Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Realtor makes an offer - Chapter 2: Kitchen worries

The townhouse we're considering buying in Toluca Lake really suits us.  We like the location, the layout, the price and the HOA.  But the kitchen...doesn't work at all.  It's tiny (the picture above is not it.)  We're not gourmet cooks, but this kitchen is about 2/3rds the size of the one we have now, which is already too small. It's u-shaped, and there won't be room for two humans and 3 pets.  It has a double oven, which we don't need, and has no pantry, which we do need. It really needs a build-out, and we can't work with it as it is.

We went to Lowes and got cabinet catalogs.  And had a contractor who we've used in the past take a look.  (This contractor can sell ice to Eskimos.)  Yes, the kitchen can be remodeled, built out, expanded, etc. -- and will cost a minimum of $20k just to do a medium-line build out, probably more.  In cash.

Yikes.  That's on top of our 20% downpayment.  During this time, we were also watching HGtv remodeling shows.  Yes, a medium-line kitchen will cost $20k plus.

Other flaws become evident.  The rooftop patio has water intrusion issues.  The master bath doesn't have a tub. There's one less closet than we need, although perhaps we can do something in the garage.  The carpet is shot.

Although we had our doubts, the pluses outweigh the minuses, at least to my husband.  We went ahead and made an offer anyway, about $9k less than full price.  We won't sell our existing house until the Spring, and we can close in 30 days.  We're approved by a lender.

And the place hasn't been shown yet as it's being painted (but is on the mls), so we figure the early bird is going to get the worm.  The listing agent is in my office, is a friend, and has gotten us to see it in advance of the marketing.
Next: our negotiation

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