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Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4593)
Sat, 26th Jul '08 9:26 AM


Ok - so I have a choice. Maybe you guys can help me. Both houses are on a lake. Now before you start thinking big $$$$$, it's not. The lake is beautiful, but outside a rural town where not a lot of people want to be - yet. Both houses are about the same price.

HOUSE 1; About 400 sq feet more than I have now, but no garage. Privacy fence divided for animals and humans. Small kitchen - but I don't cook anyway. Has some painting to do as the couple has a set of twins and the nursery is split down the middle, pink on one side and blue on the other, but it's just paint. Some personality. One block from golf course and several blocks the other way from the lake. Brick and wood. My daughter in law LOVES this house.

HOUSE 2: A lawyer bachelor's lake house. White rock. A little smaller than what I have now. Huge kitchen, not a large living area - open concept. Mirrors EVERYWHERE!!!! And I mean, not on the ceiling, but everywhere else. I'm not kidding - they're everywhere. Strips of mirrors, big ole honking mirrors. Mirrors on the closet doors. Double garage. Right on the golf course - the sun room has 2 broken windows. 2 golf balls on the floor. 2 lots. The entrance to the sunroom is a white rock arch. Cannot have privacy fence - has chain link. Mirrored closets at end of living that can be taken out and bookcases built in and add 3' to room. My daughter in law HATES this house.

So - please vote for the house you think I should buy. I'll be putting in a bid on Monday, so hurry!

Pepperdoc  (Level: 152.5 - Posts: 4285)
Sat, 26th Jul '08 9:29 AM

From how you describe it, House 1.

But, I have to ask: who is going to live there - you or your daughter-in-law? And if you are going to live there, do you want your daughter-in-law to come over?

Gypsylady  (Level: 148.1 - Posts: 6096)
Sat, 26th Jul '08 9:38 AM

I think House 1! You may continue to have golf balls in the living room living that close to the golf course with House 2. Also, sounds like you favor House 1. Maybe you could add on the garage later. The extra space on House 1 sounds great. Also, all of the mirrors in House 2 would probably require a lot of cleaning, especially if you have little ones over.


Papermanbill  (Level: 41.3 - Posts: 1312)
Sat, 26th Jul '08 9:50 AM

I knew a guy who lived on a golf course and actually wound up sueing the course. Between people coming into your yard looking for balls, hitting your house with balls, urinating all over, noisy vulgar language, living on a course is beautiful. My wife and I bought a house and two days later four tennis courts and four baseball fields were put up in back of us. The builder said nothing would be built in back of us, but they lied. Stay away from anyplace where people have access to anything, they don't act like where they come from.

Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4593)
Sat, 26th Jul '08 10:12 AM

I added about daughter in law's preference so that you have an opinion from a younger person. And yes, hopefully, she and grandbaby and son will be there often!

Salzypat  (Level: 161.3 - Posts: 5414)
Sat, 26th Jul '08 10:47 AM

I vote for No. 1 also. I would like the extra space plus the privacy fencing. A couple cans of paint wouldn't be that expensive.

House No. 2 with all those mirrors would freak me out. You turn the corner of the hallway and see an image and it would take a split second to realize it was your image and not some intruder.

I don't think you mentioned the money involved, whether the price range was about the same, but even if it cost more I would go for No. 1. Just be sure to have a full house inspection because that saved me thousands of dollars in one case when I was house hunting.

Eesusbejesus  (Level: 75.0 - Posts: 3641)
Sat, 26th Jul '08 11:04 AM

You had me at sun room. Mirrors can be removed.

Have you considered which house might be a better sell one day if you decide to move and make a profit? Garages are a big deal and if you don't use it much, you can use it for other things, extra storage, hobby room, playroom for grandchildren, dog kennels, etc. However, I would check on some laws & what not. Check with the golf course owner to find out if a golfer damages your windows, if they will pay for it. Check with your insurance company to see if they will pay for it. If they do, see if you can get an agreement from the golf course to pay any deductible. Research any laws who might actually be liable for that damage.

Another option might be those new plastic windows instead of glass in the sun room.

OMG it has a sun room!

Bbear  (Level: 166.9 - Posts: 2297)
Sat, 26th Jul '08 11:14 AM

House 2. Absolutely. You seem to indicate the area is up and coming and being on the course will do nothing but quickly increase the value.

As homes are going into foreclosure at the rate of 8,000 a day (although our idiot fearless leader won't admit that is a problem) it is vital to purchase a home that won't dump in value.

Mirrors can be removed. Kitchens are worth money. Little kitchens aren't and kitchen renovations are very expensive. Sunrooms are good (depending on what area you live; here in New Orleans they are pretty worthless).

Word to the wise; get a mortgage from a local bank; NOT Fanny Mae or Freddy Mac. Federal money bad; local money good.

Good luck.

Mplaw51  (Level: 184.4 - Posts: 1581)
Sat, 26th Jul '08 11:25 AM

You seem a little attached emotionally to House 1, but House 2 sounds like a better buy. Lodi (I think it was Lodi) gave some great advice about insurance and golfers and the golf course itself. Didn't you also say House 2 has 2 lots? This could be income property in the long run. The garage as storage was also an excellent point. Special windows in the sunroom might be a good investment, speak to the golf course owners, perhaps you could work out some deal about their cost. Take away the mirrors where you don't want them. They're great on bedroom closet doors though, no need for a full length one otherwise.

At the end of the day...go with your gut. Listen to it before you listen to us or your family members. You've got to love it or it will never feel like home to you.

Eesusbejesus  (Level: 75.0 - Posts: 3641)
Sat, 26th Jul '08 11:30 AM

Not admit its a problem? The feds are taking over banks left and right and currently in MSNBC's breaking news, it says Congress just approved a new housing market rescue bill. Seems like someone might be aware after all.

The First Bank of Nevada just went down so maybe those local banks aren't such a good idea either. We have our house mortgaged through the credit union that is available for Washington State employees. I have really appreciated their down to earth approach on things, and having done real estate closings for several years, I can tell you there was not a lot of the bullsh** add on fees & crap that the banks bestow upon you. When we first bought our house, it was through Countrywide - what a bunch of crap!

Chickfbref1  (Level: 120.7 - Posts: 2011)
Sat, 26th Jul '08 12:08 PM

As far as the golf course is concerned. They're not liable. It's like buying a house next to the airport and complaining about the noise from the planes. The broken windows are the homeowners's responsibility, not the course or the golfers.

You can claim them under your homeowners policy, but they are subject to a deductible, which is usually higher than the cost of repairing the window.


Eesusbejesus  (Level: 75.0 - Posts: 3641)
Sat, 26th Jul '08 12:25 PM

She knows! I ask her all my insurance questions. In trade, I provide personal advice.

Chickfbref1  (Level: 120.7 - Posts: 2011)
Sat, 26th Jul '08 12:28 PM

She provides little personal advice, mostly personal attacks.

Eesusbejesus  (Level: 75.0 - Posts: 3641)
Sat, 26th Jul '08 12:30 PM

You say potato, I say vodka.....

Slowpokecat  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 17)
Sat, 26th Jul '08 12:46 PM

check out the heating bills for the winter if in cold climate. I would go with house 2 get rid of the mirrors. It should keep the daughter in law out of your way, unless you want her over alot.

Donleigh  (Level: 155.3 - Posts: 5405)
Sat, 26th Jul '08 12:53 PM

I'm going with #2, as well. Garage, 2 lots, kitchen - it's a better deal. Easier to resell or develop the way you want.

Mirrors can be FUN.

Smaug  (Level: 144.7 - Posts: 2765)
Sat, 26th Jul '08 12:58 PM

Ignore the lumber on the property and buy for location and lot appeal.

Spacecat  (Level: 164.5 - Posts: 673)
Sat, 26th Jul '08 1:23 PM

Mirrors and a sunroom. Unless your daughter in law is planning on staying buy number 2. Please let us know which one you decide on. Have nice weekend everyone.

Maggie7556  (Level: 227.8 - Posts: 268)
Sat, 26th Jul '08 1:31 PM

Mirrors are a giant pain in the butt to clean. Back when I used to clean houses for a living it was my least favorite job. And the one the owners called to have redone the most.

Eesusbejesus  (Level: 75.0 - Posts: 3641)
Sat, 26th Jul '08 1:43 PM

Maggie - what IS the best way to clean a mirror? I have a gd mirror that streaks no matter what I use. It always looks like crap.

Maggie7556  (Level: 227.8 - Posts: 268)
Sat, 26th Jul '08 2:07 PM

Exactly. And no matter how many times you clean it and think you have it clean, somehow streaks show up. I used to just hate them. We had one house that had a whole wall that was mirrored. I cleaned that dang thing endlessly and we still got called back all the time. Of course people who pay you to clean their house expect perfection. We had one lady that made us come all the way back to her house because she found a dog hair on her bearskin rug. We always wondered how she knew that the dog shed that hair before we cleaned and not after. You would be amazed at some of the things we saw in people's houses. Amazed and disgusted.

1mks  (Level: 219.5 - Posts: 5925)
Sat, 26th Jul '08 2:15 PM

Is your daughter-in-law going to live with you? If not, go with the one you like the most. It sounded to me like you were leaning toward #2....AND it does sound like a much better deal. Windows are fairly cheap to repair. I even put a new one in by myself one time. AND you might get lucky and meet a hot golfer.

Smoke20  (Level: 62.6 - Posts: 2815)
Sat, 26th Jul '08 2:27 PM

# 2 for all the reasons everyone said, and a BIG KITCHEN! OMG! I have a hallway with appliances. But also a garage, privacy fencing and double lot. And some mirrors.

White vinegar and crumpled newspaper, Lodi.

Bbear  (Level: 166.9 - Posts: 2297)
Sat, 26th Jul '08 2:37 PM

A few questions:
What is the square feet of both houses?
What are the ages of both?
How much insulation does each have?
How old are the roofs? Appliances?
What are the taxes on both?
How close to schools? Public transportation? Grocery store?
What is the neighborhood like?

Papermanbill  (Level: 41.3 - Posts: 1312)
Sat, 26th Jul '08 4:00 PM

Hey Donna, vinegar, water and newspapers are the answer to clean windshields for sure. My brother is so good cleaning glass that you can't even see a glare when he is done. Hell with greasy Windex and Glass Plus, you got the right formula now.

Koota  (Level: 187.3 - Posts: 2114)
Sat, 26th Jul '08 4:09 PM

Definitely House 2 if you're a golfer.

Rip out the mirrors. That sounds like your only complaint.

A large kitchen and close proximity to the golf course will increase your resale value.

And use vinegar and crumpled up newspaper to clean the mirrors until you take them out.

If the golfers are annoying, send the golf balls back on the the golf course with a slingshot. Or, let ME sit in your sun room and send the golf balls back to the golfers. Bwahahahahahaaaaa! You have built-in entertainment!

Bigbird  (Level: 249.0 - Posts: 3337)
Sat, 26th Jul '08 4:41 PM

You haven't told us what you like to do - besides NOT cook! Is being on a golf course a good thing for you? Do you golf? Do you like openness? (That may sound silly, but I like lots of little rooms - not wide open floorplans).

Remember that mirrors and paint and stuff like that are not structural, and can be changed; don't let decoration sway you at all. Built-ins can be taken away. Empty rooms can have built ins. Try to picture each house the way you would like them to look. It's the location and the structure of the house that make the difference.

And, what's with your daughter-in-law? She paying for it? Living there? No, right. It's your decision.

Linenlady  (Level: 159.1 - Posts: 306)
Sat, 26th Jul '08 4:42 PM

#2. A large kitchen and a garage. My first thought was the current owner must be very vain. You may not have a privacy fence but perhaps you can site taller plants, grasses and evergreens inside the chain link fence.

Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4593)
Sat, 26th Jul '08 7:52 PM

Ok. I'm actually much more emotionally drawn to house 2. I like the open concept. However, were I to get house 1 I've already kind of figured how I'd open it up, too.

No - I haven't played golf since 1982. I went out with the editor of the paper where I worked - he was a golf major in college and was finesse extraordinaire. His swing was art to watch.

This was in the days before video games and hand/eye coordination. I had none. My handicap? I couldn't hit the ball. I had to swing like 5 times for every time I connected with the ball.

So - he's all bored and sitting in the golf cart, and I'm teeing off. I miss the ball and as my club comes back down - I hit the ball - backwards! Probably the farthest, straightest I'd ever hit. The editor literally fell out of the cart, rolling laughing on the ground.

That was my last time to pick up a club.

But I LOVE watching and I'd have a great time watching others play. No - the home owner is responsible for broken windows. I love the advice to have plants that would help reflect (or at least slow down) the balls.

Koota - you are officially invited (if I get that one) to come and entertain!

bbear - house 1 is 70s, house 2 is late 80s. Appliances equivalent - but I have my own. Taxes equal out pretty much because the size difference is offset by location. Roofs equivalent. House 1 1900 sf. House 2 1550 sf. Insulation - more in house 2. No children, so schools don't matter - but they're within 5 miles. No public transportation. The closest town is very proud because they have recently acquired McDonalds, Pizza Hut, and a small grocery. None of that matters much to me, because I pass a lot going to work at a school in the big city. Neighborhood is quiet and not busy - neither is on a main street. Very country since it's close to the lake. The 2 houses are about 3 blocks from each other.

The one I REALLY wanted was on a hill - but they did not accept my offer (which was just too low for them - even their counteroffer).

Thanks, folks, for all the advice. And I've always cleaned glass with vinegar and newspaper. You know where I learned that? Watching Gomer Pyle. That's how he did it in the Marines.

Maggie7556  (Level: 227.8 - Posts: 268)
Sat, 26th Jul '08 8:15 PM

We had a lot of people that made us clean their hardwood floors with vinegar. You had to do all the floors on your hands and knees. Then you spent the whole day smelling like an overdressed salad.
We are in the process of looking for a house to buy right also. It is not nearly as much fun as I hoped it would be. We had one house where we made an offer and the owner refused to counter offer. It was bizarre. And the house had been on the market for a year.

Smoke20  (Level: 62.6 - Posts: 2815)
Sat, 26th Jul '08 8:28 PM

Lots of sellers are ignoring or refusing offers, if they can afford to sit on the property for a while to see if the market improves under the next administration. That's what my neighbor the mortgage broker said anyway.

Koota  (Level: 187.3 - Posts: 2114)
Sat, 26th Jul '08 8:34 PM

I'm going out looking for a good forked branch for my new slingshot just in case.

Don't throw out your gut feeling on this decision. This is your HOME and you should love it.

Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4593)
Sat, 26th Jul '08 10:21 PM

I have found that in certain areas of Texas, the housing market is not hurting the way it is in other parts of the country. I'm not finding many foreclosures to take advantage of, and the sellers are not willing to budge much on their price.

It's scary that I'm pretty much getting what I want for my present house here.

Eesusbejesus  (Level: 75.0 - Posts: 3641)
Sat, 26th Jul '08 10:43 PM

I need a lot of sunlight to be happy. Good luck with your choice. I wish I could see pictures.

Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4593)
Sat, 26th Jul '08 11:59 PM

I just would like to make a wise decision. Too often in the past, I've gone with my heart and ended up bitten in the butt. This will probably be my last move - I sure hope it is. I'd like to end up my house buying having made the good and right decision.

Eesusbejesus  (Level: 75.0 - Posts: 3641)
Sun, 27th Jul '08 12:01 AM

I have found the times I didn't go with my heart, it has nagged me until I'm miserable.

Lisap369  (Level: 61.1 - Posts: 992)
Mon, 28th Jul '08 12:31 AM

Lodi.. you can see pictures.. Jank can PM you the MLS #s if she wants...

Also.. piece of advice on foreclosures or powers of sale.. and U.S. may be different from Canada but, they are not always a better deal. In fact, in most cases, it's a worse deal. The banks/lending companies are obliged to make their best efforts to get market value for the house (so no price break) AND they won't represent or warrant ANYTHING.. nothing on title, nothing to do with the condition of the house/zoning/environmental issues .. they won't do this because they have never occupied the dwelling and have never been involved in these issues with the property.

I am a realtor here in Ontario and I agree with most suggestions here. Even if this is your last move, buying the house with the better re-sale value is the 'smarter' choice. Even with the golf balls, course-side houses sell faster. You could have a financial problem in the future (hope not) or some other reason that you may have to sell your home. Also, if you never move again (and I presume you will leave your estate to your child/children) they will appreciate an 'easy sell' during a hard time (assuming they will sell it).

Good luck with your decision!

Rowlanda  (Level: 70.0 - Posts: 2853)
Mon, 28th Jul '08 3:56 AM

I had to laugh....about the mirrors
You thought the Lawyer must be very vain
I thought he was probably a sex-addict
Each to his own!!!!

Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4593)
Mon, 28th Jul '08 6:09 AM

haha - Actually, from talking to his neighbor, I don't think either is correct. I think it was his way to make it look very modern and also to make the rooms look bigger.

Salzypat  (Level: 161.3 - Posts: 5414)
Mon, 28th Jul '08 8:24 AM

Those of you who are in real estate, are prospective buyers allowed to bring in someone to do a whole house inspection (for structural damage, asbestos, etc) or do you have to wait until your offer is accepted?

It seems to me when I watch the shows on HGTV they don't do an inspection until after they have negotiated a price and the offer is accepted. What happens then if the inspector finds some really serious flaws? Can you back out of your offer?

When I was looking, I was able to take an inspector in before I made an offer. Saved me thousands of dollars in one instance. it was an older house and I mean older. It was in fair condition except for the fact that it had a monster for a furnace ... it was an old coal furnace converted to gas and it was covered in this white stuff. Turns out the white stuff was asbestos and the only people qualified to remove it at that time were hundreds of miles away. It would have cost me around $7,000 or so to have it removed.

Kept me from making an offer on a house that would have required a lot of remodeling.

Eesusbejesus  (Level: 75.0 - Posts: 3641)
Mon, 28th Jul '08 8:36 AM

Most lending institutions require an inspection, as well as an appraisal and most (if not all) earnest money agreements state that the offer is contingent upon the house passing an inspection. You also need to make sure it states that if the appraisal comes in below the selling price, the deal is off. Unless you have enough money to not worry about that.

Lisap369  (Level: 61.1 - Posts: 992)
Mon, 28th Jul '08 11:32 AM

Jank.. I assume you are using a realtor for this purchase? If so, this realtor should know the appropriate clauses to insert into the Agreement (i.e. conditional on being satisfied with an inspection, conditional on financing, etc.)

Good Luck!!

Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4593)
Mon, 28th Jul '08 1:38 PM

Yes - I am! In fact I'm putting in a bid on House 2 late this afternoon (I'm loading a trailer to take to my storage down there right now) - but I can only do so much with the heat and the humidity (Dolly hit the panhandle!), so I break here with you guys.

Donleigh  (Level: 155.3 - Posts: 5405)
Mon, 28th Jul '08 2:50 PM

Good luck.

Alvandy  (Level: 240.1 - Posts: 7692)
Mon, 28th Jul '08 3:23 PM

Wonderful thread! Enjoyed reading everyone's comments.

Jank- good luck on your new investment. Either house' refrigerator could accommodate peppermint patties, so that didn't enter into the decision. I was of no help then.


Embee  (Level: 86.7 - Posts: 362)
Tue, 29th Jul '08 11:06 PM


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