HOME BUYERS' GUIDE: Family finds a diamond in the rough

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

Jeremy and Mystie Morgado knew what they were looking for in their first home.

"We wanted to find the worst house on the block in a good neighborhood, and this house fit into that criteria perfectly," Jeremy said, standing in the yard of a home they recently purchased in the Northridge subdivision.

Buying a home at this time wasn't part of the Morgado family's plans. Jeremy works as a youth pastor, and sales and marketing manager at Capital Christian Center. He's also working on his business and marketing degree at the University of Nevada, Reno, as well as being a father to three children, ages 1, 3 and 5.

"We've always had the mindset that we would buy a house after I graduated from school," Jeremy said. "But with the way the housing market is going, we were able to buy it and I don't graduate until December."

Jeremy said the three bedroom, two bath home originally listed for $198,000, and sat empty for nine months after going into foreclosure. They managed to buy it for $144,000, and Jeremy said the payments are $150 less a month than they pay in rent.

"It was amazing how fast it went," Jeremy said. "We put our offer in on a Monday, by Tuesday afternoon we had their counter. We accepted their counter and by that Friday it was a done deal."

The home sits empty now until escrow closes on April 30, less than a month after they started the process.

The yard is untended and signs are taped to the windows warning trespassers to stay away. Jeremy has experience in construction, which will come in handy when fixing up the home that has suffered from neglect.

"A lot of these distressed properties are not in great condition," said Mary Jo Brummer, the Realtor who represented the Morgados.

"A lot of the foreclosures we looked at, the people knew it was going to be foreclosed so they either stole everything inside of it, or they just let it go," Jeremy said. "They didn't care anymore."

"I think we are unique, because of our backgrounds," Mystie said. "We can see the potential in this house."

Jeremy offered some advice for those shopping for homes, especially foreclosures.

"I think what's important for first-time home buyers is the Realtor that they choose," Jeremy said. "MJ was fantastic for us. There was a couple of times when we thought about putting an offer in on a home that through her research and prior knowledge we were able to find things out in advance."

For instance, he said Brummer advised them to put in an offer contingent on the home inspection, allowing them to back out if something was wrong. That saved them in one circumstance, where they had an offer accepted on another house, but found out it had fire damage, electrical problems and an unpermitted room extension.

Once the deal closes, the Morgados plan to replace all of the carpets, knock out a wall between the kitchen and living room to make an island, and paint the inside walls before moving in 15 days later.

"She loves interior design and I love to do building," Jeremy said. "For a minimal amount of funds, we can make this house ready to move in."


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