Hello friends! The last time I left you we were in the beginning stages of the house buying process. Since then (all 13 days ago) we have seen a few more houses, looked at other ones for a second time, put in an offer, our offer was excepted, the inspection happened and now we are waiting for the sellers to agree on the 3 fixes we would like to see take place. It all happened so quickly it was hard to keep track of what was going on. So here are the quick details of it.
While we were actively looking we went through 7 homes total. Two of them the yards didn’t meet our criteria, two needed MAJOR work, 1 had a wonky layout (attached garage with no access to the house?) 3 were contenders. On the Saturday we were planning on looking at two of the houses again we find out that one of the houses had an accepted offer. So we toured the one we hadn’t seen and one that we had been to previously that was a contender.
The new house was smack dab in the middle of suburbia. The streets were wide, the houses were newer and they were located in close proximity to shopping and major threw streets. It would have been ideal, except… the homes were right on top of one another (figuratively) and from my kitchen window I could probably see and hear what my neighbors were saying. Privacy would have been none existent in this back yard. It was also a ranch with the whole basement underground. Which means only natural light on the main floor and the basement also had many rooms that broke up into smaller rooms. None of which could be considered bedrooms because they wouldn’t conform to fire safety standards. For the price you were getting a lot of house, underground and not much space between them.
I didn’t love it and I couldn’t see myself living in that house. Don’t get me wrong, I have lived in a neighborhood where the houses were on top of one another… I just didn’t want to be THAT close. Especially in the back yard area, our old house had an ally in the back so we never shared a back yard with anyone else (except on the sides) but this would have been sharing on all three sides of the back yard and with the yard being small it would have bugged me.
So once we left that house we went back to the house that we had already had seen (we will call this one Robin). It was the house on our first day of looking caught my eye as being a potential. The yard was huge, the spaces between the houses were bigger and it had everything that we wanted. The only thing it didn’t have going for it was updates on the inside of the house. The outside had new windows, siding, roof, garage and front doors were replaced, it had been landscaped etc. It was a house that just needed someone’s time an attention. In my mind it was the perfect blank slate. Since I started reading blogs, mainly design blogs, I have wanted a home that I could infuse my design senses on. Since that first visit I was already dreaming of ways to customize it to my own personal liking.
My darling husband wasn’t convinced…however the day we went back to Robin for the second time he brought his father along. Thankfully his dad saw all the potential that I had originally seen. He loved the neighborhood, the major fixes, the small number of updates etc. He saw it had potential and that was the tipping point for this house. It went from being just a contender to THE ONE!
But even though his father liked it, my husband wasn’t still so convinced. It was going back to the suburban house (small yard ranch) that really made my favorite house the winner.
The one great advice my father in law gave us about buying a property was this…
“Go home and think about it for the night. If the next day you are still happy with your decision then make an offer.”
Like in business you never want to make quick decisions when it comes to real estate. However sometimes you just don’t get that luxury. Since the Robin house wasn’t getting any activity or looks we knew we would be safe giving it a full 24 hours before we made an offer. Of course the next day we find out someone else went and looked at the house too. Thankfully though they were out of the house in 10 minutes with no explanation to the sellers as to why the quick visit.
Once we found out that the other showing didn’t go well we knew that we could offer a lower but competitive bid for the property, because that it needed some major love on the interior and those other houses in the price range they were offering much more updated interiors.
So we offered, they countered, we re-countered, they accepted. That was last Tuesday and on Friday we had the home inspection!
Honestly it has happened all so quickly that the husband and I have not celebrated properly yet! We plan to go out to dinner to celebrate however that has just not happened yet. Maybe once all the paper work is signed and keys are in hand we can officially celebrate…with take out, paint and some paint brushes!