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Ergh Man buying a new place sucks

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Iowafun
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 955 Central Iowa
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2007-01-15          138822


Just a venting. I'm still living in a hotel since we can't seem to find a place to buy. I'm running out of "free" housing too!! We must have seen over 70 houses so far. Some are ok, but just not for us. Some just have concrete for a backyard. Some are weird and some have "quirks."

I've walked into some and immediately said "cat pee." Others make me ask "Why does every square inch of wall have to have wallpaper that I hate?" I don't mind removing wallpaper, but I do mind ever wall of every room including the one wall that runs from the top of the cathedral ceiling to the bottom of the basement stairs. One of my favorites was the house that we looked at because they dropped the price $80,000. That house had the original 1974 indoor-outdoor blue/green alternating stripe carpeting that was installed when it was built. Incomplete renovations. Botched renovations. I've almost seen it all.

Plain stupidity like the laundry room that is not plumbed or electrical run for laundry appliances because the owners wanted their units in the basement of the 2 story home. The laundry room is all there complete with overhead cabinets. Just no hookups for laundry. I know it can be fixed, but it will take time and money.

One weekend seemed to only have religious themed houses. The first one on that day had a religious message written on the glass shower door in makeup. I don't mind people being religious as that's their perogative. But when you are looking to buy a house, that message is plain freaky. Besides, the house beat up, smelled bad of cat pee and looked like it had a botched addition made.

I know people are proud of their homes but it isn't the 1970's anymore. Some elbow grease in the form of paint and ancient wallpaper will do wonders for buyers. One house was done in a contemporary theme, from the early 80's when Miami Vice was king of the network shows. The colors and decor were straight from the show.

Why are 2 car garages called 2.5? The only difference is the 2.5 car garage is wide enough so you can open your car door. I know your bathroom remodel is worthy of a home magazine photo spread. Looks beautiful. Except those neat bureau style vanities have no drawers, the small sink has no counter space and you didn't put in a medicine cabinet. So where do I put my toothbrush?

Sigh... Call me "Struggling Iowafun not having fun in Wisconsin"

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Ergh Man buying a new place sucks

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jimbrown
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 56 Cochise cnty Az
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2007-01-15          138824


we looked for 3 years over three counties and finaly just gave up and built one. Lots of luck finding a used one that has what you want and are willing to pay. All the ones we liked were way over priced and when you ask why they were selling you got Oh we are going right down the road and build a new one. Yep but not with my money. ....

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Ergh Man buying a new place sucks

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AV8R
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 882 North Central Wisconsin
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2007-01-16          138843


(try building one >:( )

When I put my site back up, I'll give the whole long winded story. Way too long for here.

What part of WI are you looking in? ....

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Ergh Man buying a new place sucks

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2007-01-16          138845


Iowa; About ten years ago when we built our current house we first looked in a nearby small town at two or three homes for sale. All were 50-75 yrs. old and needed windows, siding, roof, etc. Now remember this was ten years ago so I don't know if all of this still holds true or not, but after looking at the houses then talking with a local builder we could build a new home (1600 ft.) for less than buying one of the older ones and spending who knows how much to update. We've remodeled a couple older farm houses in the past and found that whatever you estimated it to cost, just double that and you will be about in the ballpark. Our advantage was that we allready owned the property where we built, but had to drill our own well, put in the drainage field, etc. and still came out cheaper than the older homes would have been. Big snaffo now is the old timber ground along any kind of stream or river that used to bring 300.00 dollars an acre 15 years ago now sells for more than prime farmland, so that might be a factor too if you want to get to the country. Just my rambling, good luck. Frank. ....

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Ergh Man buying a new place sucks

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2007-01-16          138851


iowafun, doubt with the age house you are looking at this will apply, but be sure about restrictions on changing the outside appearance. Some areas have strong restrictions. Normally in restricted neighborhoods or for houses of certain older age, often again in certain areas of town or such.

It sounds like you are workig with a real estate agent and it may be your company requires the use of a certain company, but find another source besides just one agent. Look for an agent that has been in the business years, knows the area and often knows property for sale, just with no signs on them. Be sure you are using an agent that lives in the area where you want to, not one town over. Often they only find the obvious. Also, be sure to ask your new coworkers.

Happy house hunting. ....

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AnnBrush
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 462 Troy OH
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2007-01-16          138861


There are plenty of decent houses around - you just have to be prepared to pay what everybody else is paying for them - generally in real estate there are no bargains to be had. It could be that you might need to reconsider what you are prepared to pay or lower your expectations a little? ....

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Ergh Man buying a new place sucks

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Iowafun
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 955 Central Iowa
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2007-01-16          138868


We are looking in the Milwaukee Metro area, but trying to stay out of Milwaukee since we don't like half the mortgage payment to be taxes. Plus I'm portly enough that a kevlar vest would make me look ridiculous.

One of the issue we are facing was the market turned from a seller's market to a buyers market. But many sellers have not adjusted for that and frankly, have an over-inflated opinion of their home. So the homes that are valued correctly and don't have major defects are selling. Problem is those homes are very few and far between right now.

We found one we like with 4 acres of property and at a good price. BUT, it is much further away than we want to be and put my worst day 50-60 minutes drive each way. That would be ok for me, but a contender for a job for my wife is in the local as my worst day. So she'd be doing the bad drive every day.

I made fun of the wallpaper, but we are looking past the color and the wallpaper since that can be fixed for relatively minor expense. I don't mind replacing carpet either for a home at the right price. So my focus is on the big stuff like layout, storage, usefulness, etc.

One factor is my wood shop equipment. I can run that in a basement, but the basement needs to have access such that the equipment can be placed down there, wood hauled down and projects hauled back up. So those narrow stairs with the 90 degree turn just don't pass the test.

One home I was starting to really like. Well, I hated the choice of vinyl siding (fake bare wood pattern) but there was nothing major wrong that I couldn't fix given time and a little cash. BUT then we hit the basement and I saw all the large black (not paint) spots on the floor joists. Or another house with ceramic tile in the entry. The tile was white/beige but the grout was a dark red. That house also required a complete gut and redo of the kitchen and two baths.

I know we are a bit picky, but when the realtor walks out of the house and says the home is over-priced based on what she saw, well, it backs up my opinion. Another problem we face is this market also has a lot of home owners that do not want much yard maintenance. So they build large homes on micro-lots. So the backyard is 5 feet of grass past the deck. That won't work for our kid.

So it's tough to find a balance of needs and trade-offs. We have houses would could live with, but for that kind of money I don't want to just live with it. I realize I have been spoiled with the land and shop I had in Iowa. It may be that our lifestyle is far less compatible with the suburban life than we anticipated. ....

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____________________________________________________________________________________
Ergh Man buying a new place sucks

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yooperpete
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1413 Northern Michigan
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2007-01-16          138870


Iowa fun:
For your workshop, it sounds like you need either a pole barn, a 3 car garage or a walkout basement on the side of a hill.

Buyer beware, you really need to watch for mildew, drainage, leaks of any kind, electrical and plumbing nightmares. Many sellers spend a great deal of energy covering up the flaws.

Wallpaper, paint and floor coverings can be easily replaced, but at a cost. You need to lowball anyplace that you find suitable but not up to your standards to make it worthwhile. It is a buyer's market nearly everywhere in this country.

Lots of luck! P.S. Heard Whirlpool signed the deal selling the Maytag property where you worked before. ....

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Ergh Man buying a new place sucks

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cutter
Join Date: Feb 2000
Posts: 1303 The South Shore of Lake Ontario, New York
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2007-01-16          138881


I sure have been that route here in NY! We ended up buying a 70's house because we liked the location, the land and everything but the condition of the house.

Fifteen years and almost double the initial cost later we have new roof, siding, insulation, electric service, two bathrooms, windows, removed all wallpaper {yuk}, carpet (hardwood floors underneath), new chimney, water service, in-ground pool and barn. Just to mention some of the bigger stuff.

Would I do it again? NO WAY!!!! ....

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Ergh Man buying a new place sucks

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Iowafun
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 955 Central Iowa
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster  View my Photos  Pics

2007-01-17          138890


Cutter, I hear ya. I spent quite a bot of time fixing or upgrading the last two homes I owned. I'd like to live and spend time with my family. So that is a factor I cam keeping a close eye on! ....

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2007-01-19          138903


Iowa; I'm sure you have investigated the modular homes that they bring over here from Wisconsin, and also there is a big plant in Dyersville, Ia. Two couples who have had trailers similar to ours on the Turkey river in northeast Iowa decided to make that their permanent homes so both bought manufactured homes from a company in Wisconsin, both have invited us to see their new homes, they are just plain nice, and both toured the plant where they were built. One is a retired carpenter and he was impressed with the quality of the materials and workmanship. The comment of one of the couples was that they weren't on any budget,(I'm sure they just wrote a check for it)that they liked the "While we're at it syndrome" of building a stick built home goes away, once you sign the contract you know all the coats and other than maybe the utility hookup costs nothing changes. Neither of them have basments, but a young couple just north of us to which a known budget was important do have a basemant. I don't remember the exact time frame of their homes, but it seems like they bought in early fall and were in before Christmas. I'd give you the brand name of their homes but I don't remember, but they did come from Wisconsin. Just a passing thought. Frank. ....

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harvey
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 1539 Moravia, NY
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2007-01-19          138905


I just got back from out there. Went up to Clearbrook, MN to pick up a piece of equipment and stopped in Mequon, WI for a crusher part.

I would not live in suburbia for all the money... out in the country many nice old farm steds. All kinds of old farm treasures in hedge rows. Great looking country, great people, they still wave when you drive by. I did go up to Richfield, WI that is also nice looking country.

I guess it depends on how far you are willing to comute.

4-5pm Milwaukee was a struggle in traffic. 6-7:30 pm the road into and out of Chicago was bumper to bumper 15 MPH. Now I know why IL has such strong anti gun laws. People would simply shoot themselves rather than fight that traffic every day.

Good Luck hunting ....

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