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Living in a Construction Zone


Yes, to answer the question everyone has been asking. There is lots of work going on at our house. And the landlord and I have reached a verbal deal on me buying the house…no handshake or signed documents – yet! But I am definitely leaning toward it.

Here’s what led to this:

  1. I’ve been thinking for a long time about a permanent home for myself. And I have decided to stay in this area. The cost of living is super low which would 1) allow me money to travel and maintain a household and 2) when it’s time for me to work less (many years still away) I could easily work part time and support myself.
  2. COVID really brought up how insecure our lives still are. I know the kids are all headed off in the next several years, but I do want a sense of permanence for them…a home that they know will be there.
  3. After a conversation with my dad, his advice was that if I really wanted to consider it, get a home inspection so all the cards would be on the table and I would know everything.
  4. Had a very candid conversation with my landlord.

I believe that sums it up. So here we are…

After my dad and I sat down with the inspection report, he identified 3 things he suggested I require the landlord fix in order for me to consider purchasing:

  • New roof
  • Convert and upgrade electrical (it’s still a fuse box so it will become a breaker box)
  • New A/C
  • We also have a bathroom remodel going on but that was because the almost 70 year old bathroom was falling apart and it was time. It should be done this week or latest next. It was taken down to the studs and completely redone, I chose everything and supervised every step. I really like the contractor. Pictures will be coming.

He (the landlord) and I had a sit down and came to a verbal agreement. (I am really insecure about negotiating.) But I believe we both came away pleased. And we are moving forward on both ends. I do want to buy this home.

  • A new A/C was installed within days.
  • The roofer has been here and even had all the supplies delivered. Not sure when he will start, but everything is here including his ladder.
  • And there have been several electricians out but as far as I know he hasn’t hired one yet.
  • I’ve been screening mortgage companies and that’s been very frustrating.

I believe I will have a pre-approval letter in hand early next week and then we will formalize a purchase agreement. I will go into more details once we have a formalized agreement and are moving forward. We (Gymnast and I) have been plans for updating the house and are pretty excited.


  • Reply Klm |

    You’ve spoken of your area as being racist to the point where you won’t let your children walk to school. Why are you buying here? Is this really a good place to put down roots?

  • Reply Angie |

    Hope, you were sick for over 6 weeks with COVID and related symptoms. Your head was not clear in this time, even if you think it was. This was not a good time to make life changing decisions. I’m afraid the landlord may be trying to pass the house off on you while the market is at all time highs and you are feeling insecure.

    I think this is poor timing, it doesn’t mean buying a house is bad. But a lot of this smells fishy to me.

  • Reply Reece |

    Wasn’t there a broken culvert or collapsed water pipe or something in the yard? Is that going to be taken care of as well?

    • Reply Hope |

      Yes, there was…I finally got to the right person with the city and they came out last fall and fixed it.
      Bricked it and cemented. And then seeded it.
      Yard is draining well and no more soft spots. Yeah!
      Good memory!

  • Reply Anon Reader |

    You’re not paying for the remodel without a written agreement, are you?

    Why not find a LCOL place where your kids can walk places alone?

  • Reply Deb |

    It’s not in your best interest to have a verbal agreement to buy your landlord’s house. It’s best to have a contract and signed paperwork because it protects you and the seller. I would agree that a home inspection is a must given that it would let you understand what exactly needs to be fixed and or repaired prior to putting any cash into a house that may not be worth the time or effort. I would also recommend an appraisal be done.

    • Reply Hope |

      I did have the inspection before approaching my landlord.
      Now have a verified approval in hand and appraisal scheduled in the next couple of weeks.
      Feel like I’m getting a good deal.

      • Reply Deb |

        Is your landlord adding the cost of all the repairs to the purchase price of the house? There is a verbal agreement between the landlord and you which is something that is not beneficial which again is not in your best interests. I know you have all ready decided to purchase this home and are set on your future. I wish you had legal representation to ensure that your best interests are at heart and not your landlord’s. You may feel that you are getting a good deal in the beginning until all of a sudden you are not. What is the prospects of your children leaving in the future to live their lives? When does your boyfriend move in? What happens when your children no longer decide that they want to stay in a part of town that you have stated repeatedly is racist and why did YOU have to find someone in the city to fix and repair the broken water pipes in the yard when ultimately that is the owner’s responsibility?

        The house is 70 years old Hope. We are both the same age (I believe) and what kind of situation would it be in 15 to 20 years when you retire and have a 30 year mortgage? God willing you would have more than enough sense to get a 15 or 20 year mortgage and get it paid off before you retire so that you would not have to depend on your children in your older years. Covid made many lives insecure however having a verbal agreement with the landlord to purchase a home after he does the needed work (the roof, the electric, the AC, and not to mention the bathroom) really again isn’t in your best interest. The roof, the electric, the AC, and the bathroom work is honestly work that a good landlord should be doing for the home he owns and rent to folks. How much more is the landloard going to charge you additional towards the purchase price (thinking if he is the one actually paying for the needed repairs)? I’m sure he wouldn’t want to lose any money on the sale of the house.

  • Reply Lisa |

    A verbal agreement. A house with a lot of issues. A town with racism so it’s doubtful your kids will stick around. Hope, what are you thinking! Do not buy this house. You’ve said what your dad thinks but what about your boyfriend? Presumably he would be living with you.

  • Reply Reen |

    Hope-I can’t tell you what to do with the house b/c you know what is best, for better or worse, but I do offer you something to think about. Get yourself a realtor that can negotiate on your behalf. Not sure if GA requires you to have a real estate attorney, but ditto. I know (at least it seems) you are all about “feel good” transactions, but get yourself some third party representation.

    • Reply Hope |

      Yes, we have a real estate lawyer. But not interested in using a realtor and paying that fee.
      I did have a friend run comps though.

      • Reply Lisa |

        Doesn’t the seller pay realtor fees? Why would you have to pay that?

        • Reply Drmaddog |

          My guess would be, instead of the landlord paying the realtor’s fees out of his profits from their agreed-upon price, he told her if she wanted to use a realtor he would add the commission to the price.

          • Lisa |

            Probably, which should be a red flag. The housing market is hot right now it’s not the time to buying you don’t need to.

      • Reply Emily N. |

        Remember what happened when you didn’t want to pay a lawyer’s fee for your divorce. With life-changing decisions it’s worth it to spend some money to make sure you aren’t getting screwed, either now or in the future.

      • Reply Elizabeth |

        Is it different in the US? Here, only the sellers pay for realtors. It’s free for buyers.

  • Reply Hilary |

    My sister is a mortgage broker and the best and nicest one on the planet… if you are interested in chatting with her, she really is something special. Feel free to email me if you’d like her contact info. She makes a stressful event actually fun. xoxo Good luck, exciting news!!!!!!

  • Reply Kili |

    Hi Hope,
    Apart from what the other commenters have mentioned (the issues you have reported about the house in the past; the issues about the town you’ve pointed out in the past; does your boyfriend like the house), what about money?
    How much progress were you able to make?
    Is the car paid off?
    Are there still student loans?

    Is the property of your house big enough for your son to build his tiny house on?

So, what do you think ?