s ready at it’s planned list price
- Put the house on the market as soon as it’s ready at an inflated list price, expecting that we probably won’t get many takers before the New Year anyway. Then drop the price on January 1, which should draw some attention from buyers who start looking after the holidays
If anyone has any suggestions, shoot me an email or post a comment…
We’ve made a bunch of offers over the past week, but none have come to fruition. Of the 5 offers we’ve made, 2 were rejected outright, 2 we received counter-offers that were nowhere near good enough, and one we’re still waiting to hear back on, despite our deadline being this past Wednesday. The two houses that we received counter-offers on we had considered re-countering, but both ended up having issues that would have caused problems down the road.
One of the houses had roosters next door (this in a rather urban area), and the other had three pit bulls next door that were tied up outside during the day and certainly would have driven off potential buyers with their incessant barking. I’m glad we made a couple trips to each of these houses; otherwise we may not have noticed these “minor” details.
All-in-all, it’s been a very slow month. Not much has come on the market, and banks seem to be very reluctant to budge on their prices. I think much of it has to do with the recent “foreclosure freeze,” where a number of lenders have chosen to not pursue foreclosures over the holidays. This means that a lot of foreclosures will likely take place after the first of the year, and then a lot of new REO properties will come on the market in the February time-frame.
And we’ll be ready!