On Sunday I went to two open houses in one of my ideal neighborhoods (the uncool parts of Brooklyn that are not Cobble Hill, Williamsburg or Bushwick). Both homes were clearly out of my price range but I was curious to see what I could get in a higher price point. Sadly, I realized that even with a larger price bracket, I wouldn’t get a larger, more updated house. Even at my price point, I can only afford an attached fixer upper in this part of Brooklyn. If I’m extremely lucky I would get three decent sized bedrooms.
I liked house # 1, still, I couldn’t imagine making an offer on this property. It had a lot of pluses. It was a two unit property known more commonly as a Mother/ Daughter. The top floor or first unit had two bedrooms, with a kitchen, dining area, living room and bathroom. The second floor had one bedroom, living room, kitchen and bathroom. Each unit had its own entrance. There was even a patio and garage in the back. I liked the layout of the house. I liked the idea of living in one unit and renting out the other. But I strongly felt it was overpriced. In fact, it was listed at $129,000 over my budget. My realtor felt that it would sell for above the listing price. There was a lot of interest in this property and a large amount of people came to view it. So, my realtor’s assessment is probably correct.
House # 2 was listed as a short sale several months ago. It was purchased by a developer, I guess you could call it a flip. I hated house # 2. The workmanship was shoddy and the cosmetic choices were poor. My number one pet peeve in viewing homes are developers who reorganize pantries or kitchen cupboards into bathrooms. Essentially a bathroom in your kitchen. Why would they do this? The house had an updated kitchen with three super small bedrooms and a tiny basement. It’s only saving grace? The house was semi-detached and on a corner lot, allowing lots of light into the ultra-small space. Despite the lack of living space, this property was listed for almost $200,000 above my price point.
I walked away from these two properties feeling very disappointed about housing inventory. I also had a clearer picture of what I do not want in my house. Thirdly I realized that there are many buyers out there, and some of them have cash, it’s supper competitive, therefore whenever my ideal house comes on the market, I need to be ready to make an offer at first sight, even sight unseen. And I’m not sure that I’m willing to do that just yet. Yes, I am a serious buyer. I would like to purchase a home in 2018, But I’m not willing to make an offer on a house after a ten-minute viewing. I would need to see that property again at a different time of day. I need to walk the block. Feel out the neighbors, check crime stats. How close is the bank, the post office, a supermarket? And how long will it take me to get to work. The search continues.