I am beginning to think I’m a bit crazy when it comes to buying this house. I have had to do some real thinking on why I want THIS house. (as a reminder I’m buying a HUD home near by kids school – by myself). While the house needs a ton of work, it is in a great location and I don’t think that I would get into a house and not need ANY work – so I figured it was par for the course on this one. However, I’ve hit another snag on it.
The yard is pretty much dead. The house has sat vacant for the past four years – so it absolutely makes sense to me that it would be dead. There is no water and no one caring for it at all. I knew this would be a project for me. But now it seems that the HOA has a lien on the house until HUD can get it back up to code (it is under a covenant violation). As we are faced with October in Colorado and colder weather, I’m not certain how this issue will be fixed. Even if HUD tried to put sod down to make the lawn get up to code. I’m not certain that it will stick as there is no water to the property and no way to turn on water until it is owned.
There was some talk about HUD trying to push the cost to me. I can’t afford a 7K escrow. I’m not certain how they arrived at the $7000 price tag either. When I looked at HomeAdvisor’s cost guide it said $1500 (maybe they were wrong too – but if we could find something in between). But in either case, HUD can’t sell the home until the lien is released. HOA won’t release the lien until covenant violation is fixed. If I was going to do a little happy dance – I would hope that HUD fixes the yard to covenant standards and still sell me the home but it could be MONTHS before it is fixed as we are upon winter. Either that or I make it onto one of those fix-it shows on DIY Network or HGTV. (Hello YardCrashers?!?!?) So…I’m back in standstill with my ability to do anything about the situation at literally NOTHING.
I wrote a couple weeks ago that I’ve been awarded the HUD bid on a house. It has been ten years since I owned a home with my ex. I did little to take care of the house that we had and it sort of seemed that we were young and inexperienced then. Since then, I have had the desire to own a home. But was not really sure what all that meant. (Except a bunch of money). So, I am walking through the process once again like I am a young adult doing it for the first time.
Friday, I had the inspection of my “new” house. I loved that the inspector had such a teaching spirit. I asked a lot of questions at first then he did a good job of anticipating my questions by talking me through what he was doing and looking for. We went through the house making sure that lights turned on, that sockets had power, that there was no real damage. He checked the heater and the air conditioning (putting a monitor on each vent throughout the house). He looked at all the windows, roof, gutters, etc. We looked in the attic (It was all clear and no animals were nesting there).
Big problem. HUD will not allow us to turn on the water. The inspector did an air pressure test where the blew water through the water pipes to see if he could determine if it would keep pressure. It would not. So there is definitely a plumbing issue and the first order of business when the signatures is complete is that I will need to get a plumber in to check where there are issues.
Overall, there are some things I will need to take care of immediately. The inspector was great about telling me which projects would be something a handy man or I can handle on my own and which ones are something that I will have to call in a professional (plumbing, water heater and electricity).
The appraisal has been a bit of an issue. They are saying they can not do appraisal without the water turned on. But HUD won’t allow the water to be turned on for the very reason the inspector said – it will not hold pressure so there is likely a leak or broken pipe somewhere in the house. (The inspector believes he may have found it in the wall in the kitchen but could not confirm). So we are waiting on inspection.
I’m not certain how I did it – but I have some really great professional people on my side helping to walk me through the process of what I need and assuring me that we can get this done. Go Team Gretchen! My loan originator, Nicky Hungerford is awesome (and has won awards via 5280 among others). She is a professional and friend. My realtor Kim Kronenberger has definitely done this before and is great about walking me through what is what and helping to arrange the inspector and turning on/off electricity, gas and figuring out we can not turn on the water.
Next step, securing the loan. I have already given many items like my taxes, divorce decree etc to Nicky – but apparently need a bit more. Almost there.