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To buy or not to buy?

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Jul. 19th, 2003 | 04:07 pm

So one of my coworkers is separating from his wife and no longer wants his condo. It's a couple of blocks from Caltech in a reasonably decent complex, it's only 1 bedroom, but I think it's a bit bigger than my current place, it has central air, and is in the center of the complex so I wouldn't be exposed to traffic noise.

He'd like to avoid selling through a realtor, so I could probably even talk him down a bit (under the rubric of splitting the savings of using a realtor.)

Everyone I know claims that buying right now is a good idea.

Heck, although I couldn't do waste water treatment, I could probably even stick solar on the roof. They already have solar hot water collectors, so a few more panels shouldn't be too offensive. Since he can identify which A/C belongs to his unit, it should theoretically be possible to wire the panels up to the same circuit.

It would mean that my wearable computing/pervasive computing interest would need to remain a hobby for a few years. Though I could indulge it a bit more since I could rewire the switches in the unit.

Also since it's close to Caltech it might not be too hard for me to actually hold some parties there for some of my friends from Caltech.

The idea of the unit being reasonably quiet makes it seem really tempting.

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Comments {8}

Bolowolf

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from: bolowolf
date: Jul. 19th, 2003 05:11 pm (UTC)
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I don't know much about the finer details of your life, but if I were able to go in on a place like that I probably would. The things you mentioned would be perks to me too, especially the solar power. I probably wouldn't need a ton of space, but if I were thinking about entertaining on occassion I would want to make sure the place could accomodate that. This is a buyer's market. Whatever my two cents is worth...go for it! :*)

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Jul. 19th, 2003 06:19 pm (UTC)
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There are a number of things about this idea that would make me happier (or at least more comfortable). I think I should seriously investigate this plan. Maybe I can have central air before the hottest months of the year.

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secretslip

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from: secretslip
date: Jul. 19th, 2003 06:40 pm (UTC)
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Are you sure they're getting separated?

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Jul. 19th, 2003 06:53 pm (UTC)
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well, he sounded pretty bitter when we drove to kerckhoff marine labs, and that was a couple of weeks after I first accidentally discovered the seperation. He's frequently refered to things like not having food at home, been more willing to go out to dinner after work and the like. Not to mention how he reacted to questions by your chastised annoying coworker.

So it sounds likely that it's real enough to sell property.

Also he's close to graduation and would probably need to move on anyway.

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Josh

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from: irilyth
date: Jul. 19th, 2003 07:32 pm (UTC)
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There's a lot of paperwork involved in selling a house, and one nice thing about having a realtor involved is that they can make sure that it all gets taken care of. There are probably books on how to sell your house without a realtor, and they probably cost less than 6% of the purchase price of the house (standard realtor fee), but if you're paranoid, you and the seller might consider talking to a realtor and seeing if you can get them to handle the paperwork for a smaller fee (like 1%), since they won't have to do any listing or showing or other work like that. Might not be worth it, but I'm paranoid about waking up one morning and discovering that my bathroom operation inspection insurance verification authentication forms weren't filed properly, and now the city owns all of my toilets or something.

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Jul. 20th, 2003 01:16 am (UTC)
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I guess I was assuming that the mortgage broker would know what paperwork was required.

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Josh

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from: irilyth
date: Jul. 20th, 2003 09:11 am (UTC)
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On further reflection, you're probably right; when I refinanced, for example, lots of paperwork came through the mortgage broker. There are inspections and things that have to happen before you get to the mortgage, but things like title insurance and whatnot are all mortgage-broker things.

Still, a "how to buy/sell a house without a realtor" book might be at least worth flipping through in your favorite local bookstore.

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Usqueba

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from: usqueba
date: Jul. 20th, 2003 02:18 am (UTC)
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Some will tell you not to buy a condo - the resale value isn't always as good as a home. "It depends". It's kinda like buying vs leasing a car... For some, it's a great idea. For others, it's horrible. Look before you leap!

We live in a condo and we like it.

Oh! You get a tax break on the interest you pay on your mortgage!

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