Give it to me NOW.
I had a Veronica Salt, of Willy Wonka, moment… In light of my last post. Let me start at the beginning… 11 years ago:
When we first looked at these two-story condos, we visited a couple lower units on the market. We didn’t care for them because there was very little light and were like caves. The “backyard” was a tiny patio area, not that impressive that faced a fence and then a block wall. However, we quickly discovered there was something interesting and different about the Condo complex itself.
What makes it desirable is that it’s split into two sections. The majority of the units is on one side of a residential street. Then across that residential street is the remaining units. Only 1 road with approximately 48 condos broken into blocks of 6. It’s very private, quiet, with its own pool that the residents on the “other” side can’t use, as they have their own pool. The smaller section everyone wants as the other side is more like an apartment complex. Also this condo complex, is within a master association of houses, that is highly desired. So it’s a GREAT location.
We found an upper end unit on the private side of the complex at the end of the cul-de-sac. Only one neighbor on one side and one neighbor below… no one would be stomping over us or driving by. There are so many windows because half of the unit doesn’t have a building on the other side. It’s a mini green belt and then goes into houses. So the bathroom on that side has a window, the kitchen has a window, our laundry is on the same floor (whereas other upper units have their laundry in the garage) and has a ceiling window that opens and allows roof access. The other bathroom that shares a wall with the next unit has a sky light. Both bedrooms and living room have doors that open to the balcony. The balcony allows us to see trees and watch sunsets vs. a block wall or fence or parking lot. We can see the sunset from the kitchen window. We immediately wanted it.
And like Willy Wonka, Joe (the seller), knew he had a prime location that everyone wanted. This was 11 years ago, and the market was high. We had looked at several condos throughout the city of Lake Forest. All of them were like apartments and ‘eh’ or down-right crappy with no garage or extra storage. Joe’s unit was refreshing. The garage was attached to the unit and had direct access into unit. It was cute and full of light with so many cabinets and (3) utility closets and (2) walk in closets! It was a great place for our 13 month old son. WE WANTED IT! (right that instant) Gimme, Gimme.
It wasn’t cheap.
Since we didn’t have a savings (down payment) or property to sell and put in a cash offer, we had to do the first time buyer thingy. However, because the market was high back then, we needed a loan for $375k. (remember, this is Southern CA, Orange County area some 2 bedrooms/2 baths townhouses were going for over 500k) We were able to get (2) loans. One for $300, and the other for $75. Unfortunately, these loans only had 5 years of fixed interest rate and primarily our payments would be covering interest only. That was okay, because we were only going to live there (5) years, do a couple of improvements, sell higher and get into a house.
Within that period, we had a second child. Just as we were preparing to look for a house, the market crashed. Then we both lost our jobs. That changed everything and we found ourselves upside down…
…to be continued.