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Unread 10-19-2020, 08:22 PM   #1
Kurt R
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Default House Hunting - Wait?

If I haven't mentioned it on this board, I'm going to be a grandpa.
My stepdaughter's baby shower was last Saturday, and while we were visiting we checked out a couple of houses.

They live in Bettendorf IA. Housing has been hot there for a while now. Lots of families living across the river in Rock Island and Moline are moving to Iowa for the better schools and lower taxes. Current conditions just make the market hotter. The houses we looked at were listed about 15-20% above assessed value. Maybe I'm jaded, but I didn't see anything that interested me. Tiny rooms, poor quality remodeling, weird issues.

The first one had new siding and a new kitchen, but nothing else done. In the disclosure sheet they stated a racoon got into the chimney, then up into the attic, and caused $12000 damage. All the window latches were broken. The shower in the master was scary.

The second one had tiny rooms, and a weird stairway to the basement. Somebody drove too far into the garage and knocked the back wall off the foundation.

I've heard that nobody with kids wants to move during the school season, so maybe it's best to wait until spring to look in earnest. Mom will hopefully be less stressed once the baby gets here as well. Any chance prices will crash?
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Unread 10-20-2020, 06:22 AM   #2
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Congratulations grandpa!

It is of my opinion that the search should be continual and don't get emotionally attached to any of them. If there is something you don't like, stop looking at it or trying to figure out a way to force it to work. And if you don't like what your realtor is bringing to you, get a different realtor. I also like using online tools to research neighborhoods (cost of living, crime rate, registered sex offenders). Above all, avoid neighborhoods with an HOA at all costs.

It's hard to tell what the market will do. It's been a good time to buy with the low interest rates, but a lot of it will depend on the result of the election.
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Unread 10-20-2020, 12:02 PM   #3
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She's entering her third trimester and she's not too keen to doing much of anything until the baby is here. I've asked her and her husband to draw up a map of neighborhoods they'd like to live in, neighborhoods they would consider, and neighborhoods that are a definite "no". Her husband has lived in Bettendorf all his life and he knows what is what. In fact his grandfather at one time owned about 10-15 rentals, but he's been slowly selling them off. There isn't a one of them I'd consider for the family, he went for quantity, not quality. Still, I hope we can count on him as a resource.

The raccoon house has a pending offer. 4 days.
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Unread 10-26-2020, 09:17 AM   #4
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Hey Kurt, congrats on being a grandpa!

Housing has been pretty hot in the QC area--and pretty much all of the urban parts of Iowa--lately. I would say that's not likely to change any time soon, especially with building material prices skyrocketing lately. I would say the biggest thing is to be ready to jump when you find the right house for them because the good ones go quickly.

I would agree with the plan to avoid Moline/East Moline/Rock Island.

Good luck and let me know if there's anything I can help you with from Iowa!
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Unread 10-26-2020, 03:40 PM   #5
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Thanks Jake. An interstate highway from Dubuque to La Crosse would help.
The river road has been under construction all summer so I've had to take a more eastern route. Same distance but more small towns to slow down for.
The scary part is I'm considering a Macan / Cayenne / X3 / X5, since I'm working from home and don't need to drive the Jetta to work. But that might change next year.

As far as house hunting goes, no deals have popped up lately. The step-daughter found one she liked, listed about 25% above assessed value. I hesitated, and it got an offer before I could tell her they were asking (In my opinion) too much. Shows what I know.
She found a really nice one in Moline, but it's on a 5000 sq ft lot, and I don't think she wants to drive across the bridge every day, even though the new one will be open next year.
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Unread 10-26-2020, 04:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurt R View Post
Thanks Jake. An interstate highway from Dubuque to La Crosse would help.
The river road has been under construction all summer so I've had to take a more eastern route. Same distance but more small towns to slow down for.
There is no good way to get from La Crosse to Dubuque, is there?!?

Quote:
The scary part is I'm considering a Macan / Cayenne / X3 / X5, since I'm working from home and don't need to drive the Jetta to work. But that might change next year.
Having owned the latter two (still have the X3), I would lean towards one of the Porsches. I'm actually trying to decide between a Cayenne Turbo and a, um, Raptor right now.

Quote:
As far as house hunting goes, no deals have popped up lately. The step-daughter found one she liked, listed about 25% above assessed value. I hesitated, and it got an offer before I could tell her they were asking (In my opinion) too much. Shows what I know.
She found a really nice one in Moline, but it's on a 5000 sq ft lot, and I don't think she wants to drive across the bridge every day, even though the new one will be open next year.
I can't stress enough how badly I would prefer to stay in Iowa over Illinois. There are some really nice houses on the bluff in East Dubuque, IL that I refuse to ever consider because schools/taxes/development/life just seems so much worse on that side of the river.
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Unread 01-21-2021, 01:03 PM   #7
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Maybe I should start a new thread on this, maybe not.
As of 9:01 this morning I am a grandpa.

Stepdaughter and granddaughter are doing fine.

There's been nothing awesome pop up on the Bettendorf housing market since I started this thread. I don't expect anything to change until the weather warms up.

Question for the forum: I have some cash saved up to help them with a down payment. Right now it is in a money market account at a local bank, gaining all of 0.02% interest. According to bankrate.com, there's online banks paying up to 0.5% interest. Has anyone used one? Are there fees that will offset the interest gained?
Looking at American Express, Ally, etc.
https://www.bankrate.com/banking/savings/rates/
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Unread 01-21-2021, 05:18 PM   #8
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Congrats Kurt!
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Unread 01-25-2021, 12:39 PM   #9
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TTIWWP

No, not houses.
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Unread 01-25-2021, 08:24 PM   #10
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Here's the deal. The wife has all the pictures, I only have a couple. The wife also had a positive Covid-19 test last week, so we're trying to avoid each other so I don't catch it. 6 days in, 8 to go. I got a test last Wed, negative. But she and I have all the same symptoms except she has a persistent cough. So maybe I do/did have it, I don't know. She actually caught it after having her first vaccine shot. But here's one I did receive, too bad her eyes are closed. I saw one from right after she was born and her eyes looked purple. Jackie says she looks just like her daughter did when she was born.
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Unread 01-25-2021, 08:43 PM   #11
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One other thing I learned from quarantining. I made the guest bath too small. I hit my elbow on the door brushing my teeth, because I could only fit a 24" vanity in the guest bath. We're planning on moving closer to them when Jackie is ready to retire, she doesn't want to be the grandma 4 hours away.

Part of me would like to build again, maybe even build this house again with some minor changes. But the other part of me isn't sure I want to go through that again. If Jackie would downsize to one small dog I could even consider a condo.
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Unread 01-26-2021, 09:58 AM   #12
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Ugh! Sorry to hear of infections and forced separations. I hope both of you are in the pink again soon. Not being able to go hold your new granddaughter has got to be tough. Thanks for the pic though.
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Unread 01-26-2021, 11:33 AM   #13
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The separation isn't so bad. I can watch TV in bed. Nobody hogs the covers.
Hoping to visit the new parents in early April.
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Unread 01-26-2021, 12:44 PM   #14
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LOL. I get it. My wife and I just ended two weeks of separation after being together for pretty much 10 months straight.
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Unread 02-06-2021, 04:07 PM   #15
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Swing and a miss.
Found a house the kids like less than 1 mile from one of the schools she teaches at.
It was listed Thursday,
They looked at it last night.
We finalized a offer this morning over listing price.
There were 6 offers, they took another one. We're not going any higher, but we will place a backup offer in case something falls through with the primary.

Interesting point. The owner put the home into a revocable trust. It looks like he is still with us, as he signed the disclosures, but because it is owned by the trust, he doesn't have to disclose anything. He lives across town and this house was a rental. He has owned the house since 1973, so maybe he lived here first and moved later.
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