Tales from this insane real estate market

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ChrisC
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Re: Tales from this insane real estate market

Post by ChrisC »

Ketawa wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 4:52 pm
ASpenderInRecovery wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 4:35 pm To make this actionable I'd love to hear from anyone that has successfully won a contract in 2021 in a HCOL area. How much over asking did you offer? Did you waive all contingencies? What was the size of your down-payment?
I purchased a co-op in downtown DC in February 2021. I knew the building I wanted to buy in and was successful on my first try.

I had up to about 25% available for a down payment in the price range I was looking. This is a little complicated because of the underlying mortgage with a co-op. Deducting the underlying mortgage, which is financed by the co-op and paid through co-op fees, I had more like 34% available for a down payment.

The place I looked at had been on the market for about 10 days. I submitted an offer at 3% below asking. Another offer came in on the same day. I used an escalation clause to offer up to 2% over asking. I based this on comparing the unit to others in the same building.

My offer waived the inspection contingency. I asked my agent if it would be worthwhile to waive appraisal or financing contingencies, and he advised against it. I wasn't worried about the appraisal since I had plenty for a down payment, but financing can be tricky for a co-op because few banks offering mortgages on them, so I didn't press the issue.

The seller accepted my offer even though my cap was $1K below the competing offer. They said they appreciated my occupation (I'm in the military and I believe the seller was in TSA management). I know the competing bidder was only planning on 10% down. I don't otherwise know anything about the competing bidder's finances, so it's possible that my larger down payment was a factor, as well.

This may not be very informative since I was shopping at the height of the pandemic in a co-op building, which didn't see the astronomical price increases of SFHs.
I think you're correct about the differing markets for multi-family housing and SFHs. Your experience is similar to what I've observed: daughter in May purchased a Co-op in Brooklyn, NY, 20% down, 5% above asking price of a pre-WW-II bldg unit; waived all financial contingencies. Appraisal in any event came in at purchase price -- not a big surprise here if the lender does a lot of lending for co-ops. Her offer was not the highest offer made on the unit but the sellers thought it was the most financially stable offer and perhaps that letter she wrote about wanting the unit helped out.

On the other hand, I've seen a SFH list for $895K in Springfield Virginia, and sold the next day on May 1, 2021 for $1.1 million, with the out-of-town purchasers making the offer from the listing they saw off the internet. They closed and moved in 60 days later. Have no idea what type of financing, if any, they had for this purchase.
fortunefavored
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Re: Tales from this insane real estate market

Post by fortunefavored »

ASpenderInRecovery wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 4:35 pm To make this actionable I'd love to hear from anyone that has successfully won a contract in 2021 in a HCOL area. How much over asking did you offer? Did you waive all contingencies? What was the size of your down-payment?
West coast, but VHCOLA to HCOLA. Bought 1, sold 2 this year.

No offers had any contingencies of any sort. All seemed to be private parties who planned to move in (not investment groups.) All 30-40% down payment including my offer.

House I bought: 8% over ask, 1 round of counter offers
House #1 I sold: 6% over ask, only 2 offers but still no contingencies & large down payment (poor location/layout)
House #2 I sold: 17% over ask, 5+ offers, 3 rounds of counter offers (smallest house on the block, blew up all the price per square footage comps)

All appraised at or higher than the offer.. but I suspect every buyer could have paid cash if they felt like it, they were just leveraging cheap financing (including myself.)
learningtime
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Re: Tales from this insane real estate market

Post by learningtime »

Data point

Second home/investment property purchased in Scottsdale, AZ in early November.

Made offers on 5 other houses and were outbid. All homes, including this one that we finally bought, went well over asking and had multiple offers.

It's a crazy market ... but valuation on a lot of assets appears to be crazy if you try to use the same objective lens. It's not limited to real estate.

We were essentially "buying into the area" and hope to move there eventually in a decade or so.
capran
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Re: Tales from this insane real estate market

Post by capran »

TRC wrote: Tue Mar 23, 2021 8:28 pm Good for you and smart move. In the words of Warren Buffet - "Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful".
+1 We are hoping our youngest will come to that conclusion, but many millennials seem to think real estate (and the stock market) will never go down.
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Darth Xanadu
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Re: Tales from this insane real estate market

Post by Darth Xanadu »

ASpenderInRecovery wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 4:35 pm To make this actionable I'd love to hear from anyone that has successfully won a contract in 2021 in a HCOL area. How much over asking did you offer? Did you waive all contingencies? What was the size of your down-payment?
I would consider myself in a HCOL area, a suburb of Boston about 20 miles outside of downtown. My spouse and I bid on a house, and after 1 round of negotiation, we were successful: 12% over list price (initially 9% over list), waived all contingencies (inspection, financing, appraisal), 20% down payment.

Inspection turned out fine (I paid for one shortly after I moved in, to get a sense of where to focus my efforts and resources) other than chimney stack which requires extensive repair.

Financing turned out fine as expected based on conversations with my lender.

Appraisal turned out fine as we got a waiver.

We were and are planning on staying here for 20+ years so it matters little to me in either direction, but after 3.5 months since we bought it, the Zillow estimate of the house has gone up to $40,000 higher than what we paid for it :shock: :?: :shock:
livingalmostlarge
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Re: Tales from this insane real estate market

Post by livingalmostlarge »

We're some of those crazies. In 2017 we bought a house and paid 28% over asking. Listed $900k bought $1.15 with escalation so we overpaid by next offer by $5k. Decided we were tired of losing and the location was exactly where we wanted to be. House hit all the marks. We waived inspection, financing, etc. We were approved up to $1.5M could easily have afforded $2M but DH had just started working again after a year sabbatical so the banks didn't want to finance us up to what we "could" afford. So they gave us $1.5M but even the mortgage guy said that was way less than and we had 20% DP cash plus 6 month EF plus investments. So we went nuts and all in. Beat all cash offers because we were interested in buying it. And yes we knew we overpaid. Our PITI 20% then our income went up and we were at like 9% PITI.

Decided we'd live here 5-7 years. It's been almost 5 years. We immediately sunk in $60k in renovations that were needed. Downstairs wasn't done at all and garage doors need to be replaced not working. That took about 8 months. Then we another $10k driveway, $15k furnace/ac this month. But we figured it'd be close to what we would be paying in rent and we could probably move in 5 years and "breakeven".

Now though? Our neighbors sold an older, small, unrenovated place for $1.7M with not as nice a lot as we have. I'm guessing we're at $2M. We are looking to move but not right at this second. Turns out it the housing market went nuts.

But sometimes people just want to buy a home and go all in. That's how you buy in an insane market overpay and be able to afford it. Buy low end and unfortunately bid it up. Would I do it now? Probably if I knew we were going to stay. We were looking last year but fortunately decided to stick it out. Allowed us more flexibility.
rage_phish
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Re: Tales from this insane real estate market

Post by rage_phish »

ASpenderInRecovery wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 4:35 pm

I To make this actionable I'd love to hear from anyone that has successfully won a contract in 2021 in a HCOL area. How much over asking did you offer? Did you waive all contingencies? What was the size of your down-payment?
Bought 4/21 in the Bay Area (east bay) in an extremely hot town

Offered 13% over asking. Waived all contingencies (but ha d Avery good inspection report provided)

52% down payment

So far it’s all worked out and all the trades people who have come through have remarked what great shape the house is in. Makes us feel good after having waived contingencies



On the sale side we received 14 offers on 5 days. All over asking

Accepted the highest one. 14% over, 20% down, all contingencies waived. Still can’t believe someone paid what they did for the house we sold
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novolog
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Re: Tales from this insane real estate market

Post by novolog »

Darth Xanadu wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 12:18 am
ASpenderInRecovery wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 4:35 pm To make this actionable I'd love to hear from anyone that has successfully won a contract in 2021 in a HCOL area. How much over asking did you offer? Did you waive all contingencies? What was the size of your down-payment?
I would consider myself in a HCOL area, a suburb of Boston about 20 miles outside of downtown. My spouse and I bid on a house, and after 1 round of negotiation, we were successful: 12% over list price (initially 9% over list), waived all contingencies (inspection, financing, appraisal), 20% down payment.

Inspection turned out fine (I paid for one shortly after I moved in, to get a sense of where to focus my efforts and resources) other than chimney stack which requires extensive repair.

Financing turned out fine as expected based on conversations with my lender.

Appraisal turned out fine as we got a waiver.

We were and are planning on staying here for 20+ years so it matters little to me in either direction, but after 3.5 months since we bought it, the Zillow estimate of the house has gone up to $40,000 higher than what we paid for it :shock: :?: :shock:
story about a house my wife and i purchased at the end of october. also 20 miles outside of boston. we had seen many places over the summer and knew specifically which town we wanted. we bid on 2 other houses and lost before this (one to a cash offer, the other went to a friend of the seller). what we learned in that process: the faster you can move the better, waiving inspection is table-stakes.

we saw our current house come on the market and it was in one of THE neighborhoods. did a pre-offer inspection in order to waive the inspection contingency. also offered an accelerated close of 30 days. seller's agent made it clear waiving appraisal contingency was important, but we weren't willing to budge on that. the whole process from seeing it on redfin, to going under contract, took 48 hours. we offered 14% over asking (it was listed low relative to comps in the area), and used a 10% down 30 year mortgage.

we were surprised to have our offer accepted without any type of financing/appraisal contingency, considering how much i have been reading about it being a requirement to bid. perhaps this is a sign things are slowing down at least in boston?
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andypanda
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Re: Tales from this insane real estate market

Post by andypanda »

"Perhaps in the long run it won't matter given the strength of the job market in the DC Metro area that continues to power the suburb expansion."

My parents built a 3-bed/2-bath brick ranch house on a small lot in Rockville MD in 1965. Ten miles or so north of the DC line just off Rockville Pike/355 fwiw. When they retired and sold it in the early '90s and moved out of the area everyone was amazed at the high real estate prices and fast sales and said that the numbers were crazy and weren't sustainable. Just using round numbers, they got 7.5x what they paid for it. No updates, no additions, no carport, no garage, etc. Okay, they did add high quality wall to wall carpet in the living/dining room.

Speaking of moving an hour away. My mother worked in a high school library in Potomac (SW of Rockville) and one of the librarians and her husband bought a nice big new house in a development in Frederick MD. That was a 40-mile commute, mostly down I-270. It was a good 55-minute drive on a good day even in the '80s.

It doesn't prove anything about the future though. Good luck.
flyfishers83
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Re: Tales from this insane real estate market

Post by flyfishers83 »

I thought things were cooling in my little rural town, but at least some parts of the market are hot. The house next door just sold for the third time in 2 years.
1st sale-around 375,000. New owner put 70,000 into renovations. Becomes second house for owner.
2nd sale-500,000. This was a sale based on a cold call from a realtor.
3rd sale-620,000. This was after only 4 months due to relocation, and no improvements. had lots of competing offers and 8% over asking

Wife and I are planning a significant remodel at some point. With each passing sale, she's adding projects to the remodel.
SmallSaver
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Re: Tales from this insane real estate market

Post by SmallSaver »

capran wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 12:00 am
TRC wrote: Tue Mar 23, 2021 8:28 pm Good for you and smart move. In the words of Warren Buffet - "Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful".
+1 We are hoping our youngest will come to that conclusion, but many millennials seem to think real estate (and the stock market) will never go down.
As a millenial, sort of, it's more like investing in the stock market at all time highs. Yes, maybe prices will come down, but how much more will they run up first? In my town the median home price has doubled in the last 4 years. Will it come down in the future? I don't know, prices just flatlined in 2008. It's expensive now, and most people feel it will be outrageous in the future. How many more years of double digit price increases should they sit out waiting for the decline?
SamB
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Re: Tales from this insane real estate market

Post by SamB »

I have lived in Northern Virginia since 1976. There have been booms and busts during all the years since. It is a terrible time to buy a house. If it does not go bust this year or next year, just wait. I think the last time around the fellow that bought a house down the street from us waited for ten years after the purchase to break even. I remember a home on the market for five years in the 90's. Apparently they bought at a peak, and somehow did not understand that the selling price has absolutely nothing to do with what you paid for it. Then there is always the possibility that what you bought never recovers in price during your lifetime. I grew up in Detroit in the 50's and 60's, and I would never, ever consider real estate as an investment. It is more like a life long root canal.
Firemenot
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Re: Tales from this insane real estate market

Post by Firemenot »

SamB wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 12:00 pm I have lived in Northern Virginia since 1976. There have been booms and busts during all the years since. It is a terrible time to buy a house. If it does not go bust this year or next year, just wait. I think the last time around the fellow that bought a house down the street from us waited for ten years after the purchase to break even. I remember a home on the market for five years in the 90's. Apparently they bought at a peak, and somehow did not understand that the selling price has absolutely nothing to do with what you paid for it. Then there is always the possibility that what you bought never recovers in price during your lifetime. I grew up in Detroit in the 50's and 60's, and I would never, ever consider real estate as an investment. It is more like a life long root canal.
Your post reminds me of my first house. I bought a house in spring 2003 for $260,000. We put a lot of improvements into the house — much of it our own sweaty equity. Even so, we still spent over $60,000 in out of pocket on the improvements. We sold the house in spring 2012 for $249,000. It was still in a desirable neighborhood and there was no economic decline in the area. Just bad timing on buying — and probably selling too.

Same story for my lake cabin I bought in 2006 and sold in 2016.

Fortunately the appreciation on my current house more than makes up for those losses.
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sergeant
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Re: Tales from this insane real estate market

Post by sergeant »

sergeant wrote: Sun Oct 17, 2021 11:54 pm Last weekend we were driving down the coast from wine country. Stopped in Ventura for lunch. Happened upon a home just listed for sale. Called our realtor and saw it that night. Made a full price non-contingent offer. We were outbid and the buyer is going to allow sellers two full months after closing before they have to vacate, free rent.

No sweat for us as it was going to be a vacation home. We have a nice home now so we are not stressed that our offer wasn't accepted. Price point was just over a million.
Update: Just found out that the offer that was accepted has closed escrow and was 150k over asking. We were the only other offer.
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phxjcc
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Re: Tales from this insane real estate market

Post by phxjcc »

sergeant wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 1:33 pm
sergeant wrote: Sun Oct 17, 2021 11:54 pm Last weekend we were driving down the coast from wine country. Stopped in Ventura for lunch. Happened upon a home just listed for sale. Called our realtor and saw it that night. Made a full price non-contingent offer. We were outbid and the buyer is going to allow sellers two full months after closing before they have to vacate, free rent.

No sweat for us as it was going to be a vacation home. We have a nice home now so we are not stressed that our offer wasn't accepted. Price point was just over a million.
Update: Just found out that the offer that was accepted has closed escrow and was 150k over asking. We were the only other offer.
Thanks for the update.
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Re: Tales from this insane real estate market

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masteraleph
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Re: Tales from this insane real estate market

Post by masteraleph »

Our story is a bit dated now from earlier this year, but if it helps anyone:

We started looking around a year ago (November 2020), hoping to move in the spring, in Riverdale, which is a neighborhood in the Bronx. We looked at coops, condos, and houses, but found houses to be the best option for us for several reasons- coops have very significant financial requirements, and we were in an odd place where my wife's graduate fellowship was ending and where we thought she was very likely to have a job soon (and we were correct!) but didn't have one yet, so our income would've been relatively lower- we were willing to take on what the bank would consider to be an acceptable but relatively high DTI ratio, knowing that the I would likely increase significantly. We also have 2 kids, one of whom tends to run around loudly and can be up at odd hours; we were moving from an apartment with a garage under it, and knew that we'd have issues if a coop/condo wasn't a bottom floor one.

At the time there was almost nothing on the market in our price range- one house that we saw and rejected immediately (it's still on the market a year later), another semi-detached where the lot size meant that it was already oversized according to current zoning laws and so if we ever did any significant work we'd have problems getting permits. And then, in February, right during the big northeastern snow storm- literally the day after- we saw a 2 family house come on the market, but looking at the floor plans it seemed to be connected internally and so would be usable as a one family house. We arranged to see it a couple of days later, and we loved it and put in an offer immediately. Several other offers came in very quickly, and so we had a last and final offer requested for a few days later. We were told- and who knows if it's true?- that we had slightly beaten out the next highest bid, which was all cash whereas we were offering financing, but with 30% down and appraisal waived, because the owner suspected that the all cash folks were investors and they wanted someone who would occupy the house. The offer was for about 1% over asking. It took a while to get into contract- the house was owned in a living trust, with the owner in a different state, so forms had to be sent back and forth, but we went into contract in mid-March and closed in late April.

Things we learned-

*Being ready to jump in, with pre-approval, in a hot market is important, though it's worth noting that our market isn't quite Northern VA hot or Bay Area hot. And unfortunately it's not a fair market- we had relatives who were able to help with the down payment in a way that many others might not.

*Luck is a factor. I'm sure the house would've had more viewers if there hadn't been 2 feet of snow just beforehand. Also, we didn't have childcare and had to bring the kids- I hope that the decision didn't come down to us having kids, which would be illegal, but it certainly confirmed that we were likely a regular family and not investors (which is legal).

*Having a good agent and a good lawyer can be really essential. The seller's lawyer was a single person shop and would drop out of contact for a few days at a time, but our agent was in communication with their agent and so we knew what was going on. And in NY, there's usually a waiting time for contracts, because everything is negotiable.

*Having a good inspector is reassuring. On the advice of our lawyer we used an inspection company where all the inspectors are engineers, and our inspector was able to both note many minor issues and also to say that all of the structure he could see looked to be in really good condition.
Ron Ronnerson
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Re: Tales from this insane real estate market

Post by Ron Ronnerson »

rage_phish wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 12:57 am
ASpenderInRecovery wrote: Tue Nov 23, 2021 4:35 pm

I To make this actionable I'd love to hear from anyone that has successfully won a contract in 2021 in a HCOL area. How much over asking did you offer? Did you waive all contingencies? What was the size of your down-payment?
Bought 4/21 in the Bay Area (east bay) in an extremely hot town

Offered 13% over asking. Waived all contingencies (but ha d Avery good inspection report provided)

52% down payment

So far it’s all worked out and all the trades people who have come through have remarked what great shape the house is in. Makes us feel good after having waived contingencies



On the sale side we received 14 offers on 5 days. All over asking

Accepted the highest one. 14% over, 20% down, all contingencies waived. Still can’t believe someone paid what they did for the house we sold
Congrats on your new home! I'm in the East Bay as well, in the tri-valley region. My townhouse has gone up in value around 40% since the start of the year (from mid-800s to around $1.2m now). The rate of appreciation seems to have definitely slowed during the second half of the year but prices are still increasing. Homes sell within a few days of listing and almost always go for more than asking. It doesn't seem like prices should keep going up at this point but yet it's still happening. It really is insane.
rage_phish
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Re: Tales from this insane real estate market

Post by rage_phish »

Yeah they keep going up here too. And everything goes pending in less that’s a week
A house just went pending in our neighborhood for the highest price I have seen. $200k more than anything else has sold for…and that’s just the list price. I won’t be surprised to learn it sold for even more
vfinx
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Re: Tales from this insane real estate market

Post by vfinx »

Bought a house about a year ago during what felt like must be a peak. I had a safety threshold of a 50% drop in value (of all non-cash assets including the house), plus a job loss without disastrous impact. It was very scary, but it was our plan before Covid and we decided not to let the crazy times mess with it. I stayed within budget.

In hindsight I think I was either very lucky or stupid because it was the first house I had ever bid on in my life, and I won it over 16 others at my initial offer price. Coincidentally I ran into someone else that bid on the house and she told me that she bid $20k less than I (she looked up my purchase price on Zillow which I found creepy), and refused to beat my price when offered a chance. So I’m pretty sure I overpaid.

A week after I moved in, Zillow updated their estimate to say that I was down 10% on my purchase. I paid 8% over asking so it was even lower than the original list price. I deleted the app and unsubscribed from their emails.
NYCaviator
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Re: Tales from this insane real estate market

Post by NYCaviator »

masteraleph wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 4:52 pm
*Having a good inspector is reassuring. On the advice of our lawyer we used an inspection company where all the inspectors are engineers, and our inspector was able to both note many minor issues and also to say that all of the structure he could see looked to be in really good condition.
This is very true. Make sure you get recommendations from people you know and trust, not just your realtor. Realtors will often refer you to people who have sent them business or promise to send them business, regardless of whether they do a good job or not.

On a similar note, I cannot believe how many people are agreeing to waive inspection just to close, especially on older homes. This is a huge gamble. I think a lot of people who have done this are already at the top of their price range, desperate to close on something, and didn't have cash set aside to do major repairs. Very scary. Even small electrical or plumbing issues can quickly add up to a five figure bill.
ChrisC
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Re: Tales from this insane real estate market

Post by ChrisC »

NYCaviator wrote: Mon Nov 29, 2021 8:43 am
masteraleph wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 4:52 pm
*Having a good inspector is reassuring. On the advice of our lawyer we used an inspection company where all the inspectors are engineers, and our inspector was able to both note many minor issues and also to say that all of the structure he could see looked to be in really good condition.
This is very true. Make sure you get recommendations from people you know and trust, not just your realtor. Realtors will often refer you to people who have sent them business or promise to send them business, regardless of whether they do a good job or not.

On a similar note, I cannot believe how many people are agreeing to waive inspection just to close, especially on older homes. This is a huge gamble. I think a lot of people who have done this are already at the top of their price range, desperate to close on something, and didn't have cash set aside to do major repairs. Very scary. Even small electrical or plumbing issues can quickly add up to a five figure bill.
People can waive inspection (or don't need an inspection) without signicant risk if they're buying an older home destined for a gut renovation in an urban area, or a home which will eventually be torn down and replaced by new construction, or a condo/coop unit in a very stable multi-housing project.
rage_phish
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Re: Tales from this insane real estate market

Post by rage_phish »

We waived the inspection contingency. Though the seller provided an inspection report from an extremely well respected inspector. So far so good for us. And we have had numerous contractors and tradespeople on to provide us some quotes. All have remarked what great shape our house is in despite being 60 years old. I know this isn’t everyone’s experience
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