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My boyfriend and I are in the process of buying a 1,468 square foot, 4 bedroom, 2 bath, 2 story home with a 400 square foot screened-in patio on a conservation lot.

The lot is small and it needs a little bit of TLC (the kitchen and bathrooms have basic white plywood cabinets that we plan on replacing, needs blinds, etc.) but the home is located in a series of neighborhoods that is considered very valuable. As it stands now, homes in the area are appraising from the 150s-500s, depending on the individual neighborhoods. The area has some of the best schools in the state and very little crime activity.

Our house is the cheapest in the neighborhood at 119k. The next door neighbors’ houses (according to zillow.com) are worth about 200k. The home was foreclosed on and is very basic, so I can see why it’s so cheap, especially in this market.

We can afford the house, and are absolutely in love with it. But of course, it’s a big thing to buy your first house, and I’m a little nervous. Is this a smart move?
We’ve had two inspections done, and the only real problem is with two shingles on the roof above the garage causing a leak. The inspector estimated it would cost about $ 150 to fix. We also have a window that got its tracks warped, which the inspector estimated would cost about $ 200 to fix.
I’m in Florida and the only homes selling for 80k are in the ghetto.

7 Thoughts on Am I making a smart move in buying this house?
  1. Reply
    A Texas Tycoon
    August 7, 2011 at 10:41 pm

    On the surface it sounds like a great deal. Have your real estate agent run comparable sales to give you a true value of the house. Get inspections done and have a contractor give you a quote on the cost of the repairs. This way you will know the true market value and your total cost. If your total cost is below market you have a great deal.

    Good luck.

  2. Reply
    okey dokey
    August 7, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    YES!!! I think one of the most important parts of buying a house is the neighborhood it’s in. A place with low crime activity AND good schools sounds like a good deal for a safe place. Plus fixing up a house makes it all the more yours.

  3. Reply
    natureschaos2
    August 8, 2011 at 12:26 am

    The realtor should have specific information about what the houses in the neighborhood sold for. You need to see an appraisal of the property. The value really depends on the housing market in your town. In my neighborhood the houses are selling for the same amount as they were 3 years ago. No real growth in market value. My friend is in Florida and the $ 250K homes in foreclosure are selling for about $ 80K

  4. Reply
    Ken B
    August 8, 2011 at 12:44 am

    If it were me, based on the current economy and the fact that this is a forclosure and the fact that you want/need to do some work on the house, I’d offer about 90,000 or less. You might be suprised when they accept. Don’t believe anything the realtor tells you about the bank not accepting those types of offer. Make sure that you keep a copy of the offer and that it is presented to the seller. They will either decline it outright, or make a counter offer. This must be done in writing through your realtor. Ask your realtor for copies of these documents.

  5. Reply
    Sunshine Buttercup
    August 8, 2011 at 1:20 am

    If you are not married, find out the laws concerning property division in the event that you should break up. Come to an agreement while the two of you are happy so that you avoid fights later. And put it in writing, have it notarized, and each keep a copy. You should think as seriously about this as what kind of house and where it is.

  6. Reply
    Terry F
    August 8, 2011 at 1:28 am

    A place for you to live in is immediately worth the amount that you were paying in rent plus something for the advantages of ownership which are big.

    This sounds like a great deal if you are reasonably secure in your income so that you can continue to afford the payments. Sometimes that is expressed by asking if you plan to live there at least 5 years or so. If you plan to stay long, you can’t go wrong buying a home. Real estate is the best investment and your home has the huge advantage of being yours.

  7. Reply
    Real Estate Guy
    August 8, 2011 at 2:26 am

    You asked it buying this house is a smart move. I can’t answer about the house.

    But buying a house with a boyfriend is NOT a good idea. You didn’t say this person was your partner or fiance or someone that you plan to spend a long time with – you used the word boyfriend.

    Unless you can afford 100% of the house on your own, DO NOT get into a real estate transaction with just a “friend”.

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