A little bit of back story.
Our initial house buying plan was something that would be relatively low maintenance that we could upgrade/paint/tinker with to our liking. However a downside to this is that neither of us like McMansion/70’s/cookie-cutter style which seems very very prevalent in this area. I blame this on being right down the road from Columbia, MD which is a planned community from the 1970s. So we were rather stymied. What did we want in a house? We love the houses in the historic district of our town but anything affordable is generally rundown and in need of repair and like the rest of America we don’t exactly have a lot of capital on hand (thanks student loans!), at least not the kind it would take to rehab an old house.
Then one day one of us came across documentation about 203k renovation loans. Backed by the federal government a 203k renovation loan enables you to borrow up to 110% of the assessed value of the house to perform renovations. We did some research and it seemed like if you were willing to put in the time and effort to make it work, it could end up being a pretty good deal. Well, we could handle that.
Our next step was to contact a realtor who had dealt with 203k loans in the past and talk it out. At this point it was early September, but forewarned is forearmed and the more time and information we had to make decisions the better off we’d be. At least that’s what we figured.
We were planning on starting a serious house-buying search at the end of December 2015/beginning of January 2016 when our Victorian came across my path in late September. Being honest though, when I say “came across my path” what I really mean is that I had set up Redfin alerts for our desired areas
a year a while ago, just to keep an eye on trends and whatnot. I sent the link to Gordon and we both said “there’s no way the timing would work out in our favor”, but what could it hurt to look? Famous last words.