Are you looking for a house or are you thinking about looking for a house? Follow me on this journey as I spend time looking for the perfect multi-family for my dog, girlfriend, and I to live in.
For those of you who haven’t read part one of this series, I’d check that out here!
In the last part of this series, I left off on getting pre-approved for up to $620,000! But, being responsible, I was only going to use $350,000 max on a new multi-family property for myself, my girlfriend, and our 100-lb German Shepherd. So, like I said in the last post, I needed a year and I needed enough room for us and our dog to live in. Also, I needed at least two free apartment units – one for us and one for my two roommates who live with us. They’re family and I’m can’t leave them in the dust!
So, I scoured Zillow to find that perfect property. I found a ton of great options and added them to my favorites list on Zillow to keep tabs on them. I was ready to contact some people and see some places. I did want some representation, though. I needed someone in my corner who knew the real estate market. I asked for some referrals for a real estate agent and while I got a few names, one stuck out to me because the family member that gave me the reference had first-hand experience using him in finding multi-families, too. I contact the real estate agent, Doug, to see what he thought about a few of the properties I wanted to see from Zillow. Would you believe it – he didn’t answer!
I was too excited and fired up to wait for a call back, so I asked Tanisha, my girlfriend, to call a few places for us to check out over the weekend and she was able to schedule some for us. So, the rest of the week flew by and we were able to spend our Saturday visiting our first few properties. I had them all lined up, perfectly priced for my budget and with many of the qualities I was looking for from the pictures we saw. Now I just needed to get out there to pick out the perfect house to make me money and I would have my future cash-flowing property.
The first property we went to visit was in Smithfield and was located so close to the Greenville plaza, meaning it was so close to the Target Tanisha loves, so I thought it would be a great fit! The house was on a main road, which is something I wasn’t really interested in, but I was willing to give it a chance. It had a big driveway with a three-care garage, which was pretty nice. The house was listed for $289,000 – definitely within my budget! It was our first two family visit that seemed to be checking off all of the boxes. I went through it with the listing agent and, while it was a little dated, the house was in great condition. When we finished walking through, we drove around the neighborhood and liked the surrounding area.
Our next stop was an open house just down the street from the first house, but this one crossed the town line and brought us into Johnston. Just by looking at photos, this house was in need of a little more work than the other house. When we got there, we saw another long driveway with a garage/workshop in the back. There was a lot of yard for the dog to play in and the house itself had a smaller price-tag of $260,000. The problem was that as soon as we got into the house, we knew that it would take some serious money to get it into decent shape – probably $30,000 just from what we could see, never mind anything an inspector could find later in the process. We walked out knowing that it wasn’t worth it for us with the previous home in much better shape. As we left, a flood of people went in to check out the space, so we luckily missed the mob of potential buyers.
Our last stop was a nice house in Johnston right on Putnam Pike, another main road. It was priced at $285,000, which seemed about right for the area and had the added benefit of the homestead tax exemption. This house had a nice two car garage with parking on the side street behind the house. The yard was long and narrow, which were qualities we had time to examine as we waited for the listing agent to finally arrive to the showing. Unknown to us, he had scheduled other interested buyers to visit the property at the same time he scheduled us in, which was less than ideal. The house was updated inside and seemed to be well taken care of. There was definitely a lot more space with the open concept that everyone likes. As we watched all of the other potential buyers walk through the house, they were being sold on every inch of it and we knew it was going to sell quick! When we left, I thought this was the house I wanted, but I wasn’t quite ready to put up an offer.
We got home from the long day of looking, of course after a quick stop at the nearby Target to run some errands. Then, when we got back, we sat down and talked about which places we liked and which ones we didn’t. That Monday, I got a call from the real estate agent I had been trying to reach asking me to meet with him on Friday. In the meantime, I had shared the properties with my aunt and uncle when they asked about the house hunt progress and it was a good thing I did! After looking at the properties, they let me know that the first two properties we visited were really close to a water treatment center – which I’m sure you can imagine is not a pleasant smell in the heat of summer. Then, just as I suspected, the third property was under contract in no time. This made me feel like my first weekend was a failure, since I thought for sure that third property in Johnston was the one.
But hope was not lost, and the search continued. Plus, now I would have some help from my real estate agent Doug.