Things Finally Shifting

New Kirnu roller coaster in Linnamäki (Helsinki)Whew!! This has been a roller-coaster year! My house was on the market and I got a bid. I’m keeping my fingers crossed, but it looks like it might just be a done deal. Just in case, I went and put a townhouse on hold that will be held until my closing date. If the closing falls apart, I’ll be out a security deposit, but the buyer will be out their earnest money. So, it’ll be a wash.

I have been debating for some time whether to go cheap and dingy or upgrade and nice for my home. I am not buying. The real estate market is very unstable, in my viewpoint, and that’s part of the reason I am selling now, and not two years from now when I will probably leave the area. Seeing as I can’t make enough in equity to pay a real estate commission after two years of owning a home if I did buy again, I am choosing to rent. I really like renting because there are no maintenance fees and you can get nicer digs than if you own. So, I got a really good deal – very high-end townhome and I am delighted! I’d never be able to afford this home if I bought since it comes with it’s own yard maintenance and all the maintenance indoors too. Adding up maintenance in my old home, I had spent more than the 1% they say to allow for maintenance. It was more like 2 to 3%. So, I figured I could use that money to upgrade my living arrangement, without having to deal with the headaches of arranging people to come and fix things for me all the time. That was like a part-time job in itself!

So, now, here’s the really funny thing. I am going to try to get a room mate for a spare room. I am going from a 1500 square foot home to a 2500 square foot townhome. I am paying about $600 extra in rent – BUT – I have that much more space and I plan on getting a roomie, who will pay – heh, heh, – $500/month. So, doing the math, and I just seriously upgraded for just $100 extra and no maintenance costs! I don’t even have to mow the lawn! I will be saving any where from $3000 to $6000 a year making this move, in maintenance costs alone.

So, for all those people who say renting is worse than buying, I say: Pooh! Pooh! I am really happy NOT to be a homeowner anymore and hopefully this deal will go through and I’ll never be a homeowner again! And, in case anyone is wondering, the housing market in Raleigh is taking a dive, I think. I had to pay closing costs for my buyer, something completely unheard of before. They have plenty of choices out there and the townhome area I went to had MANY rentals out and FOR SALE signs out too. Prices there are dropping too.

Did I mention I can still deduct a home office on my taxes even if I rent? Ha, ha, ha…It’s getting tougher and tougher to be a homeowner these days. From real estate taxes that increase while values drop to maintenance people who believe that, because gas prices have shot up, they are entitled to over $100 just for walking over your threshold, whether they fix your problem or not. I say: “Good riddance!!!”

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5 responses to “Things Finally Shifting

  1. Considering my profession, I might be one to push homeownership, but I think that you are right. For some homeownership is not the right choice, particularly now with the cost of living rising so. I hope you enjoy your new digs.

    I did want to mention, that for some having home warranty insurance prevents some of the great expenses due to home maintenance, so it is an option to help people who wish to stay in a home.

  2. Home warranty is an excellent option and one that the new buyer is using. I am also going to ask my new landlord to add that too as the appliances he has are very pricey and should be under a home warranty. I don’t think he knows about it because he didn’t realize he could get them to come fairly soon to address your problems if you have one of these plans.

    And, Frank, considering your profession, I am wondering why my home inspector had a fit because I was present for the inspection. I told both realtors that the reason was because I had not been present at one inspection and the inspector pulled fixtures out of my walls that cost me significant amounts of money to fix. He even unhinged a door. I was pretty mad and determined NEVER EVER to let a home inspector in my home without my being present. Well, this one took great offense to me being there as if it still wasn’t my home!! As far as I know, any damage he does, I still have to fix, so yes, I want to be around to witness it when it happens. He told me I wasn’t even to talk to him because he had some stick up his butt about me being there. I told him it was still my home and if he didn’t want me there, they could all just leave and we were done. So, all of a sudden I had a right to be there! But, he still refused to talk to me, which was pretty silly because he later couldn’t turn on the furnace and he refused to let me tell him how to do it, because he was obviously an idiot who couldn’t tell the difference between someone trying to hide something and someone trying to protect their own interests. I got a call from my realtor and I told her: The furnace guy had tested it out on Tuesday (three days before) and it worked fine. There is a specific way to turn on that furnace but the inspector was such a shit, he refused to allow me to speak and threw a tantrum every time I did to the point where he “shushed” me and I told him that I didn’t think there was any law that required me to be silent when he was doing an inspection. He just clammed up and turned red. We have proof that furnace works and he was just too stupid to turn it on, and too proud to take some advice. He claimed “the gas was turned off.” What bullshit. He came out looking very bad just because he made a big stink about me being there and refused to listen to me.

    Honestly, I don’t understand these inspectors. I had the same thing happen before with the furnace where three years after it was installed and I tried to sell the house they convinced the buyer it was ready to fall apart when they just couldn’t turn it on. A three year old furnace and the guy claimed it was old and heat exchanger had “probably failed.” Five years later and it’s still running as it should be and it was under warranty anyways! Same guy who pulled fixtures out of my ceiling leaving them dangling by wires. This guy said I had to clean the chimney that it was dirty! Ha, ha, ha! I had that chimney cleaned and never used it after that!! There’s nothing to clean!!! Really, really stupid! But, my realtor says she’ll throw it in just to make the contract go through. And, they wonder why I refuse to allow them in alone?!

  3. I would not understand why he behaved in such a manner. Honestly, I like being the only one in the building so that I can focus on my work, but I do not mind having people around if they would like to be there. Sometimes it is better, so I can explain what I am finding, and why it is important.

    From your description, this inspector does not seem to be the best. Realtors and inspectors frequently suggest to sellers not to be at an inspection for two reasons: 1) you may be upset with their findings (most of my findings are simple things to fix that happen when people live in their home, but some people are upset by the idea that I am saying that their home has an issue); and 2) this one is debatable, and opinions are starting to change. If you become aware of an issue during an inspection, you may be required to disclose it on the seller’s disclosure form. If you do not know, then you have no reason to admit the problem. This has to do with high cost issues like foundation repair. I would say that sellers are at 10% of the inspections that I do for buyers, and I have never had a problem with them being there.Personally, I think it may be better to have inspectors being watched when i come to think of it. It would keep us more honest.

  4. Well, now the buyer wants to back out on the basis that the furnace didn’t turn on. This isn’t even a fix or a request to retest. We have proof the furnace works, but the home inspector has given her cold feet. I told the the realtor that this is not sufficient reason to pull out of a contract and that I was sending her to my lawyer because I refuse to release her earnest money over a flimsy reason like that. She tried to send me a “mutual agreement to terminate contract.” Where she gets this idea that I am willing to take a loss on a down payment on a townhome and let her walk, is ridiculous. I refused to sign and told my realtor she was sent to my attorney, who I keep on retainer ALL YEAR ROUND just for such purposes.

    So, my attorney is reviewing the contracts right now and it looks like the deal is done. We’ve agreed to everything this demanding buyer wanted, but it appears she was simply window-shopping and can’t believe I’ve actually agreed to everything so now she wants to quit after the contract has been signed and her excuse is that “the furnace didn’t turn on during inspection.” It doesn’t work that way, and I think she is a first-time homebuyer with little sense of how to maintain a home and a poor understanding of how contracts work. She will potentially lose her earnest money, but I will let the lawyer decide that. At the very least, she is going to be delayed a very long time from pulling this stuff on a new seller. And, I told the realtor to warn the home inspector that because it was his call, he may end up being sued. I told her that despite the fact that I am a generous person, I am not a push-over and this is a legal arrangement and a business transaction. An inspection is not a tea party (she invited a friend who had nothing to do with this transaction) and it’s not an excuse to destroy my home. I told my realtor that if damage had been done, the outsider would have been blamed. If she falls and hurts herself, I am liable, even though she is not even supposed to be there. The realtors need to be extremely professional and so should the inspectors and I wasn’t putting up with shoddy, unprofessional, work or underhanded tricks. And, sellers have rights too, and I am exercising them. I hope this teaches them all a valuable lesson on how to properly go about scheduling home inspections and what rights I have in my own property and under the law. But, whatever the lawyer decides I will abide by. If she decides I have to return the earnest money because the woman picked her nose on Monday and the a law states that’s a loophole, fine. But, you can bet the next buyer is not going to get anywhere’s as good a deal as this buyer. I would rather see them leave than go through this type of ridiculousness again.

  5. Well, please let us know how it turns out. I know here that the buyer would have the possibility of loosing the earnest money in this situation, but depending on the wording in the contract, they also have the ability to keep it. It is fifty-fifty depending on what was written. Good luck.

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