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Old 10-18-2007, 01:33 PM   #1
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Soft Market - Advice?

Where do I start?! Want to put my condo up for sale, met with realtor, got pre-approved by bank (but don't want to take out a loan as I'm paid off). The prices have dropped way down - mine is worth a lot less, so I may not have much to work with. Met with a new realtor yesterday & he gave me the bad news as to what mine is worth - yet my bank told me it was worth more.

We looked at two properties. Seems like prices are also dropping because sellers are close to foreclosure/repos & need to sell fast & the condition is not so good.

So here's a pic of the LR (I'm not crazy about, & kitchen and bath& would take some money to redo), but the price is low, the neighbborhood is where I want to be, & there's privacy also sliding glass doors to balcony and foliage.

Question - in the LR is a wet bar - but a sink in the LR and where's the bar? Can I rip the sink out? The floor is tongue & groove? I don't know what - wood? I think. It's not my idea of a dream home, but I really want to get out of my nosey neighbor condo.

Hope this works re pic - tell me what you all think. (Don't care for the FP either - there are a few marble tiles on the floor aroind it). There is a large glass sliding door that opens to greenery. So, can I get rid of the sink in the LR? I hate the bathroom and kitchen. Help. TIA


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Old 10-18-2007, 01:59 PM   #2
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I think I would pass on this one Miss Amy...There seems to be too many negatives for you. Long term I don't think you would be happy with it. Be patient! It's a buyer's market, and something esle will come along!
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Old 10-18-2007, 02:04 PM   #3
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Remove the sink/bar and add a raised hearth to the fireplace. Try to peek under the bar to see if the wood floor is installed under it first.
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Old 10-18-2007, 09:58 PM   #4
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Amy, realtors are in the business of selling, no sell no commission. If the realtor can get you to list a bit low then it's an easier job for them. The bank might have a better idea. With the market in flux a paid appraisor is paid to know and give you the going rate. Just remember, your realtor didn't give you an appraisal and neither did the bank. The three most important things are location, location and location. Funky sinks in the living room can be removed. Like advised - check underneath to be sure there is floor there. It's probably the laminated composite floor - no body but the ultra rich can afford solid tongue and groove, especially as wide as those "boards" are. If you don't like the bath and kitchen probably the owners don't either and these are the two prime expense places to redo. Get estimates to have it done the way you want. You might find that the house isn't all that cheap. But as I said, location, location, location. Good luck - don't jump - take your time.
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Old 10-18-2007, 10:29 PM   #5
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Thank you Uncle Bob, Jeeks & David. All great advice. The flooring looks new (prrobably the less expensive you mentioned). Since it looks new, my guess is it stops at that sink. The location is definitely why it's so expensive to live in So CA - particularly the area I want/am in.

Here's the tiny ugly white kitchen. No upgrades. It is very private though - what I want. Am I being too picky? I'm sooo confused.
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Old 10-18-2007, 10:29 PM   #6
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Amy, you have had some great advice. Have just had a house redone, and nothing is cheap.

I would get an idea of what it would cost to redo the place the way you want it. A few bucks of front for estimates are well worth it - trust me on that.

You say you have seen two properties. Golly, you are not in a time crunch to get out of your current condo (believe me I understand the painful noisy neighbor situation), so why not take a look at a few more?

Get an idea of the market before you jump for something you don't seem thrilled about.

At least that's my two cents.
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Old 10-19-2007, 12:14 AM   #7
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Wink Slow up

I'm going to follow auntdot Amy, With no mortgage you are in the catbird's seat whatever that means. You haven't looked at anything yet. Haven't even started. Slow up or down, whichever. First off, interview realtors and find someone you feel comfortable with and who will work with you. Remember the realtors work for the seller and with the buyer unless you get an exclusive buyer's agent. I don't know what the custom is there but worth checking out. Then stay with that person until you feel they aren't working for you. Don't make them jump through useless hoops - it's a team effort. You will need to carefully review with them your requirements - location, things necessary to the location, type of house, what you can afford, etc.

I don't believe you care for this house very much. Is the kitchen part of the house important to you? How much cooking do you do from scratch? Needs vary from opening a few cans to cooking starting from making the universe on......
Do you cook alot for friends and/or family? All these questions are important. You have mentioned privacy several times - sounds like that is very important. If so let your prospective realtor know so they won't be spinning their wheels on things that are not suitable. Ok?

Now ask me why I suggest that you slow down, put pencil to paper and start really thinking this thing through. Give you a hint, I've worked in realestate sales as well as having bought and sold a few for myself off and on. Comes with living 68 years. I take it there is a significant other - very important to have both satisfied, eventhough the woman will make the final choice that's for sure. As long as affordability is taken into account a wise man will agree. Now relax and go cook something up together!
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Old 10-19-2007, 10:54 AM   #8
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Other great places will pop up you should just love it all when you see it.Another thing is calculate how much it will cost you to do all the changes you want to make then take a portion of that and add it to what you can spend on a new place the extra money just may find you the perfect place all ready to move plus you wont have the hassle of renovating the place to your liking.Be sure when you make an offer make a low one at first.Another trick is dont show any excitement on how much you love a certain place cause the seller will use it to their advantage if you act a little ho hum about the place they may lower the cost to try to get you to buy.
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Old 10-19-2007, 12:03 PM   #9
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The only rush would be because the seller's realtor said he wants to close in a month. (No prob, as I have done that before, & I have bought and sold a few.) Also, over the last few years I have searched for a property in the location/price I want, & there was nothing I would even consider looking at. These were the only two. It's very slim pickins out here. When one comes up that's 'reasonable', it's already in escrow - gone in a blink.

It's only me, but square footage is very expensive, & I think of the resale value as well. Last time, I put mine up for sale first, got a buyer, then had to drive around like crazy to find another property fast - or I would lose the seller. Consequently, I rushed into the purchase of mine - where I have been very unhappy. Neighbors are unfriendly (bordering on rude), and they don't take care of their property. This time, I thought I would find a property I liked first - then list mine. So, I haven't listed mine yet - & the seller is in a rush & doesn't seem to want to wait for a contingency (me selling mine to buy his).

This is the first time I've seen prices and interest rates drop so low. So much so because of (I think) bad loans made by banks that are now forcing homeowners to sell fast to avoid repo/foreclosure. It's a strange market out there now. That drove my price (market value) down - cause seller's are dropping their prices, so they don't lose it to the bank, imo.

The place has some good possibilities, but I noticed it is slapped together to put on the market - no backsplash, washer/dryer is supposed to be there, but are missing. The tub/bathroom has not really been maintained or replaced. There are some good things like huge walk in closets - finally a place for all my shoes I came home a little sad, as I was really hopeful, but maybe something I love will come up.
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Old 10-19-2007, 02:54 PM   #10
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Amy, when I looked at the pictures I kinda thought it was given a quick cover up to sell - the floor and the all white kitchen - looks like the kitchen got painted over all white. That sink in the living room is tacky to say the least.

You can make an offer with contengency based on the sale of yours. Your buyer's realtor can help you out here. If the realtor is also the listing realtor of that house then be certain it is someone of long and good standing in the realestate community.

If you offer at fair market and list yours the same way then you should be ok. If this is a good realtor with a good reputation then with your listing in hand the person has motivation to work for you. With no mortgage you are at an advantage even with your stinky neighbors. But! It sounds like for the long run your present neighborhood is losing value regardless of the market - sounds like it is declining so it won't hurt you to bail. But you do have more than a day or two.

Remember - appraisers - they charge but you definitely what a well established appraiser to look at your condo before you do anything! Please! Before you sign a contract it probably won't hurt to pay an appraiser to look at what you are bidding on. I kinda think you need someone to help you not jump too fast. Smile

If the location of what you are looking at is right you can still renovate - just be sure you have good quotes in hand - it ain't cheap to change tubs and all that and it doesn't sound like you are a do it yourselfer.

I don't know how it is there but there are a lot of realtors who are getting real hungry for a commission so be cautious about who you are working with!
Be of good cheer!
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