By Ted Slowik
So, we're moving, my family and me. We found a great deal on a house for $260,000. We're selling our current home and extra lot for $190,000 total to two separate buyers. (We paid $134,00 for both eight years ago.) Our taxes on the old house are roughly $5,000, about the same at the new place. (Gotta love those low taxes in the Joliet school districts.)
It's been said that moving is more stressful than losing your job, or a death in the family. Since I'm going to be preoccupied with this situation until Aug. 1, I thought I'd share with you my experience buying and selling homes in this, the worst real estate crisis since Man moved out of caves, or something like that.
Today we had the inspection on the new home. It needs a new roof, probably $5K to $6K. I want to get rid of a tree that's hanging over the house, probably another $2K. Some windows need fixing: $1K. When we get the home inspector's report tomorrow, do we ask the seller to knock something off?
Today our attorney's helper said the buyer of our house wants us to split the cost for a new roof. I said, "No, as-is." She said, "What if they say no deal and walk away?" I said, "Then you go to the seller of the house we're buying and get them to lower their price for the cost of the new roof there."
These things are negotiated.
We consider ourselves very lucky, my wife and two kids, 15 and 12. We're buying a great house in a great neighborhood in central Joliet. If all goes as planned, we'll sell our current properties for $56,000 more than we paid eight years ago, roughly $7K a year in equity, more than $500 profit for each month we've lived in this home. Not bad. Certainly better than a loss.
We looked at homes in the New Lenox, Channahon, Minooka and Shorewood areas. Taxes were the deal-breakers. There are good properties to be had out there in those towns in this market, if you can afford $10K a year in taxes. I can't. That would double my monthly payments, just about. I'm all for good public schools, but there's a limit to what we can afford. We will not live beyond our means.
Our home was on the market about a month. We had several showings off the bat, then went a couple weeks with nothing. I bought a big ad in the newspaper, spent $500 (no company discount), and within a couple days we had two offers. One was FHA, $5K more, the other a cash offer. We took the cash.
There was a little confusion over the closing dates. We thought it was late June, found out today it's late July.
I'll try to keep you updated on the process. I love the house we're buying--it's where I hope to retire. Remember this is Potluck, something for everyone. Every so often I'm going to break from the city topics and just tell you something about myself. You can comment if you want, I don't expect you to. But if this forum seems unattended on evenings and weekends it's because I'm packing or doing something else. Moving is stressful, no doubt.