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Fourth (or is it fifth) time's the charm

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johnhattan

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Got another contract on the house. Looks like this one's gonna go through. It's set to close in two weeks, so we'll see.

HOMEBUYING HINT: YOU CAN CHANGE THINGS!!!

Upon talking to the realtor, I don't know how many times I heard that people passed up the house because it didn't have a carport or the carpet was old or the colors were wrong. People will often buy a house that's much more expensive that doesn't require changes even though such things could be done to a underpriced house without much trouble.

Our realtor wanted us to change all the carpet in the house despite already having a $2000 carpet-allowance attached to the price. When I mentioned that if the buyers use the allowance to change the carpet, they can choose the color and style they want, but if I change the carpet I'll be adding the style and color I want.

. . .and you can bet I'm going with "college-apartment-grade beige" from Big Bob's Discount Carpet Barn if it's my choice.

Turns out that most buyers would prefer the house already be covered with $1200 worth of brand-new carpet rather than take the $2000 to replace it themselves. And that's just dumb.

Ditto for the paint. We originally had a $1000 painting allowance, but I ended up pulling the allowance in favor of hiring a painter and having him paint the dingy rooms with a five-gallon bucket of "contractor-grade-antique-white". Total cost = $650.

Which gets back to my advice. You can change things in a house. Wallpaper, paint, and carpet aren't all that expensive and it's better you do it the way you want it rather than the way the seller wants.

Thankfully it appears we've got a smart buyer. They're gonna spend $100 on steam cleaning and use the rest to pay for the closing. Only a couple of the rooms really needed the carpet replaced anyway.
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It's another instance of the McDonaldization of the world. People will pay $1 for a cold can of Pepsi from a vending machine, when they could instead buy by the case for $0.25 per can, or buy a Pepsi knock-off brand for $0.10 per can. Convenience(simply a way to reword laziness) sells, and comes at a premium. If you could put convenience in a box or a bottle and sell it, you'd make a lot of money.

We bought our house for $75K, a full $9K less than he was asking for. He agreed immediately to the bid, which makes me think that we should have offered $70K, as we probably could have saved a few $K. Most of the interior has been completely redone. That which has not already been redone will be redone in time. We have spend a few thousand improving the appearance. At some point in the future, we will sell it and likely get $90-100K for it. The former owner had done a lot of "work" on the house in order to sell it, and by "work" I mean use tape, fed ex boxes, contact paper, and toilet tissue to cover problem areas. He nailed carpet onto the floor. Yes, nailed.

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