【Buyer Representation】Duplex in Dublin

Akiko met Jerry and Masako at the Japanese School some time in 2013. They had just moved from out of state and their son happened to join my son’s class. They told Akiko that they were looking for a duplex in a good school district, specifically in Dublin, Worthington, Hilliard, and Powell. Their plan was to move into one side of the duplex and rent out the other side until they eventually have both sides leased and then move into a single family home.

As you might know, single family homes and condominiums are predominant, duplexes/doubles are scarce in those school districts. When Akiko set up a search on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) for them, there was nothing attractive available on the market. Jerry and Masako had some time to wait until something good came on the market. Akiko introduced them to a lender in the meantime and kept sending property information as it became available.

In mid January of 2014, Jerry sent an email that they were ready to start looking seriously. Our lender was telling us that the rate was going up soon in the spring. Jerry and Masako went back to Brian Hitchcock at Arlington Bank (as of March 2014 at First Bexley Bank) to get a pre-approval on 1/13/2014. While a FHA loan can be done on a single family up to a 4 family housing with as little as 3.5% downpayment, conventional loans require 20% down for multi-units (5% down for a single family home). Jerry and Masako received their pre-approval on 1/28/2013 and sent Akiko a list of four duplexes that they were interested in seeing the next day. While working out the schedule for showings, they drove to all the properties and crossed out two properties due to the neighborhood. Then, one of the two duplexes was occupied on both sides and only offered a curbside showing. The MLS did not provide any pictures of the inside either. In order for Masako and Jerry to see the inside, they first had to make an offer with a condition of review of the property (which means they can rescind the offer if they did not like the inside after a showing). So Akiko and Nick met Jerry and Masako to see the other duplex on 2/4/2014.


One side had a tenant so we only looked at the other side. It was nicely updated and in move-in condition. The leased side could only be seen after submission of an offer. Jerry and Masako liked the house and the location. They can see the elementary school where their son will be going from the outside of the house, therefore, it would not be difficult to find tenants after they move out. Also, there are many great single family homes in the same school district and their son does not have to change schools again when they are ready to move onto a single family home.

living roomkitchendining room
back yardbedroomback yard 2

Jerry and Masako decided to make an offer on this house with a contingency of viewing the other leased unit. It was listed for $240,000 with 15 days on the market. Akiko and Nick ran a CMA (Comparative market Analysis) to find out the fair market price. Duplexes in desired school districts are scarce, and nothing in that condition is normally available (duplexes are normally leased, so minimal updates, good enough for tenants, are normally seen.). This property was only on the market for 15 days and we did not want this opportunity to slip away. There was only one other comparable within the last 6 months that showed up. Based on the sale price, we came to offer $230,000. Jerry was originally a little concerned whether the house would appraise for that. Akiko and Nick told him from there experiences that a single family home of this size in the area would easily appraise for that price, and that normally a duplex would appraise higher than a single family home of the same size. Besides, we had an appraisal contingency to re-negotiate or walk away if the house did not appraise at or higher than the offer. Additionally, we asked for $2,500 in closing costs and a home warranty from the Seller on top of the review of the leased unit. To make this offer attractive to Seller, we put an earlier closing date. The offer was delivered on 2/5/2014.

Jerry and Masako’s offer was fully accepted on 2/7/2014!!!

After the good news, it was time to get to work, and move towards the closing of this property. We only had a little under 3 weeks to get it all done. An inspection was schedule immediately and was completed on 02/12/2014. The property was in great condition, and required minimal work to be done. We then wrote up the Request to Remedy with an itemized list of things needing to be taken care of by the sellers. On 2/18/2014 the sellers signed the Remedy to Request agreeing that they would take care of all the items requested.
The next step was to order the appraisal.  Nick contacted Brian at First Bexley Bank to let him know that the Remedy Negotiation had been completed, and that we were ready for the appraisal. The appraisal was scheduled and performed on 2/19/2014. As it turned out, the appraisal came back stating the value of this property was *drumroll* $230,000!! We had nailed it right on the nose. This was great news!!

The closing was set to be noon on 2/28/2014.  After finding out that Jerry physically could not be there due to his work schedule, we advised Jerry to get a Power of Attorney which would give Masako power to sign all the necessary documents.  At the 11th hour we found out that Jerry was going to be able to make it to the closing, and we finally closed!

It was an absolute pleasure working with them, and we’re certain that they feel the same about us. Congrats on your new home Jerry and Masako!!