Well, after nearly a year of thinking about buying a house and saving up money for the down payment, Anita and I finally bought our first house.
The Choices: Over the weekend of March 24 - 27, 2000, we started doing some real serious house hunting. Our realtor sent us almost 60 house listings. From those 60, we weeded out 30 or so that we knew we were not interested in. We drove by those 30 and narrowed the list down to 10 or so that we wanted to view on the inside. The next day we met with our realtor and she showed us about 10 houses. Of those 10, only 3 were potentials for making an offer. After a few phone calls, our realtor found out that 1 of those 3 was sold pending an inspection. So that left us with 2. One was in Golden Valley and it dropped $8000 as we drove up to the driveway! Unfortunately it looked like there were already 2 offers on it and possibly more as it was an open house that day. It was a nice place, but not a lot of it was finished. That left us with a house in the NW corner of Minneapolis. It was a very charming old home in a great neighborhood. We decided to make an offer.
The Bargaining: Our initial offer was $5000 less than the listing price. We figured we'd try it, see what they come back with. Their first counter was $2000 off the listing price and we'd have to pay for anything to bring it up to code. This sounded a bit fishy and the realtor told us that it's the seller's job to bring things up to code. So we countered back and asked for $3000 off the listing price and that they pay for bringing the house up to this mysterious "code". They countered once more saying they would do that, but would not budge any further on the price. We felt confident about the deal, so we signed off on it.
The Next Few Days: After all of that, the only thing standing in the way was the inspection, which took place on 4/1/2000. A few things came out of the inspection, most notably that there were ventilation issues, minor water damage in the basement, and the garage was not too sturdy. Nothing too shocking, so it looks like we're done!
The Final Word: If all goes well with the loan officer, we expect to close on June 16th, 2000. My lease at my current apartment runs until June 31, 2000, so I will probably move out gradually. We may decide to do some painting and other touch up work before moving any furniture. Who knows?
Who Cares? Show Me Some Pictures!
These were taken with a small point and shoot camera. They are pretty big, but they look nice that way.
- The Front of the House (282 KB)
- The Back Side (374 KB)
- The Loft Upstairs (239 KB)
- The Dining Room, with Jan, our realtor, and Anita (247 KB)
- The Living Room (220 KB)
There are currently no pictures of the 2 other bedrooms, the kitchen, and the basement. There really wasn't an easy way to get a nice picture of those areas.
The Stats: We've been getting a lot of questions about the house, here is everything you should care to know.
- Number of Bedrooms: 3
- Number of Bathrooms: 2, one full bath, one 1/2 bath upstairs
- Year Built: 1938
- Exterior: Hallow Core Masonry/Brick
- Number of Finished Square Feet: 1556
- Foundation Size: 1016 sq. ft.
- Things we Get: Fridge, Range, Dishwasher, Disposal, Washer/Dryer, all Window Treatments
- Neighborhood: Quiet Victory Neighborhood of Minneapolis, close to Victory Memorial Drive and Parkway (good for walking a dog!), Theodore Wirth Park and Golf Course, Centerbrook Golf Course, Brookdale Shopping Center, and a short walk from the supposed "best elementary school in Minneapolis", Loring Elementary.
- Extras: Fireplace, Hardwood Floors on Entire Main Level, Central Air Conditioning, Brand New (well, 2 years old) Roof
The Problems: Any used house is bound to have some problems. These are at the top of the list of things we'll need to work on. Fortunately the list is not too large.
- Ventilation problems which help cause ice damns on the roof.
- Window wells not dug out properly causing water damage in the basement.
- 1-Car garage not doing too well. We want to tear it down and build a 2-car garage anyway.
- Trees blocking view of house and views out the windows. Trees in the backyard are bizarre as well.
- Appliances leave something to be desired.
- Some minor painting and electrical issues.
- Maybe make parts of the basement livable.
Last Modified: 02/21/2002