Friday, December 30, 2011
Falling Into Place - Part 2
Ok, there was one thing I didn't mention in my post yesterday because I didn't want to jinx anything for the closing today...
...we bought another house!
It all started in the fall, when I was trying to demonstrate to someone what good deals there were in foreclosures in Saint Paul right now. I went to Edina Realty's website, and there was a house, tucked just behind the state capitol, and looking in pretty good shape, for $7,500.
A few days later, on the way to visit my mom's grave, I convinced Patrick to drive past it. We were pretty impressed by the neighborhood — it's charming, close by, and within walking distance to the new light rail. It's in an area I really had not paid much attention to before, kind of where Frogtown and the North End meet. We called our long-suffering realtor, who took us through it and was also pretty impressed (though he reports his colleagues asked "Where do you find these people?" "Well, the last house I showed them was $750,000...")
The house needed electrical work and plumbing, but was generally sound. We brought another long-suffering contractor friend through it, and he was also impressed.
So we placed an offer, which was accepted.
Except that the house was a Category 2 Registered property with the City of Saint Paul, which meant that the sellers (Freddie Mac, since it was obviously a foreclosure) had to get a Code Compliance report done. We insisted, and they eventually rejected our offer. Then we placed another offer, offering to pay for the code compliance report ourselves (we legally could not order one, since we were not the owners), and were again rejected. The house was supposedly "under offer" and went off the market. (In the meantime we went on a little "tour of foreclosures," and there is still a lot out there).
Then, in November, the house popped up again (for even less!), and this time, the listing agent had actually convinced the sellers to do a code compliance report. We placed an offer contingent on that report, and spent several nail-biting days waiting for the report. Finally, just after Thanksgiving it all came through — the work to be done was not too onerous, and we were cleared to go ahead. We still had some hurdles to clear with the city, but we made it through those.
So today, we closed on our $7,200 house!
(What are we going to do with it? Well, fix it up, and then my mother-in-law will live there when she moves up here this summer. There are two more parents after that, so you never know, we may be looking for more place...)