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Home Improvement
Home Improvement ideas, help, DIYs, and show room. Got a home improvement project you need help with or want to share. Post your project now!

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Old 08-12-2012, 11:54 AM   #1
Lair
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Going cheap.

I'm considering buying a foreclosure or a HUD home and remodeling it to my specs. There are a couple of suburban neighborhoods near me that are safe and have a good selection of seriously cheap houses. I want to get into something that won't break the bank.

I've remodeled a couple of houses that turned out OK, and now I want to get into something that I can either pay cash for, or buy and have a minimal mortgage payment. This is not a flipper deal. I'm looking for something that I can live in until I die - preferably something I can afford on a McDonald's salary.

Who's bought a bargain-basement house, and what did you do with it?
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Old 08-12-2012, 01:10 PM   #2
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That's pretty vague.

Especially if you plan to live there forever, buy in a neighborhood that's nice and future proofed, good school system, etc.

I found a house that needed updating but was structurally sound.

Put some money and work into it, doubled the value and tripled the size.
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Old 08-12-2012, 01:26 PM   #3
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There's a local suburb that has a brand new high school, new elementary school, and new retail/tax base development out the wazoo. Taxes are stupid cheap, they have their own water works system, and the city manager is a friend who's intelligent and committed. The constituents are mostly good natured hillbillies and young families. I'd feel safe living there - especially if I can find a deal in the right part of town. It's 12 miles from the center of downtown, and close to everything that's relevant to my life. The place is going up under the current city leadership. Even if he leaves, the foundation he's built will sustain the city for another 15 or 20 years.

I'm waiting for the usual winter RE market collapse before i make a move, but I've seen several excellent candidates priced from $35K & up. I just don't know how deep I want to get into a project, so i'm looking for success stories to motivate me.
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Old 08-13-2012, 10:02 AM   #4
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The old saying "location, location, location"

The house I purchased last year is literally the first house I've lived in where I can actually see my neighbors. Ive heard horror stories about bad neighbors and was really worried about it when looking for a house. I didn't decide to make an offer on the place till I meet the people I would be living next to. I would be a little worried about the area if you're talking about "$35K and up". If you are planning on staying there for "till you die" I would look into an area with a little bit better home values...
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Old 08-16-2012, 09:37 AM   #5
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These are foreclosures. Normal homes in this neighborhood are going for $150k+.
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Old 08-16-2012, 10:36 AM   #6
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These are foreclosures. Normal homes in this neighborhood are going for $150k+.
Be careful living too close to schools.
I thought that was a priority when I bought my current house and it was a mistake.

I live in an area that was booming in 2003. They were building 2,3 new schools every year. I thought it was 'good' to live next to schools. There are 3 within a 1 mile radius of where I live.

It sucks.

I live 1/4 from a high school and it is a nightmare trying to navigate my way through the area when school is starting or ending. If I leave for work after 7 am or return anytime between 3 and 4, I have to drive through 3 school zones and slow to 10 mph. And the police are often out there with radar to make sure we conform to the speed limits.

Living close to schools is okay, but not too close.

I would not ever live across the street from one.

BTW, where do you live?
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Old 08-16-2012, 04:25 PM   #7
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Do it, I brought a foreclosure home. The house itself was in perfect condition. It was missing door knobs, light fixtures, refrigerator, etc. Those were easy to replace. The basement was unfinished. I had someone came in do the drywall, tile, and paint. I got on youtube and brought a couple of books from home depot and I installed the toilet, sink, wetbar (cabinets, mirrors, etc). It wasn't that bad, never done it before and did a decent job. My uncle who is a contractor said, "I did pretty damn good job." for someone who hasn't done it before.
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Old 08-16-2012, 09:50 PM   #8
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Be careful living too close to schools.
I thought that was a priority when I bought my current house and it was a mistake.

Living close to schools is okay, but not too close.

BTW, where do you live?
The schools are a few miles away from the streets I'm looking on. At the moment, I'm in beautiful Birmingham, AL. I might be back in CA next year, though. Right now I want to get back into some real estate and have a place to go when it's time to retire.

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Do it, I brought a foreclosure home. The house itself was in perfect condition. It was missing door knobs, light fixtures, refrigerator, etc. Those were easy to replace. The basement was unfinished. I had someone came in do the drywall, tile, and paint. I got on youtube and brought a couple of books from home depot and I installed the toilet, sink, wetbar (cabinets, mirrors, etc). It wasn't that bad, never done it before and did a decent job. My uncle who is a contractor said, "I did pretty damn good job." for someone who hasn't done it before.
It's cool that you were willing to tackle a project like that, and even better that you pulled it off. I've already bought & remodeled two houses, and have torn down walls, turned two tiny bathrooms into one decent-sized bathroom with a whirlpool tub, and everything else from electrical wiring to sheetrock to plumbing. It's really rewarding.

I gutted the kitchen in the last house I bought, and installed new cabinets, tile flooring, slate backsplash, a Viking stove, and pendant fixtures over granite countertops. It isn't rocket science, and if you do it a few times, you can pull off some hardcore remodeling. One of my grandfathers was a master carpenter, and I learned a lot from him.

This was the kitchen in my last place:



The same shot a month later (about 65% finished).



I did every bit of it myself (with a little help from my ex). I did sub out the countertops, but installed all the cabinets and prepped everything.
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Old 08-17-2012, 08:07 PM   #9
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I bought a beat to f0ck foreclosure. I got it for $185(probably worth $270-285k right now) used to go for over 300k(what most of my neighbors paid.) I am still renovating it, actually since I made my old thread( http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...468&highlight= ) the bottom pictures of the big open room has been redone with a built in concrete bar, cabinets, butler sink, leather sofas. It took a lot of work but I love it and it's how I want it. Still need to replace a few windows and have the floors refinished on the main floor. I've probably put about 70k into it since I bought it. (new bathrooms, kitchens, carpet, ceramic tile, showers, toilets, vanities, appliances, washer, 2 new AC units(added 1 to master bedroom), new hot water heater, new sky lights, new roof, new walk way, half of the windows etc). Lot of work, but definitely worth it.
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