“This is NO Dream House”

“This is NO Dream House”




After reviewing the home inspection it was obvious this home was a mess and literally not livable. We would never be able to get a lender to do a mortgage. I spoke to the clients on three different occasions and each time they wanted to figure out a way to buy the property. They kept saying the home had character and at some point they could fix the pool.


The renovation costs to make the home livable, was estimated near $100,000 but they felt they could do the work for less. Between the purchase price and the estimated renovations we were far above the FHA county limit. They just barely had enough money for the down payment, closing costs were still a problem and as far as any costs to renovate, they had no clue how that would happen.


They both made it clear they were going to search for some alternative way to purchase the home in spite of my recommendations that the purchase of this home was way over their heads. I got this email from them:


Hi Joe-


It is my understanding that you spoke with Rich, and had told him that due to the condition of the home, as well as the inoperable pool and the outbuilding, that we would not be able to get a loan for the house.


What would you do?


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Joe Petrowsky, NMLS #6869

Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS #2709

110 Main St.

Manchester, Ct. 06042

Office: 860 647-7701 x116

Fax: 860 647-8940

Cell: 860 836-9294

Email: joe@righttracfg.com



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Joe Petrowsky does not guarantee nor is in any way responsible for the accuracy of the information provided herein, and provides said information without warranties of any kind, either expressed or implied.

Equal Housing Statement: We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. We encourage and support an affirmative advertising and marketing program in which there are no barriers to obtaining housing becuase of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

Comment balloon 33 commentsJoe Petrowsky • November 18 2015 12:40PM


 Good Thursday morning Joe. It seems as if the loan underwriting process is getting more complicated. We got involved with the lender on an inspection that we did last week. The first time that is happened in my entire career.

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) almost 5 years ago

Good morning Larry,

Sometimes people cannot see the forest for the trees.

It looks like they have good intentions and have not comprehended that this property loved so much is just not going to work.

It also looks like the agent is on board with the clients and by asking is coming around.

Make yourself a great day.

Posted by Raymond E. Camp, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) almost 5 years ago

Just as children sometimes want things that are not possible, it sounds like these clients are not being realistic either. Good luck! 

Posted by Lise Howe, Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC (Keller Williams Capital Properties) almost 5 years ago

Good morning Joe. Given your experience with lending and rehabs, stick to your guns! Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) almost 5 years ago

Good morning Joe.  Sometimes people need someone else to tell them the same thing before they get the message.  

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) almost 5 years ago

Yes, it sounds like they would be in way over their heads.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) almost 5 years ago

Joe, I agree with Ray...I had one on a 203K loan that tried to hide it was a cesspool because she didn't have enough money to rehab the house...that did not go far once I talked with the lender...they need to get real.

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in Southern RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) almost 5 years ago

Good morning Joe. You did your best and were forthcoming. That's all you could do.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) almost 5 years ago

You did the right thing and you know it.....they would have been "house poor" and miserable.

Posted by Roger D. Mucci, Lets shake things up at your home today! (Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092) almost 5 years ago

And they would have been in the "poor house" as well - so of course you did the right thing! No need to apologize-you are saving them from themselves

Posted by Joanna Cohlan, Designing, Decorating & Staging Westchester Homes (Fresh Eyes For Your Home) almost 5 years ago

Good Morning Joe:

I will do exactly what you did. Straightforward answer. There is no other better way.

Time for them to move on the next move.

Posted by Maria Gilda Racelis, Home Ownership is w/in Reach. We Make it Happen! (Home Buyers Realty, LLC-Manchester, Bolton. Vernon,Ellington) almost 5 years ago

You told them and now they have to process the information. I seems as if the agent may not want to start over. Oh well!

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) almost 5 years ago

Is the message about Rich from the agent? If so, he/she is not serving his/her client well. You, on the otherhand, rock the truth and that always serves the client well. 

Posted by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, REALTORS® in Clark County, WA (ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors) almost 5 years ago

Good morning, Joe --- two of the most important things in residential real estate are not as tangible as the home itself:  compromise and reality.   It's time for these buyers to understand those two concepts in my opinion.   

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393 almost 5 years ago

You're the expert in this instance Joe. I'd go with whatever your suggestion would be...

Posted by Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400, Long Island Home and Condo Specialists (The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803) almost 5 years ago

How about an FHA construction loan?  Mike Young - I'll bet you have someone on your team that can look into this.

Posted by Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist, Probate Real Estate (KD Realty - 408.972.1822) almost 5 years ago

Joe - honesty is the best policy.  They need more information to save themselves from making a mistake.

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) almost 5 years ago

Dependent on so many things, Joe Petrowsky.  A lender can only do what a lender can do, within their company's programs offered.  You have provided sound advice based on that.  It will be interesting to hear if they truly do pursue the purchase elsewhere .. keep us informed ...


Posted by Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi, 708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience (NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656) almost 5 years ago

You gave them professional guidance and advice based upon FHA guidelines and the property condition. There isn't anything more you can or should have to do. Some people just don't like the answer they are given.  

Posted by Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert, Broker/Owner of Zion Realty ZionRealtyAZ.com (Zion Realty) almost 5 years ago


Where there is a will there is a way, perhaps they will find a way, or they need a reality check.  I am always willing to encourage someone try to do it.  A

Posted by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy (Napa Consultants) almost 5 years ago

Stand your ground, Joe. You know your business. These buyers will soon see the truth.

Posted by Debbie Laity, Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO (Cedaredge Land Company) almost 5 years ago

Joe and here lies the problem we had in the last decade.  You tell people the facts, tell them no you can't do it and why, but that is not what they want to hear.  So they keep looking until they find someone who says yes.  They then find themselves in foreclosure soon after purchasing they home, because they did not want to listen to the truth.  But OH wait it is ALL the fault of the Lender who ended up giving them what they wanted and would not take NO for an answer.

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) almost 5 years ago

Sounds like an over active sense of instant gratification and they will hold their breath until someone gives them what they want

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 ) almost 5 years ago

Joe, what did they not understand. Why would they want to get this house and be house poor and not able to do any renovations....I don't understand these buyers.

Posted by Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®, Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate almost 5 years ago

Kathleen, thanks for the heads up on this one. On the surface it certainly looks like a 203k or Homestyle possibility. The new FHA guidelines allow for repairing the pool regardless of the cost, there is no longer a $1500 limit for those repairs. Joe, send more information privately and I'll send you in the right direction. I'd need to know the potential purchase price +  $100,000 renovation and if that resulting number is $656,000 we should be good to go. If it more we have another product available that goes up to $3,000,000. this is not an advertisement, we don't make loans but we can certainly guide you in the right direction. 

Posted by Mike Young, FHA 203k Consultant 916-758-1809 (203kOnLine.com, covering the USA) almost 5 years ago

You are a realist Joe. Honest and had working.

Posted by Noah Seidenberg, Chicagoland and Suburbs (800) 858-7917 (Coldwell Banker) almost 5 years ago

Well done, Joe!    Sometimes folks cannot be convinced not to pursue things they shouldn't pursue.   You can only guide.  

Posted by Dagny Eason, Fairfield County CT, CDPE Homes For Sale and Condo (Dagny's Real Estate) almost 5 years ago

Some people are very determined to get themselves in serious financial trouble.  Aren't they, Joe?

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) almost 5 years ago

Good morning Joe Petrowsky,

In this case you did the right thing! These people would be in way over their head with expenses to make this house livable. They obviously don't have the expertise or resources to take this project on..you are saving themselves from making a huge commitment and end up sorely disappointed!

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899) almost 5 years ago

Sounds like it could have turned into the all too common money pit. 

Posted by Marco Giancola, Realtor (305)608-1922, Miami Beach Florida (Beachfront Realty) almost 5 years ago

Tell them to buy a lottery ticket to finance the house Joe Petrowsky.   The odds are better than them getting a mortgage through you. 

Posted by DEANNA C. SMITH CERTIFIED MOBILE NOTARY, Highest Ranked Certified Mobile Notary in Virginia (Certified Mobile Notary Signing Agent) almost 5 years ago

You did the right thing. As industry professionals, we don't just sell houses and help with financing - what we do impacts lives. Whether someone chooses to note the facts or prefers to hunt down fictions that are more to their liking is a personal choice, but rarely seems to work well. It never feels good to be the first lender to say no, but kudos to you.

Posted by Cheryl Umberger, Mortgage Originator (Univest Bank & Trust) almost 5 years ago

Sometimes, you need to step aside and to think again: what are your best options and who are the people you can trust. 

Posted by Inna Ivchenko, Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA (Barcode Properties) almost 5 years ago