||[Feb. 6th, 2009|09:45 pm]
It's been an absolutely mad week. Last weekend, there we were just plodding along, looking idly at a couple of houses, no intention of buying before the middle of the year, tomorrow we're going to the auction for a place with the intention of bidding.
Between Lex having his injections and needing lots of cuddles for two days, a big eBay mail-out (I only got 3 hours sleep last night because I was packing), and running around organising pre-approval, and tonnes of other related stuff - well, I haven't read any LJ, and I owe a few people emails.
Originally when we looked at the house, it was as market research. It was way outside our price range, based on the original price it was up for. But now it was up for auction, and knowing the original asking price, checking the house out, then going to the auction, would all give a us a feel for how the market was going in Canberra.
The previous house we had visited on Sat had been chock-a-block with people. This one, as we arrived, another couple left. For the rest of the viewing period, no-one else turned up. And we arrived right near the beginning.
As we were leaving, the agent asked us how much we thought it was worth. I said I knew the original price ($445,000), but given the state of the place and the current climate, probably $400K. The guy was surprised, and when questioned, he told us that most people had said $350-$380K. $350K is around what Sharon and I feel we can afford.
The property needs a little work, but the most expensive of it would be getting curtains and pelmets (it has none), wall, floor, ceiling insulation, and double glazing. While that's a substantial chunk, most houses here need the same. The rest of the work is bitsy stuff. There are other issues, including the awful shape of the lounge (for our needs), and the incredibly steep driveway, but we can live with those.
The thing is, the estate agents have done a truly dreadful job of representing the property. Six photos - one of the kitchen, one of the bathroom, and four outside shots. No mention of the low-care, native gardens with no lawns to be watered or mown. No mention of the large block of land, or that it has a reserve at the back of it. No mention of the fact that it has gorgeous views in every direction. No mention of the in-built LAN cabling throughout the house. They don't tell you just how big the family room is. And, they don't mention the secret underground lair!
So tomorrow we go to bid on it. We're pretty certain we'll get out-bid, simply because we're not prepared to go terribly high. If we get it, we need to spend at least $10,000 getting curtains and pelmets, and then there's the cost of all the other insulation. But we're going along because we just might pick up an absolute bargain.
Oh, and the most promising sign? Today the estate agent rang Sharon to make sure she's coming to the auction. I've never heard of that happening before, but it would seem to indicate a lack of interest from other parties.