Officially in Escrow

This week has been my spring break - which is one of the fabulous aspects of being a teacher. All the same vacations I enjoyed while still a student!

Despite the fact that I did not go anyplace out of city nor did I go shopping for clothes or shoes once this break, (I spent most of my week working on the historic home I'm co-renovating), it has been a very expensive vacation for me. It started when I viewed a two bedroom, one bath home close to the university in town, and decided I needed to buy it. The original list price was 82,000 but had been dropped to 79,9000. After several counter-offers, I secured it for 75,500 with closing costs to be paid by the seller, giving them a net total of 72,000 for the house. The house was built in 1950 and has been well maintained but needs some cosmetic fixes that will have to be low-price in order to not out-do the price range of the neighborhood. Most homes in that location go for $65,000-90,000 so I landed right in the middle with my final offer. I'll take possession of the house at the end of April, assuming nothing disastrous happens.

After this purchase occured, I began planning and mapping out the minor fixes I am going to do to this home. I will fund all of my work on this house using my AmEx card rather than taking out a bank loan, as I have 0% APR/interest until September, plus a nice, hefty credit limit, (potentially dangerous but thus far under used). I'm going to paint the "L" shaped living and dining area a lightlight chocolate brown and cream, and decorate with a chocolate and turquoise design scheme centered around my oatmeal colord couches. Luckily, I have a grandma who can sew curtains and pillows in any color I desire.

The kitchen has white cabinets I would like to reface, and I'd like to re-do the counters and floor with new laminates, as well as paint the walls a gun metal blue. I'd also like to find some used black appliances, and maybe purchase a butcher block island to put in the center, (the previous owners fit a set of table and chairs, so it's quite large).

The bathroom is going to be either cream or light celedon, and I bought a leaf covered shower curtain and candle from Pottery Barn that were both on sale, as well as an antiqued map wooden wall hanging that was 50% off at Hobby Lobby and will match the shower curtain beautifully.

To top off what I bought for the house I don't even technically own yet, I bought a beautiful vanity/mirror/stool set that I found at a high end furniture gallery for about 45% off. I go pick it up tomorrow. It's a bit feminine for staging a home, but it will go nicely with my wrought iron bed that has been sitting sadly in storage all year and the pistachio walls I intend to paint in one of the bedrooms.

The good news is that the backyard is big and fenced so I can have both my black lab and M.'s chow mix come live with me.

The interest rate on the house is good, too, coming in at 5.7%. Now is a good time to buy properties as prices are low due to lots of product on the market, and banks really want to seduce qualified buyers into making home purchases. NPR said that home sales are actually on the up-swing because of this. Hopefully it will last. I would like to put my home back on the market by July/August and seek a $95,000 initial price tag. Or it may be wiser to rent it to university students and just hold on to it for a few years and hope it appreciates.

Who knows. As a last ditch effort, M. can move in with me in August if the property is still unsold/unrented, and we can split the costs.

I hope buying this doesn't shackle me to my job teaching, because I am on the hunt for a new job that doesn't involve a commute or teenage children. If I could be guaranteed I'd make $8,000-$12,000 on this house I wouldn't need to renew my contract, but of course, in life there are no guarantees. But, there's also no reward without risk! And hopefully the house will be cute enough to be reward unto itself.