Yesterday we went to court. Thankfully we ended up being spectators only. The occasion was the seeking of approval by a foreclosing banking institution for the sale of a real estate property to us. A property in Nelson, comprising an old home with four bedrooms and a bathroom, a lovely lawn, and a walkability score of 83%.
The foreclosure process is odd. Our offer on the place was accepted over a month ago, but our offer price is publicly available and at the point the court is asked to approve the sale, anyone is free to submit a sealed, unconditional bid to out-price us. We can submit a further bid. Then all bids are unsealed and the court awards the sale to the bidder who has placed the most attractive offer.
Foreclosures here are not usually priced much below market value, because they are sold through the same realtor process as any properties. This sealed-bid process is a slight deterrent to interested parties though, and I can certainly see why. It would have been demoralizing to have the whole thing fall apart weeks after an accepted unconditional offer due to failed strategizing under a few minutes’ pressure in court. It almost happened to another property that morning: the original purchasers got the property, but had to raise their offer on the spot to outbid another party. They went up by 10% only to find out when the bids were unsealed that 5% would have sufficed.
So anyway, we have approval of sale, with a closing date of June 20. So from that point forth we will have properties in both New Denver and Nelson. The Nelson place is something we’re looking at as a five-year investment. We got quite a good deal on it, probably because it needs quite a lot of work to bring it up to the standards of the neighbourhood, but the inspection we had done didn’t point to any nasty deal-breaker type structural issues. It was built in 1901 in a neighbourhood full of similar houses, many of which have seen extensive gentrifying upgrades in the past couple of decades. It will need a new roof, and it will benefit from having a second bathroom installed. It needs some help with water drainage to solve two leaks into the basement, but we’re pretty clear on what needs doing, and it’s not going to be expensive. The walls and flooring could use an upgrade. An exterior makeover will probably be worth doing before we sell it.
It’s got checkmarks in all the right places as an investment property that we can fix up whilst living in and likely make some money on. And given that otherwise we’d likely end up paying $1000 rent a month for the next four years to keep Sophie and then Fiona challenged and engaged by their opportunities, I think we’ll definitely come out ahead.
We’ll have the summer to get it comfortably liveable for three of us for next fall, hopefully with three separate functional bedrooms, a situation which will improve everyone’s state of mind immeasurably. No doubt we’ll be living in a state of ongoing renovation for a while, but that’s part of the fun, isn’t it? Having work to do on the Nelson place will help keep me busy, and will give Fiona a bit more to be involved with besides just the internet. Noah’s summer job may be “labourer” for the first few months of this endeavour. We expect that Chuck will be able to spend his every-other-weekend-off working away with us throughout the year as well. And we’ll hire contractors as needed, of course.
For now I need to get busy finding good deals on used major appliances and furniture.