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Now I'm getting cold feet because what if we go through this and end up with buyers remorse???  

Anyway, the 3 houses that are possibilities (each would need to come down by some or a lot):

16 year old house, 2040 sq.ft. two story traditional on 5 acres of grass, 3/2.5, no garage but there are outbuildings, slab foundation, 100% move-in ready, white with black door/shutters

29 year old house, 1617 sq.ft. ranch on 19 acres of mostly woods, 3/2, no garage, one outbuilding, crawlspace, needs at least a lot of cosmetic work, it looks iffy as to whether the vitals are in order

30 year old house, 3000 sq.ft., two story on 6.5 acres of nearly all woods, 5/2.3, garage, no outbuildings, basement, needs cleaning and some cosmetic, but doesn't look horrible.  Photos are really messy (you can see someone's bra in one...)

 

OUR home is 25 years old, 1176 sq.ft. ranch on about 1.2 acres of grass, 3/2 split, no garage or outbuildings, slab, all big ticket things replaced within the last 9 years (HVAC, roof, etc.), fenced yard.

All three properties would need to have a section fenced for the dogs.  We really needs space, but we really, really want privacy.  Really bad.  We should have a good bit of extra income indefinitely to do fixes and projects.  But still, I was hoping for at least a dedicated school room.  We have chickens, we want goats and/or a cow.  I try to garden.  But a lot of that is pipe dreaming, so...?  None of these houses has the master separate from the other bedrooms, either.  The bigger house on wooded property seems great, but there's not much space to garden and having trees felled is expensive.  The "young" house hits most of our criteria, actually, but I'm not sure they'd come down to our max purchase price.  It's the furthest from the area we're used to, as well.  But closest to DH's office (not that he's there much, but still--headquarters).

ETA: houses #2 and #3 have been sitting for 18 months; I think they're over-priced for their condition.

Anyway, it's all unconventional and kinda crazy, but DH is busy with work and DD's tired of hearing this stuff, so lucky y'all, I'm dumping it here.  ? ? ? 

P.S. sorry for all the weird edits, if anyone caught those.  ? 

 

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Move in ready sounds great, but I have heard many complaints about slab foundations depending on where you live - temperature issues, harder on the feet and body when you walk around or if you fall, and depending on the set-up it could be more costly for certain types of repairs. This is just what I have heard as I have never lived on a slab personally. 

What about their locations? Are they all equal or is there some benefit of one over the others? This should probably rank near the top of priorities since you can change just about all else.  Mostly woods sounds like a lovely setting.  ETA: I was thinking about stuff like transit to work times, crime rates etc.

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#2 and #3 are a tad outside DH's ideal transit time; it doesn't make it a deal breaker, but it's noteworthy.  Otherwise it's more or less in the same area we're in now, just a bit further out.  Closer to grandparents, same to church.  All the stores and places we go will stay the same.

#1 is closest to his work, but puts us a lot farther from grandparents and church, plus we'd have to change where we shop, which library we go to, etc.  Bigger change for me and the kids.  Again, not a deal breaker, but noteworthy.

We're on a slab now, and I don't love it, but I guess I don't hate it.  There's nowhere for the bugs to hide except in the house, though.  The utilities take up interior space, too.  A crawlspace or basement would be preferable, though.

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What is the climate like where you live? We're in TX, and I'd hate to live on property without trees, so the first house would go down in point value for me. 

Regarding woods/forests on other lots and hiring someone to cut down trees is expensive. You buy a chainsaw and do it yourself. If you are going to have animals, you might want to get used to the diy mindset. 

We've always lived on slab foundations here in Texas, and the only problems I know of around here for slab foundations are the possibility of it cracking if you don't water when it gets dry.

I'd probably start a listing of things I wanted in a property and then ranking them on the basis of that.

   Criteria                   House #1              House #2               House #3

1. Location                       1                          2                             3

2. Space (inside)             2                          3                             1

3. Space (outside)          1                          2                             3

When we start looking at houses, I'm always prepared that we might not get the house I think is best. Because sometimes money, timing, whatever doesn't work out. And, for me at least, there is no perfect house, just a place with the features we want to live affordably and comfortably together as a family. 

Good luck!

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I'm the DIYer.  I think DH would probably veto my using a chainsaw, though.  He's the "just hire someone to do it; that's why I work" person.  Which is nice, really.  But I manage the finances.  I like this idea, though.  I have a list of things we want, but I haven't prioritized them.  We're in GA and trees are definitely a Godsend.  The first thing I'd do is plant a River Birch on the southwest corner of house #1.  Maybe like 3 all around those two sides, lol.

And before y'all think we're rich, two of these could be classified as fixers (one absolutely), and we live in a pretty low COL area.  These three houses are all pretty closely priced, too.

 

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The sizes are vastly different, but layout can make a world of difference. How do they flow? Intelligently designed storage is important to me.

Like bambam suggested I would score each house (like on a scale of 1-5 points) in each category of location, design, indoor size, outdoor size, privacy, amt of improvement needed, ease of maintenance, and whatever else

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Re the house in the woods

Someone whom we knew had a beautiful house in the woods.  One thing that he didn’t like about it was constant spiders.  Not sure if that was a problem with just his house, or if it is common for houses in the woods.

One thing I’d be concerned about with a house in the woods is ticks and Lyme disease (because deer and other wildlife living in the woods).

We do have woods behind our house, but we have a yard before the woods.

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49 minutes ago, school17777 said:

Re the house in the woods

Someone whom we knew had a beautiful house in the woods.  One thing that he didn’t like about it was constant spiders.  Not sure if that was a problem with just his house, or if it is common for houses in the woods.

One thing I’d be concerned about with a house in the woods is ticks and Lyme disease (because deer and other wildlife living in the woods).

We do have woods behind our house, but we have a yard before the woods.

I would agree with this.  We live in the woods and certain times of year the bugs are awful.  We also get mice, moles and chipmunks in the house.  Plus bears, foxes, raccoons, groundhogs, rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, birds.  It's very nice and we like the quiet, but there are downsides.

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1 hour ago, maize said:

I've got no advice, but your post made me want to look at houses!

It's an itch I get every now and then before deciding that staying put is way less stress and expense.

Heard!  I've said, "Maybe we should just stay here..." so many times in the last 10 days.  Just set up shelving in the storage unit and rotate toys and books and everything else... ?  And our mortgage is stupid low.  So another plus.

 

Bears!  I won't tell my youngest you said that.  ?  ? 

There's a pest service here that specializes in critter-proofing your house.  But some of those are chicken predators, so good things to consider.  I'm not sure I'd have them share a yard with our dogs on a different property; I'm pretty sure the dog smell is currently what's keeping the predators away.

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2 hours ago, SamanthaCarter said:

Are you in a huge hurry? Because I don’t think I’d jump into any of those. The last one sounds close, but the unknowns about it’s condition, and the lake of sun for a garden make me want to pass. Plus a 3000 sq ft older home is going to be quite the energy hog. 

No, just cramped.  1200 sq.ft. on a slab.  ?  But no, nothing is forcing us out, but I was tired of seeing houses come and go, and we do want land.

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I feel like what we're buying with house #2 is potential, potential, potential.  And privacy.  A new house could be built pretty much anywhere, space is not the thing standing between us and any livestock we want, the closest property line is about 300'.  But the house we'd have until realizing all or any of that?  Crappy, to be honest.  Not condemnable, though.

#3 it's square footage and privacy.  We can handle new insulation, roof, etc. if it's prioritized.  Trees.  Lots.  

#1 is namely proximity to work and a blank slate where we could landscape our privacy.  We could do a small hobby farm there, as well.  I'm just sort of meh about it for some reason.  But I'm keeping it on the list.

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I read the OP but have not read the responses, so my reply is based on the first post here.  Based on what you wrote, I would contemplate making an offer on the first house, the newest house, in move in condition, on Grass.  If you make them an offer and they reject it, hopefully you can negotiate. Good luck!

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I live in the woods--I love the critters! We have foxes, possum, deer, squirrels, hawks and tons of birds. It's amazing. BUT we basically can't go outside for any length of time in the summer (so, about 3-5 months of the year, really) because the mosquitoes and ticks are horrendous. The church sort-of maintains the trees (when things fall, they cut down for us, but dh does some, too). It's just the bugs are terrible. I would never live in the woods again. 

I think the first one sounds best for me, but if you are just meh about it, that's a sign that you probably shouldn't buy it. It's like buying a wedding dress that fits well, but you don't love it. Who does that? lol Wait for the peace that comes with finding the right one. 

And lastly, I wouldn't trade space for time for anything. A short commute means more time with Dad, and time is precious. YMMV. 

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I, too, want privacy as one of the main factors in a home we buy which can be limiting!  With the second two properties, do you LIKE mostly woods or will you have to do some clearing?  I prefer grass yard near the house and all the trees surrounding so that they aren't so close that they would fall on the house in a bad storm.  (Have had trees fall in yards of the last 3 homes we've rented!)  The only other consideration would be how willing you are to update/remodel.  Other than that, I, personally, could live in almost any not-too-ugly house and make it work.  LOL  Good bones, good yard and privacy.  Bam, I'm happy.

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DH likes mostly woods; I like a mix of woods and field.  But we both agree that the house needs shade trees.  I'm not opposed to hiring someone to identify trees at risk of falling, though.  The dogs and kids need about 1/2 acre of yard to run around in, which I think #3 has.  And no, I'm not afraid of remodeling, though maybe that's because I've never done anything major.  ?

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One nice thing about the woods is that that becomes an outdoor area that is accessible but doesn't need weekly maintenance.  And you can live there for a while and then judiciously decide which trees to take it.  It's good to see a place through all the seasons before you start changing things too much.  I would go for 3.  With a house that big, you can do all the things inside, and if the woods are too buggy, you still have a great big house to be in.  

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The land of #2, for sure.  I love it, though it's be a lot to manage.  But I like its house the least. 

#1 is the cutest.  So cute.  #2 is the biggest, which sounds lovely after our stuff-to-space mismatch.  Neighbors is one thing we don't want.  ? 

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Regarding your comment that you're just meh about the first house for some reason, I wonder whether it is the proportions?  It took me a long time to realize that I'm very sensitive to proportions.  Ceilings that are too high or too low for the rest of the room depress me quite a bit.  I can't numerically express this, but I know it when I see it.  We actually put an offer on a house where that was barely not an issue, and I was pretty relieved when it didn't get accepted.  (It turned out to be a strangely noisy house, too, due to some weird echoing between the hillside behind it and a hill rather far away that acted like a whispering gallery.  We would have heard a TON of screaming play noise from tobaggoning in the winter and water play in the river all summer long.  Ugh.)

Anyway, once I was tuned in to this, I started to watch for it.  And I'm really glad that I did, because the last thing I need in a house is not to ever want to be in the living room, for instance.

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I'll try to notice.  One big thing is I know it will probably go under contract quickly.  And the 5 acres of grass is not super exciting.  Otherwise I guess just because it's sort of the middle option...nothing stands out like lots of square footage or lots of land.

Now there's a #4, though.  It's the one that got the fire lit under us a couple of weeks ago but went under contract on its third day.  4/2.5, 1987, 2 story w/garage, 2.5 acres with mix of trees and yard; 2.5 acre vacant lot on one side owned by the same people.  Also close to DH's work.

And just to clarify the work situation... closer and farther to his office is 10 minutes vs. 35 minutes.  Plus DH drives around to job sites a lot, and comes home at random times (he does office stuff here a good bit).  Most of his job sites are even further away than the office.  So it's not a 9-5 where we're shortening the commute by an hour or anything like that.  He might come home at 2:00 but be drawing stuff up and/or on the phone until 7:00.  Or not; depends on the day.

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Did the contract fall through on #4 so it is on the market again again or are you just bringing it up as a comparison point?

That one sounds quite nice. 

Your tone in describing the first three makes me think buying any of them would be settling, not really getting something you love.

Which we all have to do sometimes but it's not a step to take lightly.

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No it fell through 2 weeks after going under contraction.  And we'll have to settle.  Like was posted on another thread, we can either have property, location, or house.  Maybe two.  Not all three.  Because our idea of "more land" isn't an acre, or two acres, it's 5 or better.  But I agree, it shouldn't be done lightly because nothing sucks more than that size buyer's remorse!

The two that have been sitting I think are ridiculously overpriced.  But yeah, I do wonder about resale.  I think both have sellers that do. not. want to make them move-in ready.  One's estate-owned.  It's never even been under contract.  So much land, but super, super crappy house.  Not falling apart, just brass-framed mirrored sliding closet doors, that 80's wood paneling everywhere, on a well, original everything--counters, floors, etc.  It's possible the bones and guts are not good; I'm not sure.  That's house #2. 

House #3 is still occupied by the owner, never cleaned up the house to have pictures done, lighting's all wrong (took a picture of the front of the house with the sun setting behind it).  But I know for sure they've replaced the water heater, at least.  Just sort of looks like a bachelor pad, except for the flowered wall paper in the bathrooms.  But it's been rented out, under contract, on and off the market.  I'm not sure what's going on there.  I think he won't come down low enough to actually sell the house, or do what it takes to make it worth what he wants out of it.  Just my guess.

#4 is probably the best all around compromise, but it went so fast the first time.

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7 hours ago, CES2005 said:

No it fell through 2 weeks after going under contraction.  And we'll have to settle.  Like was posted on another thread, we can either have property, location, or house.  Maybe two.  Not all three.  Because our idea of "more land" isn't an acre, or two acres, it's 5 or better.  But I agree, it shouldn't be done lightly because nothing sucks more than that size buyer's remorse!

 

I'm actually impressed that you have the options you do. I figure we'll be in a similar position.  We're 99% firm on location and at least 2 acres. I know what I want in a house, but that's almost never combined with the acreage and location.  Hard choices!

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I think that's my main problem.  It's not 4 very similar options and the difference is something relatively minor; they're all very different.  But this is what it's like for our price point and criteria.  And they don't cross over often, so if we skip all of these, it may be a month or two before something else pops up. 

#1 raised their price by $10k after listing, by the way...

 

ETA: chair rails.  #1 has chair rails halfway up the wall with wallpaper or something under them.  I like the contrast, but halfway is too high and annoys me.  #3 has this going on in at least one room, but the wall is the same color above and below so it's not as noticeable.  Fixable, but yes, subliminally irksome.  Though I still think the meh is largely practical.  They'll never come down to our max.

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I'm not any less torn.  #1 feels a tad small, actually.  I love the kitchen.  I guess because it goes up and not out, it feels smaller than it is.  Cute, cute, cute.  They property itself is a blank slate and is in a beautiful rural area near DH's work.  All the kids like it best.  I seriously doubt they'd come down to our max, though.

#4 had the cutest details; I'm a sucker for older-feeling homes.  So dark wood banisters, wrought-iron light fixtures, wood stoves.  Love.  It had something in it that gave me a sinus headache, though.  Probably dust.  I really don't like its kitchen, though.  it feels kind of cramped and we currently have a galley.  The yard is all in front, and it's on a road that people drive fast on; fencing is a must.  Expensive immediate project.  Nice outbuilding, though it might need some holes closed up as birds nest in there.  And there's an unfinished bonus room off the master that would be a great office/game room for DH.  No shower in the MBA, though.  great soaker tub, just no shower.  It has a garage, too.  They're listed right below our max.  It will likely have a lot of little issues that will need addressing.  Bare-bulb lighting in the closets, for example.

#2 isn't as terrible as I thought it would be, but would still need new flooring, new cabinets and fixtures and appliances everywhere, new closet doors, probably new windows.  It's livable, but very, very dated.  And some musty smelling.  It's been added onto a few times, and the seller wants a lot more than it probably is worth.  But the important stuff is up to date.  The water heat might need replacing soonest.  Not sure about plumbing and electrical.  I think the musty is really because you can't have carpet in GA and not run HVAC or otherwise have airflow.  Just can't.  I'd offer about $57k below what they're asking (which is almost $30k over our max).  Beautiful, gorgeous property.  That's what they're hoping will keep the price high.

I'm not expecting to fall in love with a property or find the perfect one.  I just really can't decide; they're all so different.  and two may not negotiate, anyway.  Still haven't talked to DH, though, so we'll see.  I really think we're good custom build candidates...  I just can't do that, though.  Just can't.  Not with DH so busy to the point where I'd be handling it all on my own.  

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We could still afford house #2 right now.  Otherwise we need to hold off until mid-August to look for anything.  Long story as to why.  For those who aren't afraid of reno and crappy houses in exchange for privacy:

On the market for 18 months, estate owned.  Built in 1989, the house is 1617 square foot 3/2.5 on 19 acres (13 wooded, 6 in yard and pasture), plus a wired and plumbed detached garage/shop with a full bath (just under 900 sq.ft.).  Bugs everywhere, of course.  The house itself smells musty, and has had at least two additions put on it, though the crawlspace looks good.  Newer HVAC, water heater will need to be replaced soon, roof probably isn't bad but isn't new, it's been empty for 20 years, but the utilities have been kept on, the yard is kept, and the flower beds are reasonably weeded.  Random stuff has been left, so it would need to be cleaned, pest controlled, etc.  The bathroom fixtures are all original, but supposedly functional, cabinets are original but useable, the appliances need to go.  the third "bedroom" is barely enough for a twin bed, but has a half bath, closet, and window so they counted it.  It could be enlarged with some more major work.  The other tow bedrooms are good sized, though.  The first walk through I think I said it was a total gut job.  ?  But it could be done in stages, in theory. 

So...how insane is it to go for this?  I was estimating $50k for complete redo of floors, 3 bathrooms (I'd probably remove the 1/2 bath), and a full kitchen remodel.  I'd need to move some walls to make the third bedroom a real bedroom.  That's where I'm really not sure about cost.  Honestly I've been saying here that we just need a few hundred extra square feet and a garage...  My concern is where to put everyone while all of that is going on...  We can afford to piecemeal things, but we can't afford to live somewhere else while things are being done.  New floors, for example, will be a 100% up front cost.  As well as a fence for dogs.  Unless we shock collar them (the remote kind people use to train hunting dogs).  Getting to this point was stressful enough--just trying to live "staged" ugh ugh ugh.  I am so uncomfortable in my own house it's stupid and I hate greige.  But hey, it's easy to pick up with almost nothing here.   Anyway, this is already stressful, so I fly between "I can't do any of it" and "eff everyone I can do anything," lol.  I've got us pared back furniture-wise to where we could theoretically live in a 2-bedroom apartment (or house).  It's just mortgage + rent would leave us with nothing to reno with.

All of this is definitely accounting for inspections and appraisals and all that.  Possibly before I even put an offer in, if the seller will allow that.

What would you do or look for, if you're adventurous...

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Could you live in the garage space while you remodel?   I would hire a very experienced builder to evaluate the structure, foundation, roof, electrical, plumbing, etc before proceeding.  I have a feeling it will cost way more than $50,000 to do that much work.

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For me, I'd look at location and whether the bones of the house would make me happy.  I consider those things you can't easily change - things like house proportions for example.  

But generally speaking you can do something with the land.

As for  house being a total gut job, something like musty carpets I'd like out immediately.  But stuff like closet lighting, or mirrored doors, or paneling, even flooring in many cases - I'd be prepared to do that over time. A room a year or something like that. I'd also look at basic quality and suitability to house of any original stuff in kitchen or bath before I considered ripping it out for being dated.  People might just end up trying to restore it in 50 years, lamenting loss of original features.

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Asking for 57k off the top is a pretty big ask in any market. If you are near Atlanta, that's probably not going to fly given that it's a seller's market right now. Everything is going for ask or above. And if the property has been sitting that long, they are probably willing to wait for the price they want. Even if it is over priced. It doesn't mean you cant try, though.

You may not live around Atlanta so that might be useless to you but I think I would talk to an agent and see what the market is like in your area. 

Eta: It looks like you already have an agent if you have done a walkthrough. Im sure they have already told you all of that.

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Re: Atlanta...I guess it depends on what "near" means.  The county counts as metro, but this property is about as far from the highway as one can get and still be in the county.  I seriously doubt it will appraise for what they want.  But maybe I'm wrong.  And/or they could hold out for people with cash in hand, I guess.

The $50k is just a 100% cosmetic redo on 2 bathrooms and the kitchen, making one full bath operable (in the garage), plus all new flooring.  That's not the moving walls part; I have no idea how to even begin estimating that.  Low COL area, too.  And I'm not looking at granite counter tops and real hardwood floors here, or fancy cabinetry.  My main concern is how much we'd need on hand out of the gate, and what our day-to-day logistics would be in the midst of everything.

Floors have to go.  Appliances have to go.  Both immediately.  ?  The kitchen cabinetry isn't unusable, it's just weirdly laid out and needs a really good cleaning.  I'd want to reconfigure it at some point but it's livable with new appliances.  The bathrooms I'd need to really poke around again; flush toilets, turn on faucets.  All I remember distinctly is a mauve toilet and lots of spider webs.  ?  Standing shower with a door in one bathroom.  Decent size, actually.  The sleeping arrangement is really what has me hung up; really only 2 functional bedrooms.  The house's square footage isn't optimally used, but apart from musty odor, bugs, and old appliances/fixtures, that really does look like its main problem.  Pending a full inspection, of course...

This sounds nuts, lol.  Like I said, this is the possibility property.  I guess the question is whether it's worth the blood, sweat, tears and $$$.  ? 

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Regarding that pesky third bedroom, does it have high ceilings?  If so, single size bunk beds might be just the thing to make it usable, or a loft bed with a reading nook or lowboy dressing underneath might work.

Not particularly, but DD could theoretically sleep in there in her twin.  It's practically a hallway.  Might have been a mud room at some point?

And ftr, to literally gut this place and redo its floor plan entirely, I'd expect $100k-$150k.  Probably not doing that!  

 

5 minutes ago, ksr5377 said:

I would want the basement and the garage.  

DH nixed that one.  If the owner evicts the tenant, we might reconsider touring it; the tenant apparently doesn't always leave the property or something.  But yes, the square footage is a huge draw.

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I live about 35 miles from Atlanta and nowhere near a highway. Land here is all over the place price wise. It depends on the quality of the land and the zip code. The land might be worth more than the house if its in that bad shape.

Your agent should be able to tell you if you're making a reasonable offer and give you some idea of what it might appraise for. You can always make an offer and see if it sticks.

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I may see if the seller will allow an appraisal and inspection before putting in an offer, actually.  And no, I know I could be rejected; the seller will tell me if I offered too low, though.  What I'm trying to figure out is whether the privacy is worth trying for or if it's going to be a money pit.  Worst case ever scenario?  We stay here.  Forever.  ? 

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I dont know if they will let you do that but it would kind of be pointless. The bank is going to order an appraisal for the loan either way...so, basically you would be paying for that twice. You should have an inspection once under contract and you can back out if things look too bad during the due diligence period. 

A good agent should point out any potential problems with the house and should know what a reasonable offer would be. If they aren't doing that, find a different agent. 

And you won't be stuck there forever! New listings pop up every day...inventory is just really low right now. Can your agent set up an auto search for you? That way you can get emailed when new listings pop up.

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New listings with our criteria in our price point pop up once a week if I'm extremely lucky.  More like...rarely. 

And I'm willing to pay for it twice on a property like that where it's really, really difficult to comp it and the seller seems to be unwilling to budge on price.  The first appraisal would tell me whether to bother, and who is being unrealistic.  Seems worth the few hundred bucks either as a negotiating tool or to save us both the headache.  jmo, though.

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16 hours ago, CES2005 said:

I may see if the seller will allow an appraisal and inspection before putting in an offer, actually.  And no, I know I could be rejected; the seller will tell me if I offered too low, though.  What I'm trying to figure out is whether the privacy is worth trying for or if it's going to be a money pit.  Worst case ever scenario?  We stay here.  Forever.  ? 

We did an inspection before our offer. I can’t remember what that’s called, but it had a name—pre-inspection? In our case, it was because we’re in market where an offer with a contingency was likely to be rejected, but we weren’t willing to offer with no inspection at all. So we had the inspection done the day after we saw the house and then wrote up our offer. 

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So this month when I asked DH what his #1 priority in a house or property was and he said "privacy," he was apparently referring to our forever retirement property...  ?  I'm done.  Just forget any of this ever happened...  ?

I guess at least we can only bring things back in that we love and/or need.  And get that dang shed.  And something to replace our purple corduroy couch that's about 20 years old.  Good grief to everything ever...

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On June 24, 2018 at 10:51 PM, CES2005 said:

So this month when I asked DH what his #1 priority in a house or property was and he said "privacy," he was apparently referring to our forever retirement property...  ?  I'm done.  Just forget any of this ever happened...  ?

I guess at least we can only bring things back in that we love and/or need.  And get that dang shed.  And something to replace our purple corduroy couch that's about 20 years old.  Good grief to everything ever...

So you aren't looking anymore?

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I don't know.  I've just hit my wall for the moment, and that usually means I'm going about things wrong.  Just staying put is the least stressful and most financially sound decision, anyway.  It's just, I'll have a 17 year old when it's "smart" to revisit this.  And likely everything will be even more expensive.  And this just wasn't where I expected to raise my kids to adulthood.  This was our 5-year plan when I was pregnant with our middle child.

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44 minutes ago, CES2005 said:

I don't know.  I've just hit my wall for the moment, and that usually means I'm going about things wrong.  Just staying put is the least stressful and most financially sound decision, anyway.  It's just, I'll have a 17 year old when it's "smart" to revisit this.  And likely everything will be even more expensive.  And this just wasn't where I expected to raise my kids to adulthood.  This was our 5-year plan when I was pregnant with our middle child.

I feel your pain.  I certainly didn't think my 'fixer' would still be a work in progress 6 years later.  There is a lot of good sense in staying put in an affordable home.  You mentioned earlier that you could have the current house paid off in 2 years if you worked at it.  That might be a good strategy.  It puts you in a really good position when you begin to upgrade if your current house is completely paid off.  Also, there is huge peace of mind in having no mortgage.  Once you get there you might decide to stay there!  

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1 hour ago, CES2005 said:

I don't know.  I've just hit my wall for the moment, and that usually means I'm going about things wrong.  Just staying put is the least stressful and most financially sound decision, anyway.  It's just, I'll have a 17 year old when it's "smart" to revisit this.  And likely everything will be even more expensive.  And this just wasn't where I expected to raise my kids to adulthood.  This was our 5-year plan when I was pregnant with our middle child.

Heh.

We bought our current house as a temporary, too small compromise.  In 1991.

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If we shifted mortgages, I would want to pay the new one off in ten years; we wouldn't be increasing the monthly burden by much.  If we pay this house off, I know I personally won't want to go get another mortgage.  I'm just not sure I want to handle the trade off of staying here for another decade or so.  Though it is insanely irksome to fix this place up just to give it to someone else, lol.  But then the "I want my kids to have had..." thoughts.  But it's mostly property related--goats, woods to explore, legal chickens, etc.  (FTR, the chickens are technically legal, just not their coop; we have buffer ordinances, but I followed the spirit rather than the letter of the law).

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