Monday, February 29, 2016

Moving On

Waaaaay back in January life was looking pretty grand.  We had found the house we wanted, made an offer, it was accepted, the mortgage was all set - we were looking at February 29th as closing day.

(Un?)Fortunately, the appraisal process threw a big ol' wrench in the whole thing.  It turned out the sellers had been less than honest about some aspects of the property - namely, that the "in-law suite" (with its giant bedroom, full bath, kitchen sink area, etc.) has not been used in 20 years, and so there actually isn't any heat or plumbing happening in a pretty big chunk of the house.

The mortgage broker gave it a big ol' "NOPE" on that, and we were sort of back to the drawing board.  Our Realtor approached the sellers with the opportunity to either take care of business, or accept a significantly lower offer, so we could include contracting out getting it taken care of.  No dice.

This led to a pretty darn bummed out me. 

However, like every story I ever tell, there is a silver lining.  The house we had decided on was actually the very first place we looked at.  It was perfect: it was inexpensive, and it had an entire separate suite for Dad, which were our only real requirements.  It turns out it doesn't technically have that suite, so off the list it goes.  I have noticed the property description on Zillow has changed to offering "potential" for a master/in-law suite, but the price hasn't changed.

Back to the drawing board we went!  We found an assortment of properties we wanted to check out, and sent the list to our Realtor; unfortunately, he wasn't able to schedule visits for 8 days, and by the time we got to check them out, only two of our 5 were still on the market (I had no idea real estate was such a fast moving business!). We found one more to check out, all the while slowly raising the max price we were willing to consider.  The three we looked at last Saturday were 100% dumpy slums.  Just trust me on this: they were super duper gross.  One had been my frontrunner, as it had a gorgeous and huge kitchen - all updated, beautifully painted, etc.  Unfortunately, that kitchen was what my lovely sister, Faith, referred to as "gilding the turd" - the house was literally falling apart - the floors were lumpy and bumpy because the foundation was so messed up, and we couldn't even check out the second floor apartment, because the stairs/balcony were falling off the side of the house.

We were looking at other options at home that night, and found what we both saw as *ZING* our dream house - late 1800s, huge, big yard, great neighborhood, etc.  We texted our guy right away - lo and behold, it had just gone under contract earlier that day, he still set us up an appointment to see it (which was good of him, as we were a bit sore over the fact that several properties had slipped through our fingers while he was eating sandwiches or something the previous week).  Luckily, the place wasn't as spectacular in person (I would like to write to my legislators to put a law in place that only allows photos that show a place in its actual condition be posted online).

I did mention one other spot we'd been looking at, and that we were really interested in checking it out AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.  So - fast forward to Monday, and I left work a bit early, Dad and Azi met me at the place, and it was perfect.  Not only was all the plumbing working - but the house is in fantastic condition, comes with all appliances, and even a warranty.  There are currently tenants in one part, but they are relatives of the sellers, so shouldn't be too much of an issue.

We walked through - imagined our lives there, etc. etc. etc.

Then, we went and looked at a place that had just come on the market, and, you guessed it, total dump! It is the kind of place that will be really amazing if someone with enough money can fix it up.  Gorgeous huge old house, with some buckets collecting water leaking through the upstairs kitchen sealing, and parts of the building appearing to want to fall off. 

We told our guy we wanted to make an offer on place number one, and he said he'd write it up and we could sign in the morning.  We were like "NOPE" - let's do this now.  So, we got our offer in, and by the next evening, the counter offers and counter counter offers were all finished, and we've officially got a contract in place.

I'm a big flabbergasted that it's still going to take a damn month and a half for the whole process, but, for now we've got the thumbs up on the mortgage (that was all settled on the previous house), and the sellers are happy.  It's time to start packing, and imagining what I'm going to paint over the wood paneling throughout my floor!

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