Friday, September 24, 2010

A Half-Assed Offer

I nearly bought a house last week, but chickened out after seeing how wrecked the interior was.

The house is a wreck, and I've had my eye on it since the end of 2005. It's a few doors down from my old condo up the block, and every time I've gone into an open house there, I've left flabbergasted by the state of the property. There are holes in the roof, even.

But the price was finally low enough that I wanted it. My friend Dmitry (Jessica's husband) went with me, since he is training to be an architect. And we checked out the house.

The agent gave me a hundred pages of disclosures.

I took them home and read them.

Mold. Collapsing extension. Collapsing roof on extension. Incorrectly installed French doors. Collapsing stair railing. Crooked floors. Leaky windows. And so on.

I chickened out. I put in a back-up offer, lower than the main offer. I couldn't see spending the main offer amount on something that needed gutting.

Then today, I went to look at a brick house. It's a lot bigger, nicer, and pricier. Someone was killed there two years ago. And it still needs a lot of work.

I thought about my old block, and the funny old men and women who have lived there since they were born, and the sense of community, and the brilliant characters that sit on the stoops...

...and I called back the agent.

"If the other offer falls through, I want it."

And now we wait.

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