WWYD: Buying the house we rent. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 07-09-2008, 10:10 AM - Thread Starter
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We currently are renting a cute little three bedroom house outside of the main city here. This is our first time living in a house (we've been in apartments until now), but we LOVE this house. In fact we love the house, the yard, the neighborhood, the neighbors...everything! We have talked and can't imagine living anywhere else. He has spoken to our landlords before (they are so amazing, a nice couple with three children) about the possibility of buying this home in the future. They said that we could definitely work something out.

But here is my question...
There are some things that we need changed in the house. Nothing huge, just things like needing the carpeting replaced etc etc. The big projects (like adding in more kitchen cabinets) we plan to just do ourselves. But when it comes to things like having the carpets replaced...WWYD? Would you...
a) Tell them you want to buy the house, but first the renovations need to be done since they are *necessary*. or...
b) Tell them that you'll do the renovations yourself if they will come down on the price.

Which one would you do? Again, they aren't big things but there are enough small things to add up to a big difference in the price we'd be willing to pay if the things aren't fixed.
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#2 of 9 Old 07-09-2008, 10:25 AM
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- itemize the renovations you think need to be done.
- get estimates from excellent quality remodellers. For every item that needs to be done.

when the landlord is in a good mood, broach the topic of buying their home. In the context of how you would take care of it, etc etc ( I would avoid mentioning how much you are attached or love it), inquire about selling price.
- Then mention that you had been thinking these such were items that should be fixed and what it would probably cost. If they question your estimates, make a comment how you kind of looked into it, you can show them the papers later, and this demonstrates you did your homework.

-Don't admit that you can do everything for 1/3 the price.
-Don't emphasize the "need" that these items should be done, b/c obviously the landlord doesn't think so, or would have done them.

....speaking as a prior landlord. Who had tenants want to buy. But didn't want to sell, at the time.
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#3 of 9 Old 07-10-2008, 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by MamaPyratekk View Post
b) Tell them that you'll do the renovations yourself if they will come down on the price.
The point of selling a rental property is to get rid of a hassle. So you will get the best deal if you arrange for the new carpet, etc after you buy. This puts choice of materials, letting contractors in, and risk of over-budget jobs all on you.

If they were going to make the home perfect, they might as well sell on the "open market"and get the best price.

IF there is a big ticket item (new roof for example) and you need that cost included in the mortgage, you ask the seller to have it done and include that cost in the negotiated price of the house.
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#4 of 9 Old 07-10-2008, 12:21 AM
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I would probably just negotiate the price of the house "as is". If they wanted to sell the house for more $$ they would replace the carpeting and spruce up the house themselves first. And I would not do a bit of work on the place unless you have a contract to buy. Otherwise you are simply improving someone else's property.
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#5 of 9 Old 07-15-2008, 04:28 PM
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I would say that especially if these things are relatively "little" you'd be best off negotiating an as is price without necessarily going into too much detail. Also, that way you can do the improvements the way you want when the place is yours. Personal experience: we had the people who owned our house do some minor-ish improvements, and some of them were done not at all to our taste (in one case, actually done incorrectly).

DD 7/07 DS 1/11

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#6 of 9 Old 07-15-2008, 09:06 PM
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I would negotiate the price as is.. just make sure in your offer you ask for a "carpet allowance". This is a common request in housing purchase offers. It allows the new owner to buy and install a new carpet up to a certain amount of $ (3,000 is common here).

Also, before you make an offer have the home inspected professionally. You don't want any surprises like leaks near the foundation or rot in the attic insulation that you can't see. You don't want to be stuck with a problem that is not cosmetic- like something structural. Also, have several realtors walk through your home and give you an estimate about what the house would go for- that way you know what a fair offer would be. Usually realtors ask 4-6% of the selling price, so by buying from the owners directly, the owners would already be saving themselves that money. Also look into a FSBO class in your area. They will often teach you how to write up a contract yourself so you can buy a house safely without putting yourself in a bad situation (bringing a house up to code can cost a bundle if you didn't foresee it). They may even have forms for you with all the legalese you should use..

I have a friend that wanted to buy in a certain neighborhood- but houses there were on the market usually for a matter of hours. She made a friend with someone who lived there that was moving to Israel for sabbatical. They took a FSBO class together- they had the house appraised together. They agreed on a fair price together and did all the paperwork themselves. Both sides saved a ton of money- but in their case there were little problems with the house that weren't cosmetic.
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#7 of 9 Old 07-16-2008, 10:28 AM
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I would do as is. When the landlord gives you a price, come back to him/her with comps in the neighborhood and say that given this list of problems with the house you think they should come down in price by x amount.

Suzan, mama to DS 9-18-07 and #2 EDD 3/4/10 GIRL!.
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#8 of 9 Old 07-16-2008, 02:12 PM
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Here's how I would look at it. If its an actual "need" and something that has to be taken care of, ask. Things like shingling, furnace, plumbing, electrical... Because when you get estimates they all should be close within reason. But if its a want or cosmetic at all, I wouldn't bother. If you get bids for carpet it could be anywhere from $1.50Sf to $7.00Sf depending on your taste. Not saying the carpet doesn't need to be replaced but it has nothing to do with the structure of the house.
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#9 of 9 Old 07-17-2008, 12:01 AM
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I would ask for a price reduction myself, because I would much rather choose the carpets and such, rather than letting them choose. No matter how nice they are, they're still working on their own budget and thinking from their own perspectives, not yours. What if they install something hideously ugly, or gross-feeling? You'd want to replace it anyway.
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