Ahhh, good ol' Fannie Mae. You know, the Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac from several years back who's poor business choices cost tax-payers loads and loads of money? Yep, she's still around. Why Fannie Mae is still in existence baffles me. But I digress...
We went to look at a house yesterday. We've thought about getting into the home renting business. This one was close to us, in a decent neighborhood, at a decent price, with easy access to pretty much everywhere.
The house was not in the greatest shape, which was to be expected...severely outdated, with lots of flooring and baseboard damage. We looked past that though and saw potential. New flooring throughout, new paint - everywhere, update bathroom and kitchen, and you'd have yourself a cute little rent house.
Problem was, this was a Fannie Mae house being sold as-is. This means...you get nothing! - NO history as to what had ever happened in this house and NO idea of what condition the house was currently in. As we went over the house with a fine-toothed comb, we saw there had been water damage in several rooms in the past, but from what? The house was not in a flood zone and was higher than the rest of the yard and comparable to the level of the other houses in the area. The electricity had been long since disconnected and part of the meter removed, so there was no way to see if anything worked - lights, air conditioner, fans, etc. and the wiring was in terrible condition already. The water was turned off so no way to see if there was some crazy leak in the wall, if the toilets flushed, or the sinks drained. We could already tell with the standing water in the bathtub there was a severely clogged drain somewhere.
As we walking around the outside of the house, we saw remnants of termite tunnels along the base of the brick. None seemed active, but how much damage had already occurred? A large storage building was rotting away on the property and would need to be demolished. The best thing about the property was the yard...about 1 acre, beautiful trees, good coverage, and very level. Then we came to the bay window, everything about it screamed problems. The window was rotting out (which also contributed to some of the water damage inside the house), tons of caulk and mold everywhere, and part of the brick came out! The hubs shined his flashlight in there and saw lots of rotting wood and termite damage. The roof was metal and not in the greatest shape which most likely contributed to some of the water damage we saw on the ceiling...couldn't get into the attic to look around b/c the ladder access was gone.
This house was looking worse and worse. I asked the realtor, IF we wanted to proceed with the house, what would we do next.
Put an offer on the house and if accepted, put $500 down as earnest money.
Next, home inspection. Before we could ever even get a loan from the bank for the house, it had to pass inspection. The buyer typically pays for the inspection so no biggie there. Well, you can't inspect the house without running water and electricity. Who's responsible for that cost? NOT Fannie Mae. The buyer interested in the house would have to pay all that money to get water and electricity turned on. Ok, what next? Well, if the home inspection revealed serious issues with the house that causes it not to pass inspection, those would have to be fixed and brought up to code before a bank would sign off on the loan. Who's responsible for those costs? NOT Fannie Mae, the buyer is.
So, what's wrong with all of this? You are in essence paying for work to be done on a home that you do not even own. You have to put who knows how much money into a home that is not even yours, but it is what you have to do if you want to make it yours. In essence, you are paying to fix up something someone else (the government) owns.
You're kidding me, right?
That just doesn't set well with me. Sure, we could pay for the inspection and to have the water and electricity tuned on, but if the inspection reveals terrible things, you just lots upwards of $800 or more depending on how extensively the electric company would have to work to get the meter box and electricity reconnected if you decide not to continue.
Say you do decide to continue...then you'd have to pay for a termite treatment if active termites are found. You'd most likely have to update several of the electrical and plumbing components to bring the home up to code to pass inspection. That's at least another $1000 (and that's on the conservative side of things) and who knows what horrors this home inspection could reveal costing you $1000's more.
What next? You could ask Fannie Mae to come down on the price, but why would they? Suckers! You've already sunk tons of money into a home that wasn't even yours. You're not gonna walk away now, so what is there to motivate Fannie Mae to come down on the price?!?
After hearing all this, we decided not to proceed with this house, but I feel sorry for the suckers that do :/