Okay, so last week we were in Orlando to visit the mouse, but we had an ulterior motive... We were actually there to scout out a second home. We saw several townhomes that we really liked and ended up putting offers on two of them. They're both "short sales" which sounds like they'll be settled quickly but the opposite is actually true. A short sale actually takes a lot longer than a regular sale. Our realtor (a really great realtor, by the way. If anyone needs a good realtor in the Orlando area, contact "In Touch Real Estate" and ask for D'Anne Kincannon or Mary Henderson) said she's never seen one settled in less than three months and they usually take a lot longer than that.
A short sale is one where the asking price is actually less than the bank is owed. But the owners are about to be foreclosed on and they're desperate to sell and they're hoping the bank will allow them to sell the property at the lower price to enable them to have a sale and avoid the foreclosure. Many times it's in the bank's best interest to accept the short sale because a foreclosure costs the bank money too, but if the short sale is too low, the bank won't accept it. It takes a lot of negotiating, which is why it takes so long for a short sale to go through. Anyway, we'll see what happens.
The first one is the one I hope we actually get. It has three bedrooms. One of them is downstairs as you come in the front door. It's a decent size. There is a full bath downstairs as well. There's a dining area (pretty large), a living room area, and a decent sized kitchen. There's a one-car attached garage. There's also a small screened porch. Upstairs has two bedrooms and two baths. There's also a balcony that's accessible by both bedrooms and a laundry closet with a stacked washer and dryer. The place is in good condition but will need some pretty thorough cleaning. The location is good, about 15 minutes away from Disney, and at the opening of a small cul-de-sac that's gated and has a pool. The view behind the house (from the screened porch and from the balcony on the second floor) is of a wooded area that probably won't be built on for a long time, if ever.
The other one is also very nice and I would be fine if we got that one, too. It has four bedrooms with the master bedroom and master bath on the main floor (which Gary likes, since he's starting to not love stairs so much.) The master bath has a jetted tub, which would be fun. The living area is a little on the compact size, but not unlivable. The kitchen is small, but nice and open to the rest of the living are so you don't feel closed in. Upstairs has three more bedrooms with another full bath. The real plus for this particular townhome is that the complex has a lot of amenities. There are several playgrounds and four pools. There's also a theater and they play movies a couple times a week. And the security is excellent. This location is 95% vacation homes and short term rentals, so they make sure that only people who are supposed to be there get through the gate. It was very impressive. Oh, and there's a fitness area as well.
There were also several houses we saw that were nice, but I feel like a house is more than I want right now. For the next ten years we won't actually live there, we'll only be vacationing there and I will be there without Gary a lot of the time since I visit Mickey more often than he does. I felt I would be a lot safer in a gated community than I would be in the houses.
Anyway, that's how we spent the week. And between realtor visits we visited with Mickey, so we had a good time. It was good to be in Florida again, with my sweetheart.