Saturday, June 9, 2012

Shouldn't always listen to Realtors

But does it have Central Air?
During the early years of my house hunting research, there have been a few houses that I liked enough to consider buying but were way out of my price range.

Even with an FHA loan maximum of $417K (and 3.5% down) these homes were still out of reach.  The interest rates were somewhere between 5.5 and 6% which, factoring in salary and other variables, put my comfort level at around $375K.

There's this house on Tripp which once listed at $499000 and then dropped to $439K after 509 Days on the Market (DOM), it finally sold for $375K. 

And this one on Berteau listed for $474,900 when I happened up it in late fall of 2008.  It ended up selling for $410K in October of 2009.

And this one on Kilpatrick was originally listed for $519,900 and ended selling also in October of 2009.

And the realtor that showed me the home, hoping to become my buyer agent, said that the seller would never, never, NEVER come down to my price range, yet in each case, they pretty much did or came very close. 

Of course it isn't that cut and dry. It was the beginning of the bust and while it was bad, no one really knew or admitted just how bad it was going to get. Interest rates were good but not nearly as low as they are today. Interest rates are now below 4% which means I would be hating that I couldn't refi my 5.5 - 6% loan.

I didn't realize how hard it would be to sell my 2/1 condo or get financing if I didn't. I suppose I'm lucky that I didn't get those houses because the time wasn't right, tough circumstances have occurred and my needs have shifted.

In 2008-2009 I wanted to live within walking distance of the Irving Park or Jefferson Park Blue Line Station. I really wanted to live in Old Irving Park because I really thought I could somehow get a Queen Anne Style Victorian for bargain basement price.

Now that requirement has been supplanted by access to the expressway. My job turned from Heaven to Hell and I had to leave in for brighter pastures in Suburbia and an increase in pay that would have taken 2-3 more years at the law firm to achieve. Fiancé 1.0 bailed and was replaced with SigOther 2.0 who happily became Wife Final Edition.

Now that I've done more research and investigating, I know that fixer-uppers need to be closer to Move-in-Ready than simply Move-in-Condition. All in all, the realtor probably did me a solid by not helping me chase that pipe dream.

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