— 5 November 2002 —
So we made an offer last night. The seller is asking 97,5 and is adding a 1000$ decorating allowance. Essentially cash at closing. Instead of offering a little lower than asking price, we offered 97,5 and asked that the decorating allowance be increased to 2000$.
Another wrinkle (sort of) is that this is an FHA loan. First Time Home Buyer. A govt program than has certain restrictions. One of which is that there will be no lead paint. Any lead paint must be removed by the seller or the loan won’t happen. Trouble is that this home probably has lead exterior paint (an inspection is forthcoming). The seller had a repaint job priced at 6000$. So that’s out of her pocket.
She counter-offered with 99,5 (the original asking price when she put it on the market) and agreed then to the 2000$ allowance. 99,5 would increase our monthly payment by 30$. But 2000$ would mean redoing parts of the kitchen, or all of the bathroom, plus getting a real bed for Sagan.
So our counter-offer is going to be 99,5, plus 3000$ allowance, and the seller only has to pay for the stripping, removal and cleanup of paint, plus priming. We will take care of painting it. This is because we have specific colors already picked out for the place, and would save money by painting it ourselves. So I will call the agent this morning and offer that.
If the seller goes for it, she will probably be saving 500-1000$ off her first counter-offer, even with a 1000$ increase in allowance. 3000$ would mean we could completely redo the bathroom (except tub and tile), get Sagan’s bed and some accessories for her room, redo the kitchen including cabinets, sink, and possibly fridge or stove. We want the bathroom and kitchen to be more on the modern side, and leave the rest of the house (with the exception of paining) untouched. You might say, “With 3000$? But how?” To wit, I would respond: IKEA.
I don’t remember if I put a link to pictures of the house. These were taken by the agent.