Hopefully this is the right subreddit to put this in, apologies if not!
I am looking at two houses right now in PA. I don't want to go into too much detail about the city itself but prices are rising and I know I need to buy a house before I… well. Can't.
My price limit is about 125k at most, as I am a single income household. Two houses have recently come out that I've taken a liking to but they both have very big flaws.
The first house is a brick twin, which is quite beautiful from the outside. The yard is decent, with a nice deck and is already fenced. The second half of the twin (not for sale) is well maintained on the outside. The house is across from a school and the street itself is very nice. It's the only twin on the street and the houses around it regularly go for 250k to 350k. It has a driveway and on street parking. It has 1 1/2 bathrooms and 4 bedrooms and is overall a very large twin. It's going for about 95k.
You're thinking… what's the catch? The house is beat. Really beat. The outside is mostly fine (needs paint, bricks repointed in some parts, porch needs some fixing) but the inside is a mess. The kitchen would need to be completely ripped out and replaced as it's almost nonfunctional and poorly planned (all the walls, floors, ceiling, appliances, everything). The basement is somewhat solid (walls, foundation etc) but the ceiling is unfinished (is that the word) and the whole room kind of the stuff of nightmares. Filthy, dark, solid, but if if you told me they locked up a 1000 year old demon in there I would believe you. The stairs down to the basement need to be completely replaced.
The bathroom is okay. It's actually very, very large and I could live with it for now, though I'd like to remodel it eventually. The second floor bedroom floors would need to be sanded down (hardwood) and stained or whatever but otherwise those are solid. Walls are cracked in some places as well as the ceiling but there appears to be no water damage.
Third floor bedrooms appear to be completely remodeled (it looks like they started up here but then gave up) but the hallway of those rooms is half finished (to put it lightly) so walls and floors would need to be put up. Roof was replaced in 2013 I believe, and looks fine (if ugly). Attic is surprisingly fine, though obviously I will have someone look at them if I see this house again.
This brick twin has promise. It's in a good location, and the brick is solid. But the inside needs a ton of work as you can see. I also feel like the house might be too big for me, as I only have two people living here including me (and one large dog). I think I would need to put at least 10k into this house right off the bat just to make it livable. Oh, and the house was bought in 2014, I believe, for 65k so I'm pretty sure I could get it for less considering how beat up it is.
The second house is a brick ranch. The area is not as nice as the twin but the yard is larger (I have a dog), though not fenced and no deck. I'd say the ranch isn't as nice to look at as the twin, but it can be fixed up with some landscaping to look cute. It's 2 bed, 1 bath, which is about what I need and the inside, while a little dated, is definitely significantly less work than the brick twin. However, since the area isn't as nice (it still has sidewalks) the houses sell more around the 140-160 range at best. This house is going for 99k (and was previously listed multiple times for 108).
The biggest issue with the ranch is that it's in the flood fringe. I'd say about 6 or 7 years ago this area got a horrible flood (some streets were completely submerged if I remember correctly), housing prices near these areas dropped. It used to be that this area got a terrible flood every 100 years, but after a hurricane a while ago it's been about every 5 years. The house itself did not flood, but it did flood about one block down I believe.
I'd like to hear some advice if you have it, on which house to buy. This is my first house, as I have been renting the time I've been here. I plan to stay here for another 6 years or more.
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