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Old 10-26-2014, 06:01 PM
Location: A tropical island
4,842 posts, read 4,777,865 times
Reputation: 12163


Head over to the house forums, where you can post photos, and/or ask questions about ideas for specific updates. The people there will have great suggestions for you!

I have moved a LOT, and we don't like to spend a lot on updates (because we know we'll probably move within the next 12-18 months, and won't recoup a big investment). BUT, I do like to have things the way I like, and I've learned a lot of inexpensive tricks.

For example, I posted photos over in the home interior forum of my shiny brass bathroom faucets, that I sanded and repainted a beautiful oil-rubbed bronze. To have replaced all the faucets and shower trim in all the bathrooms with good quality updated fixtures would have cost about $1500 to $2000. I changed the look of them all for around $50.

There are ways to paint countertops. Area rugs can be an inexpensive way to cover any floor you don't like, whether it's tile, wood, or carpet. Repainted walls and ceilings for an instant huge change. Paint cabinets, doors, wood trim. Change out light fixtures---they're rather inexpensive.

And, as others have said, breathe! Enjoy making this hme YOURS!

Old 10-26-2014, 06:21 PM
10,181 posts, read 18,004,246 times
Reputation: 19675
Calm down. You are making problems where they don't exist. Your updates are for the most part strictly cosmetic, so relax. You can do them one at a time as the budget allows. How to handle it? Since nothing you mentioned affects the structural integrity of the house or your family's safety, take a deep breath and prove to your family that you are not really crazy. Your stress is artificial and it is created by you.
Old 10-26-2014, 09:37 PM
Location: San Antonio
7,629 posts, read 14,737,788 times
Reputation: 18724
I agree with everyone else. Call down, take a deep breath, evaluate what is NEEDED and what would be nice, and then prioritize the list and tackle it.

I think your reaction is not all that uncommon....have you ANY idea how many people wake up after getting married/having a child/ given 2 weeks notice at work to accept another job and wonder "OMG! What have I done"??!?! Anytime you make a HUGE commitment, there is bound to be some questioning of your decision, but you will probably be ok once you get over the initial reaction.

If you decide to try to resell this quickly, you could probably take care of all the "issues" you have listed and still have money left over in what it would cost you in sellers expenses.
Old 10-26-2014, 11:21 PM
1,313 posts, read 1,763,133 times
Reputation: 1979
Originally Posted by armory View Post
In the grand scheme of things, the entire thread does.
I think we've become way too fond of dismissing people's feelings as first world problems. What is trivial to some may not feel that way others. This panic may have little to do with the cosmetic issues, and everything to do with putting down her life savings and realizing the enormity of that. It's a major commitment, a huge purchase, and referred to as one of the most stressful things a person will do in life. Maybe cut her some slack?
Old 10-26-2014, 11:35 PM
239 posts, read 292,770 times
Reputation: 145
Thank you everyone and especially angelenogirl. This was a HUGE purchase for us, the house cost $315,000 because of the area. We knew picking this area would be expensive but we wanted to be in a good neighborhood for my son who is attending high school and I wanted to be in driving distance of my other son who started college. Back East our house cost half that price so that was why it was so hard for me to spend this kind of money. We have been looking at houses since February, and honestly, I bought this house for location but everything about it is what I said I didn't want. I wanted an updated house and the flipped one was my dream house but they lied to me and there were some red flags that came up that I got really scared and backed out. We bought a flipped house in PA that was done complety wrong and the drywall started coming apart and SO much more so that's why I got scared when they lied plus it was a flip, but now I wish I would have bought it because instead of trying to update this one I would be closer to my son in college, my husbands work, have a move in ready house and could enjoy the new area instead of staying indoors trying to fix everything. I really value your advice and you are right, I just need to stop thinking about the money all the time. It seems like whenever we buy a house, put money into it and then sell it, we lose out every time. The longest we have lived in a house is 7 years and we lost money at that one. Is that normal? I mean if I sell this one in a year, I will lose because of realtor fees, my closing costs were $10,000 because I paid extra to get my interest rate down. I make some really good decisions and then some really dumb ones. My husband loves this house but he loved the flip and I am the one who got bad vibes and pulled away. he supports everything I want and sometimes I dont like that because I am impuslive at times.

Angelenongirl I will check your pictures and that forum out. Thank you so much for the advice everyone!
Old 10-27-2014, 05:29 AM
27,152 posts, read 54,503,340 times
Reputation: 21365
Concentrate on the basics...

My brother just sold a home for top dollar that was built in 1959...

It was owned by a widow age 101 that just moved to a board and care...

Zero remodels... even the cabinet hardware is original as are all the fixtures.

It was immaculate and perfect paint in and out, 50 year roof, lovely landscaping, etc... EVEN single pane windows...

About the only upgrade over the years was a very high efficiency heat pump.

Buyers are in love with the place... even the 1959 tile and toilets and zero problems appraising... great location with great neighbors...

Now the home that is a disaster was two blocks away... it had been a rental and a flip... slip shod all the way... took a case of lipstick and the buyers are stuck.

Real Estate really is location...

By the way... I'm betting the hardware in American Made and not Made in China...
Old 10-27-2014, 06:02 AM
Location: Wisconsin
7,214 posts, read 8,207,651 times
Reputation: 7748
Originally Posted by Sunshinegirl7 View Post
Is that normal? I mean if I sell this one in a year, I will lose because of realtor fees, my closing costs were $10,000 because I paid extra to get my interest rate down. I make some really good decisions and then some really dumb ones. My husband loves this house but he loved the flip and I am the one who got bad vibes and pulled away. he supports everything I want and sometimes I dont like that because I am impuslive at times.
No, generally speaking, living in a house seven years and losing money on the resale isn't normal, but the recession a few years ago set things back quite a bit for some areas.

The rule of thumb is usually that if you buy a house, you should plan to live in it a minimum of five years. Less than that, and there could be a good chance you lose money on the transaction.
Old 10-27-2014, 06:08 AM
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
47,719 posts, read 46,019,960 times
Reputation: 93455
Originally Posted by Sunshinegirl7 View Post
I wanted an updated house and the flipped one was my dream house but they lied to me and there were some red flags that came up that I got really scared and backed out.
You did the right thing.

Think about the sick feeling you would have if you had bought the shoddy flip for top dollar and THEN found all the repairs that still would have to be made for thousands more.

Concentrate on what is GOOD about your new place. Adjust your expectations about the house, and you will feel more at peace.
Old 10-27-2014, 07:49 AM
3,492 posts, read 5,170,271 times
Reputation: 5386
Originally Posted by Sunshinegirl7 View Post
I am an emotional wreck, we just moved into the house we bought and I hate everything about it, I don't know what happened to me, I thought this house was perfect for us, but now I think it's way too big, too expensive, needs way too many updates and I am finding things constantly that I didn't know about before and that wasn't caught on the inspection. I thought I got a deal on it because they wanted 27,000 more than we offered but now I am realizing with all the updates we need to do, I will never get the money back. We looked at houses since February this year. I found one that I thought was my dream house, all updated, cheaper, closer to the things we love but I backed out when I found out they lied to me about it being a flip, now I am in a house that needs so many updates and I am an emotional wreck. I am stressing my family out and I don't want to do that, but I don't know how to handle this. I put our whole life savings down on it to make the payment smaller and not have to pay a PMI. Has anyone else gone through with this?

The updates I need to do are the pool needs resurfaced, all bathroom fixtures, lights, knobs, cabinets, mirrors, floors, doors don't shut good, windows are original. Put it this way, everything is the original 1985 items. Comps put this house at 338,000 but we offered 315,000 because of updates, but now I feel like we should have even went lower. When it comes to square feet vs. comps, what amount do you go lower for updates? I need someone to help me focus and think more clearly, otherwise I am going to fall apart and I don't want to do that.
Woah there. Most of us have had buyers remorse, even when we get an excellent deal. It passes in time and you may return to your senses and feel very happy about it. I know I felt the pressure for about two weeks or so after we moved into our new house. Then it passed and all was well again.

Your list of things that need to be done seems extreme. If you don't get the pool resurfaced, is a monster going to come up and eat your family? If you don't update the bathroom fixtures, are they going to explode and send shrapnel into your loved ones? Will they cause the house to burn down? Are the cabinets spawning termites or Ebola?

What you NEED is to reassess the meaning of the word "NEED". Your listed several things that were wants as if they were needs. Odds are the seller wouldn't have made huge concessions based on you wanting several updates to the house. They would have waited for someone that was happy with what was being offered. It sounds like you got a fairly nice discount already.

Doors not shutting well could be as simple as them being painted too many times and the thick layer of paint rubbing on the frame. It's a larger repair job if the doors were hung incorrectly or have sagged significantly.

When your realtor ran comps, she was comparing to comparable houses, yes, you saw comparing twice. That means he or she already took into account that those things were not updated (unless they were massively incompetent). If you closed that far below comps, you did great. Don't focus on "getting our money back", because that is the mindset of someone that is already selling. If you buy a house without an intent to own it for the next 5 to 7 years at a bare minimum, it is a very foolish decision.

You want updates, but you don't need them. Stop telling yourself that you absolutely must have everything that you want.

I WANT to finish the basement in this house. Realistically, I might get it to this winter or it might take me another 2 to 3 years depending on how much work I have on my plate.
Old 10-27-2014, 09:02 AM
Location: Living rent free in your head
34,120 posts, read 15,666,496 times
Reputation: 24686
Don't get in a panic, it will be ok. You can do most of the upgrades easily by yourself and they might be fun projects. I just sold a 1985 house and did very well because of the 'sweat equity' we put into it. I refinished all the kitchen cabinets with gel stain, added hardware and they were gorgeous - most people thought they were newer shaker cabinets. We remodeled both of our bathrooms (installing tile is really very easy) and had pre-fab granite installed in the kitchen and one of the bathrooms, pre-fab is very cheap now and it does not cost much to get it installed. As far as windows, they should be fine, and since you already have double pane windows changing them for low-e would not be cost effective, if some windows are fogged you can replace a pane, or cheaper yet, find a local glass company that de-fogs windows. They drill a small hole spray a solution in between the panes let it dry then seal the hole. A handyman should be able to re-align any doors or cabinets that don't close properly for a very small fee
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