I went to see another apartment yesterday. This one was $135k or $139k, and was advertised as a “Handyman Special”. I knew not to expect much, but I was still hopeful. My agent had been hesitant to show it to me because of the fact that it’s a short sale.

Anyway, I met up with her straight after work and we went to check it out. First thing: the door was in bad shape…chunks of paint were peeling off. That’s not a big deal, but it was odd…isn’t the HOA supposed to take care of these things? None of the other house doors looked like that. Moving on….this one was similar to the first two apartments I saw in that complex. The door opened on a first floor, but you had to go up stairs to get to the rest of the house. First door we opened upstairs was where the washer/dryer was, but they had a whole “room” for it! (A tiny den, but still, its a nice sized little space. Enough to put up a drying rack.) Oh, let me not forget to mention….this place was a mess. Apparently they tried to pull up all the carpets, but it looks like they got lazy and stopped past halfway, lol. So there’s torn apart carpet everywhere. The kitchen was a bit outdated, and the vinyl flooring was raised in a corner. The bathrooms were a bit outdated too, but they didn’t look disgusting and/or old.

My favorite part about this unit was the layout. It had vaulted ceilings, and the master bedroom was lofted!!! (May I point out that I’ve ALWAYS wanted a loft?!!!) So I kinda really liked this place.

That’s the general overview. Now I’ll breakdown what I like and don’t like…

Cons- there is no flooring, other than what should be trashed. From the beginning I’d have to put in money on flooring, including the stairs
Pros – I have yet to see a house with flooring I like. For most of them I’d end up changing the flooring anyway. At least this way I get to pick what I want without feeling guilty about an “unnecessary” expense, hehe.

Cons – lots of stairs. Its on a 2nd floor, and so is susceptible to roof issues. Already it has evidence of water intrusion by the sliding door in the living room, the kitchen window looks like the drywall has been damaged possibly by water, and we aren’t sure if the same happened in the bedroom. (Window issues would happen on any floor though, same for ceilings) Bedroom has no door and is open…not sure when this would bother as there is no reason anyone would need to go upstairs.
Pros – I love the lofted bedroom, and the whole apartment has a relatively airy feel. No neighbors upstairs making noise.

Cons – outdated formica cabinets/counter and appliances, would eventually want to replace it
Pros – other units I’ve seen have “updated” kitchens which probably cost good money to put in but were not quite to my taste/style. When I finally replace it I will have no qualms about tearing away expensive cabinetry or tile, and I’ll be able to have what I want. (And I could get that recycled glass countertop I’ve always wanted!! [sigh]

Cons – taxes are about $4,300 a year. That’s nearly $400 a month. Add on the HOA and that’s $700 a month that is not going towards my equity.
Pros – even if the price is $139k that’s still a good price! (I think)

Other issues (cons)
Drywall is a big issue. Already I can see that there has been water intrusion by the balcony sliding door. If its a leak caused by waterproofing issues on the roof, shouldn’t the HOA be able to cover the repair from the outside? That’s my biggest question. Repairing the drywall isn’t as huge an issue (some paint, or some new board could fix it). Same at the window….shouldn’t they be able to fix any leaks? Have they? There’s also another small area where they completely tore up the drywall (maybe 10-15 SF). This would need to be replaced. The BIL could probably help. Not a huge deal, I don’t think.

Other issues (pros)
I like that it has a small room for the washer/dryer. it can also function as storage. The balcony and second bedroom also face a small canal, so its a fairly good view. Did I mention the master bedroom is lofted?!

So….there you have it. The Fixer-upper. I’m afraid I have fallen in love. Its quite unfortunate, because it clearly has some issues and would involve a good amount of money from me up front (and in the long run….like the taxes), but I really believe it has a lot of potential. Its true what they say though….love is blind.

I want to try and have my parents stop by later today (there I go again) to see if anyone will agree with me that it has potential. =]