Should we buy the fire house?
May 25, 2011 11:23 AM Subscribe
Earlier this month, there was a fire in the house my boyfriend and I were renting. Basically the attic fan caused a fairly extensive fire which moved through the ducts and damaged the roof and ceiling. Not much damage was done to the ground floor, other than smoke and water. My boyfriend and I are now considering buying the house, and are looking for advice and experiences you might have for this situation.
posted by odayoday to home & garden (14 answers total)
We really loved the neighborhood where the house is, and had an excellent relationship with the landlords. They offered to let us rent again, but we're now thinking that because of other things going on in our lives, this might be a good time to buy. The insurance estimated damage at $135,000, which will go to upgrades in the house: new metal roof, new AC, revamped kitchen, etc. The owners have said that if we want to buy it, they will allow us to basically design the remodel ourselves, choose cabinets, counters, paint, etc.
They have also offered owner financing as a possibility. My boyfriend and I have done some preliminary research, and it seems like most of the time people use owner financing because they do not have enough for a mortgage down payment. This wouldn't be the case for my boyfriend and I, so we're wondering if that would have any advantage for us over getting a mortgage through our credit union.
Also, a friend mentioned in passing that she was concerned that the owners were trying to take advantage of us, and that a house where there was a fire was a "lemon" and we might have issues insuring it or something in the future. As I said, we have an excellent relationship with the owners, and feel they are responsible people, beyond which I would assume there are building codes which they would have to meet when redoing the house, and we will obviously have it inspected before commiting to buy it, so I'm not sure that she knows what she's talking about, but her comment made me a little nervous. Should I be?
Any experiences, advice, or ideas about buying a house with owner financing vs. a mortgage, or with buying a house where there has been a fire would be much appreciated!