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The House Hunters Thread

dcgator

Brilliant_Rock
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I just wanted to pop in and say congrats to Blen for getting through all the drama with the new place. I bet you are so excited to close and then move in!

Charbie - Yeah for getting your place all pretty and ready to show. I hope it moves quickly!

AFM, I may be joining this thread soon. DH and I are contemplating putting our place on the market, but it would probably be a few more weeks before we do. I will keep you ladies informed though.

Good luck to everyone else trying to buy or sell!
 

stephbolt

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Well, our inspection went great other than one small repairable plumbing issue that the seller agreed to provide a concession for. So now we are just waiting out the whole loan approval process. Our offer was not contingent on the sale of our current home, we can afford to carry both mortgages, and may consider renting if we can't get any action.

Thank goodness it wasn't, because we have had no interest in our place so far. I'm hoping it was just the holiday weekend and we will start to get a few people this week and weekend. We did have a showing scheduled yesterday but they canceled at the last minute due to a family emergency, who knows if they will reschedule or not.

Charbie, how was your open house? Are you getting any interest? Sending lots of house selling vibes to you!

DCGator, welcome! Any updates?
 

charbie

Ideal_Rock
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Yay steph! That's so exciting! So...what's next on your list? When are you hoping to close??

I wish we could carry two mortgages so I could actually get excited about this process. Right now I'm just feeling lost without "our" home. We haven't had an open house yet. The house is on an office tour today for all of the agents in our agents office, then tomorrow is on a local tour for all of the agents in our area. We hope that generates business. The open house is at the end of the month.
We haven't had bites yet, but I mean...its been a week.

On the other end, we have our buyers agent and gave her our list of preferences. She is hopefully going to have some homes lines up for me to see in the next week. DH came up with a great list of our non negotiables, wish list, etc so we can narrow things down better. We have two homes picked out off the internet that we are also interested in, so she is aware and should be getting me in there soon too.

DC! Where are you looking to go to? I had a great time visiting the city...such great places there. I can only imagine the expense of living in the city tho.
 

Blenheim

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Well, we are closing on Friday morning!!! It's hard to believe that it's finally almost here.

I've been a little bit panicky about money ever since making the huge transfer from savings on Tuesday... We've been planning on it and we have extra enough in reserve, but damn it's a little scary to spend that much at once! We were thinking of doing a little bit of work to the house before moving, but have decided that we're going to go ahead and move in first, and live in it some and save up some additional money before we make any big decisions. We had one set of grandparents offer to babysit on Saturday, and another offer to help move on Friday/Saturday (we're both taking off of work on Fri but are dropping G off at daycare anyway), and so we're just going to try to get the move done this weekend - or at least try until we wear ourselves out, haha.

Even without doing any major renovations, we still have a looong list of things that we need to do. Some are just typical house maintenance type things and should be fairly low-cost at least (trimming bushes and weeding, and replacing and painting some of the outside trim, for instance). We've also been planning on doing a bit of restructuring of our personal finances (i.e. start 529, consolidate retirement accounts) but have been holding off until we close on the house, so we're going to tackle that sometime soon too. Plus all of the typical moving nonsense: changing addresses, drivers licenses, utilities (still need to decide what we're doing for internet), all that. It's more than a little bit intimidating just thinking about all of it. But we are so excited to be moving forward and can't wait until we're all settled in.

DCGator - thank you! And how exciting that you may be moving soon. Any idea where you'll be looking, if you don't mind saying?

Charbie - I hope that the upcoming house tour goes well! Do you think you may start to feel more excited about the process once you start looking at houses?

Steph - I'm glad to hear that the inspection went well. While the market's a bit slow, I'd imagine that people looking at real estate this time of year are probably more serious. Hopefully that one family will be able to resolve whatever the emergency is and make it back out. And worst case, it sounds like you're in a really good position where you don't need to sell and can look at renting it or letting it sit for a while. Good luck!
 

NewEnglandLady

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Blenheim!! Congrats!!! I'm so excited for you!!

I definitely understand how scary it is to finally write that huge check (in our case, it was two checks--one when signing in the P&S and one at closing). I went through the same panic--and like you, I knew that was what the money was FOR, but it was years of savings and not exactly easy to just hand over! Seriously, though, once the check was in their hands and we got our keys, I was really excited. I think you'll be surprised at how easy it is to just put it behind you and focus on saving for those renovations (Which is exactly what we're doing).

I have to say, the inexpensive "sprucing up" projects go A LONG way. I dove into a few as soon as we bought our house. There were just some things that were a bit run-down. Several weekends of hard work and a few hundred bucks on paint went a very long way. I was pleasantly surprised at the difference it made! I think my house "to do" list will likely be never-ending, but I hear that's the way it goes. I think since it's your house, you don't mind working on it so much, you know?

I'm excited to hear how everything goes!! I'm so glad you have some babysitting lined up--hopefully you can upack quickly and then tackle those looming projects :) Good luck!!
 

stephbolt

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Congrats on closing this weekend Blenheim! I hope the move goes smoothly.

Charbie, house selling luck to you!! I think what Blen said is true, there are fewer buyers this time of year but they are more serious (and likely will want to get in a home by the end of the year). We are tentatively closing on Oct. 15th.

When we dug up our front garden last year we found a statue of St. Joseph someone had buried for previous house selling luck. We've kept him on the porch since then but last night we reburied him. Maybe it will give us the selling luck we want!
 

dcgator

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Hello everyone,

Thanks for asking about us. We have yet to "officially" jump into the home sales process, but we did do some house hunting last weekend to see what is available in the market. We acutally looked in different area than where we are currently living (Blen - on the fringe of the Beltway, but more south than we are now) and were pleasantly surprised at the offerings there. The price is definitley still up there, but not as bad as closer in and it also feels more like a smaller town rather than a traffic nightmare, so that is nice. I think the hunting opened up a lot more questions thought about just how long we intend to be in this area and as a result, should we be buying again or just laying low. So, I imagine we will be pondering that for the next couple weeks. In any event, we can't really start doing any beautifying on the condo until closer to the end of the month, so that would preclude us from listing right now. So, I guess we are in a bit of a holding pattern right now, but I don't think that will stop us from looking ;-)

Steph - Congrats on the almost closing! That's a bummer about the slow progress on your old place, but I am going to chalk it up to the holiday weekend, b/c when we were out last week, there were only 2 open houses, and usually there are TONS. Fingers crossed that you will get some more activity soon. That's cute about the saint statue. Hopefully it will do the trick!

Charbie - How did the agent tours go? Hopefully some of them have some eager buyers! I imagine the whole shopping while selling can be stressful, but hoepfully you guys will get a bite soon. Glad to hear you enjoyed visiting this area. Yes, it can be ridiculously pricey, but it's a pretty cool place otherwise. Sorry that we couldn't meet up, but next time you are in town, let's GTG, with Blen too :)) .

Blen - I hope that you have closed already or are in the process of closing :appl: Don't worry too much about the money, b/c when you get all moved in and you have a lovely house to call your home, it will all be worth it! Good luck with the move this weekend. Hopefully you will be able to get most of it done.

I hope you all have enjoyable (and efficient) weekends!
 

charbie

Ideal_Rock
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So we had two house tours last week with agents. Our agent said that overall, people felt it was fairly priced, we're just in a market that has a lot of homes in it, so we are going to be in for a while. She had two minor things for us to maybe fix up. One was a board on our deck (we already took care of it) and the other was possibly tearing up some carpet. However, I have a feeling there isn't wood under the carpet like she hopes, so I doubt we'll do it. I know our house hasn't been on the market long, I just have this gut feeling it's not going to be an easy sell. Which means we will be in a bitty house in a bad neighborhood for quite some time. But hopefully DH and I can save more money during this time to come up with a better down payment than $0.

On the other end of things, we looked at one home so far. I L :love: VED most of the things about it. The flow of the home was nice, it is HUGE, but I wasn't crazy about the kitchen. I dunno...for 20-30k less, we can get a newer, nicer home that isn't quite as big, but doesn't cut all the corners I felt like that the contractor cut. None of the fixtures matched, molding looked a bit shoddy, and the deck was a MESS. 2 fun things happened tho- my husband who was 2 hours away came straight down to the house after work to surprise me and spend the night in our "new" town. I was looking in the backyard when here comes DH walking down the hill from the front yard. It was his last day of work that Thurs, so he decided last minute since he didn't have anything going on Friday to just come down to see me and the house. :love: second- we got to see DH's cousin's kids. The cutest kiddos ever. The 4 yr old came to look at the house with us and didn't get the whole concept. So he walks in and says, "Where are your dogs?" and got really upset when we tried explaining to him that this wasn't our house yet.

DH had a meeting at the bank on Friday, and we have been pre-approved for quite a sum of money. We don't need NEARLY the amount they are offering us, but it's nice to know that we can afford a great home with only little money down and still have a very very reasonable monthly payment.
 

Blenheim

Ideal_Rock
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Self-centered post as I am exhausted and need to go to bed.

Closing went pretty smoothly on Friday. We have been so busy ever since. We have:
-- Moved everything except for G's crib and our clothes and toiletries. We will probably move these on Saturday and then begin sleeping over at the house.
-- Painted 3 rooms.
-- Picked up and installed washer and dryer.
-- Trimmed back some tree limbs.
-- Removed tree... We were going to trim it back but then FIL asked if anyone minded if he removed it, as it was fairly ugly and dying. We thought that was probably for the best and gave him the go-ahead. One of our neighbors came by with some extra tree-removing tools and gave us a hand.
-- Hosted house-warming party.

Whew!

I thought that the kitchen was well laid out, but evidently all of the cabinet shelves are fixed and are too low for things like bottles of olive oil, or balsamic vinegar, or vodka. They're also too narrow to fit quite a few of our things into (like pots and serving dishes). WTF.

My dad brought us "Bread, so that this house may never know hunger; salt, so that life may always have flavor; wine, that joy and prosperity may reign forever." It was very sweet.

NEL - I think that paint should go a long ways, in addition to cleaning up landscaping and power-washing and mending the deck and fence. George already found a (real, adult) hammer and started "fixing" the deck for us... yikes.

And... bed. Now. Later!
 

charbie

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Wow Blen! Talk about getting busy! How exciting! It know how fun it is to get started and really make the house your own!

And I LOVE how cute that G wants to "help"...I know it is a bit scary that he found a real hammer...but cute nonetheless!
 

stephbolt

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Congratulations on closing and getting into the new place, Blenheim! I am so looking forward to that point, even though I know there is going to be a lot of cleaning before we can even think about moving stuff in. If we close as scheduled on the 15th, our goal is to have everything in the new place by Halloween.

We're dealing with jumping through some hoops for the mortgage. Since we are going to be carrying both mortgages, they require we have a six month cushion to pay PITI on both of them. This requirement is lowered to two months cushion if we have greater than 30% equity in the current home (based on the value range on zillow, we have somewhere between 25% and 40%). But our lender says they can't find a record of our current home so they have no idea what the value is and therefore what % equity we have. DH bought the home three years ago and the mortgage is through the same lender, so there must be a record of the value somewhere! We are sending the lender every document we can find to try and help them. So frustrating. We don't think the house will fall through over this but definitely not something we anticipated. Wanted to share in case anyone else finds themselves in the two mortgage scenario.
 

kama_s

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We just bought a house today! Around 2 months ago our landlord called us to tell us he would like to sell our condo at the end of our lease, which would be end of February. We weren't sure if we wanted to keep renting or buy a house. My husband doesn't consider a house an investment, as he gets a better return on investments. Besides, for a while, we were conteplating living the international lifestyle, working abroad in Europe and travelling. Anyways, after much thought, we decided to jump in with both feet and start the house hunt. We saw almost 30 houses, and nothing was even remotely good. Our current condo is pretty sweet, highrise on the lake with floor-to-ceiling windows, so we weren't ready to settle for anything mediocre. But, unfortunately, prices in our city for houses are absolutely ridiculous, over 700K for something half decent and not rotting.

When we saw this house, we fell in love. Hard. And fast. The only reason the house was still in the market is because the sellers were crazy people. They rejected offers that were more than 70K than what WE offered!! :-o We were in negotiations for close to two weeks and several times our offer was just plain thrown out the window. After much perseverance, they finally signed the damn papers TODAY! We close for mid feb, which leaves us with a 2 week overlap with our current lease.

Home inspection is scheduled for this weekend, hopefully nothing major comes up. Without further ado, I present to you pictures of our new home sweet home!

(The pictures were taken by the sellers, so the furniture etc is not ours)

3_4.jpg 4_4.jpg 5_2.jpg 6_1.jpg 7_5.jpg 8_6.jpg 9_5.jpg 11_0.jpg 12_0.jpg 16_0.jpg 19_0.jpg
 

NewEnglandLady

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Kama, I am so glad this ended up working out for you (I sort of followed it on the random comments thread)! It's a gorgeous house and the timing will work out really well. I definitely understand the frustrations of finding something you love in a high-cost area, plus not seeing a home as an investment, per se, because we were the same way. Being on the other side, though, it's so nice to really have a "home". Especially one you really love--so enjoy the home for what it is and leave the investments in the market :)

Congrats and please keep us (me?) updated on the inspection. This home looks really well-taken-care of and fairly new, so I can't imagine you'll run into any real issues!
 

stephbolt

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Congrats kama! Those hardwoods in the living and dining room make me swoon!

I forgot about this thread! We've owned our new place for just over a month and been in there for 2.5 weeks. Loving it so far, although moving into a house with a huge yard and mature trees in October is quite a challenge. We have become expert leaf rakers. We got a home warranty paid for by the sellers as part of our contract, I highly recommend it to anyone looking. It's let us take care of a lot of minor issues that have come up (in large part due to the deferred maintenance (our house was vacant for two years)) without going broke. We are responsible for a $60 copay for any issue that arises, but as I said it's been worth it so far (hope not to continue using it at this rate).

We've also got our old home under contract, will settle on that in a month if all goes smoothly. It was really a twist of fate how we managed to sell it. We had it on the market for a month and a half, with one showing, including an open house that no one attended. We went to closing on our new place, and in chatting with the seller's agent for the new place, discovered he had clients looking in the area of our old house. Printed out a sheet of info for him right there, he had them in for a showing three days later and an offer that night. We know how lucky we are that it worked out like this!
 

NewEnglandLady

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Stephbolt, congrats on selling your home! That is fantastic and a great stroke of luck!

I'm so glad to hear you're loving the new house! We're in the same boat--that huge yard and all those mature trees seemed so wonderful this summer, but now we're paying the price! This weekend we took 60 bags of leaves to the town refuse place and still have a bit left to do!
 

charbie

Ideal_Rock
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Kama, that house is GORGEOUS! I am so jealous! Everythng about it....just incredible. I'm dying for a pool at our next place.
Steph: what a great twist of fate! Glad you're enjoying the new house. We have trees at our old house, so we have made trips home every other week to tackle them. How exciting that it all has worked out...if only we were so lucky....

Our house has been on the market for 3 months, 1 scheduled showing, 2 people coming to the open house. Ugggh. So we are now at the point of considering renting. We've already lowered it as far as we can, so I think renting it for qa few years might work. Since we could get financed for both, we probably will go that route after the first of the year. We have gone through two homes and really liked them both. If we were settled into some better situation with our old home, we could have jumped on it with either one. But we weren't quick enough, and they are gone now :( there is one home now we really really like, so we may put an offer on soon! There is just soooooo much inventory out there now, with more going up all the time, so I'm confident we will get a new home in the next few months.
 

stephbolt

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Charbie, I'm sorry to hear you are having so much trouble selling...I've been thinking about you since we put our places on the market around the same time. What kind of feedback did you get from the few showings you've had? We were getting ready to list our place for rent when we got our offer, figured having it for rent or sale let us be open to whatever opportunity came along and have extra money sooner.
 

sunseeker101

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Wow Kama, what an absolute drool-fest of a house. Absolutely stunning :love: Congrats on netting a dream!!
 

kama_s

Ideal_Rock
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NewEnglandLady|1290020510|2770151 said:
Kama, I am so glad this ended up working out for you (I sort of followed it on the random comments thread)! It's a gorgeous house and the timing will work out really well. I definitely understand the frustrations of finding something you love in a high-cost area, plus not seeing a home as an investment, per se, because we were the same way. Being on the other side, though, it's so nice to really have a "home". Especially one you really love--so enjoy the home for what it is and leave the investments in the market :)

Congrats and please keep us (me?) updated on the inspection. This home looks really well-taken-care of and fairly new, so I can't imagine you'll run into any real issues!
Thank you, NEL! We knew this was the house for us the moment we stepped in. Much before beginning the house hunt, we had decided we were going to skip the starter house and just go directly to our forever house. I'm glad we decided to wait until we were financially comfortable to be able to afford it, because I would never have found a house that I loved as much had we bought something 4 years ago. I just can't believe how ridiculous the housing market is for us. We watch a lot of the home hunter shows, and a small well-maintained house under 1800 sq ft is 750K in a good neighborhood. Who on earth can afford that?!! I'd really like to know who can afford those 2 million $ houses, and what exactly do they do as a living. :confused:

Excited and nervous for the home-inspection tomorrow. The house has a flat roof over the garage, and that is what I am most worried about. That said, every small detail in the house is thought of carefully and it's just so incredibly well-maintained, that I think the inspector would be hard pressed to find a serious flaw. At least, one can hope so.

The house is actually around 50-60 years old, so fairly old. But the inspector was telling me that between the 40's and 60's, the best houses were built in our city. The infrastructure was solid and the best materials were used. Which is probably why it looks newer than a typical 60 year old house.

Will definitely keep you guys in the loop. This is a very new area for us since I've never really lived in a house or in the 'burbs, so this is bound to be a major shock to my system. I must take good notes from our home inspector on how to maintain the house as well as the sellers have thus far.

Also, thank you so much: Stephb0lt, Charbie and Aeolianarpa
 

kama_s

Ideal_Rock
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Stephb0lt: Congratulations on your new house! Can't wait to see pics of it all dressed up for the holidays! What solid fate have you, managing to buy and sell your house through the same agent, just by a random stroke of luck!

Charbie: So sorry to hear you are having issues selling your house. Have you tried staging it? Honestly, I was so surprised by the number of people who could not look past ugly furniture, or a room with red paint (not saying yours is). My hubby just couldn't wrap his head around a house if it were devoid of furniture. He has no concept of space and how things would fit in, so he would veto the house right off the bat because an empty house would look "odd" to him. Sending major luck to you!
 

yssie

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Kama your new house is gorgeous :bigsmile: I just had to come here from the hangout thread to see your pics!! :appl:
I hope the inspection goes well!


We're doing the same - saving for the next few years for our forever house, because there's no such thing as an 'affordable starter home' around here!
 

charbie

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kama_s|1290187832|2772997 said:
Stephb0lt: Congratulations on your new house! Can't wait to see pics of it all dressed up for the holidays! What solid fate have you, managing to buy and sell your house through the same agent, just by a random stroke of luck!

Charbie: So sorry to hear you are having issues selling your house. Have you tried staging it? Honestly, I was so surprised by the number of people who could not look past ugly furniture, or a room with red paint (not saying yours is). My hubby just couldn't wrap his head around a house if it were devoid of furniture. He has no concept of space and how things would fit in, so he would veto the house right off the bat because an empty house would look "odd" to him. Sending major luck to you!
Thanks for the shout out...yes, the house is staged. Actually, our real estate agent is a professional stager, so we've got our furtinure put in different loction and such. It shows really, really well actually. We repainted a few rooms to neutralize the house, actually. We lowered the price, and threw a 56" TV into the deal. She just thinks the market is so saturated that unless you're willing to give your home away, it won't move. I get it...bc we are looking for a great deal as we go to buy a home. So if renting is what we need to do....I guess we might do it.
 

kama_s

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charbie|1290277837|2774054 said:
Thanks for the shout out...yes, the house is staged. Actually, our real estate agent is a professional stager, so we've got our furtinure put in different loction and such. It shows really, really well actually. We repainted a few rooms to neutralize the house, actually. We lowered the price, and threw a 56" TV into the deal. She just thinks the market is so saturated that unless you're willing to give your home away, it won't move. I get it...bc we are looking for a great deal as we go to buy a home. So if renting is what we need to do....I guess we might do it.
Holy crap, Charbie. Move your house down to Toronto, and it'll be gone in 3 days. THREE days - the average number of days a well-maintained house lasts in the market here.

I have my fingers crossed for you, doll.
 

kama_s

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Yssie|1290238903|2773838 said:
Kama your new house is gorgeous :bigsmile: I just had to come here from the hangout thread to see your pics!! :appl:
I hope the inspection goes well!


We're doing the same - saving for the next few years for our forever house, because there's no such thing as an 'affordable starter home' around here!
Thank you, darling! If you don't mind me asking - where in the US are you guys?

Home inspection in 30 minutes, will report back later today!
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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kama_s|1290279019|2774068 said:
Yssie|1290238903|2773838 said:
Kama your new house is gorgeous :bigsmile: I just had to come here from the hangout thread to see your pics!! :appl:
I hope the inspection goes well!


We're doing the same - saving for the next few years for our forever house, because there's no such thing as an 'affordable starter home' around here!
Thank you, darling! If you don't mind me asking - where in the US are you guys?

Home inspection in 30 minutes, will report back later today!

ack - good luck :))

We're in Palo Alto, CA. Right outside of Stanford, happy home to both old-money and the dotcom nouveaux riche ;))
 

kama_s

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Yssie|1290286690|2774142 said:
We're in Palo Alto, CA. Right outside of Stanford, happy home to both old-money and the dotcom nouveaux riche ;))
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em ;))
 

kama_s

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So home inspection went pretty well. Nothing in the house would need work for at least 10-15 years, except for a small wiring issue. The house has some aluminum wiring, which was not pig-tailed. We're asking the sellers to fix it. The seller is an electrician and owns an electrical company (with several employees) and he did all the electrical in the house himself - so it shouldn't be too much of a hassle for him.

Even if he doesn't fix it, cost would be max $1000. Let's see what they say.
 

yssie

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verdict in yet?
 

kama_s

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Yup! The home inspection went excellently, only some minor electrical issues surfaced. The seller owns his own electrical company and did all the electrical in the house himself, so he is fixing that for us before we get posession. We signed off all the paperwork today, and we officially own the damn house!

Can't wait to see the word 'SOLD' written all over the listing in red!
 
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