Friday, February 19, 2010

The Great House Hunt Part II

Read Part I here

We have been looking for almost a year and have toured countless houses. Our realtor's file on us is about an inch and a half thick, stuffed with the property reports of all the houses we've seen. (He's been a very patient man.) We were being picky. But we knew what we wanted.

Then we found it. The house! Ah, it wasn't perfect, but it had the vibe. It had the zing. I could SEE my family living there. It had beautiful, dark, exposed beams in the living room. It had a cozy family room off the kitchen. It had a gorgeous yard, a nice deck, a nicely planned kitchen.

Well, we made an offer on that house.

The owner's agent pulled all sorts of manipulative shenanigans on us. He lied about having a second offer on the house to pressure us into making a fast and high one. He called our agent with stories of the owner's wife in tears about leaving, and just another 10K would make her feel so much better about things. Apparently she had talked to so-and-so and so-and-so and THEY were SURE that the house was worth more than we were offering. Seriously? Like I care what so-and-so said or that the owner's wife was crying?

Plus, they were always past deadline whenever responding to us and extremely unwilling to concede anything to us. In protest we became rigid in our negotiations. After having given them all but one item on their counteroffer, we made our best and final offer. Then their agent decided to just ignore us. No formal refusal. Not even the courtesy of a phone call. Just silence.

Needless to say, we didn't get the house. In fact, when it did finally sell it was for only 4K more than our offer. A measly four thousand!! In the grand scheme of house prices, that was nothing. We were disappointed. Ah well, onward and upward.

Months went by as well as many more houses. Onward and upward became onward and status quo, and sometimes distinctly downward. Keep in mind that we were seeing 3-5 houses nearly every Saturday. We were getting burned out, but nothing seemed right.

Then we found it. The house! It was a beautiful 2 story with a most delightful floor plan. And it had plantation shutters throughout the house. The basement was unfinished and the yard wasn't ideal, but the location was great and more importantly, I could SEE us there. So we made an offer.

The owners countered. They came down a measly 4K and threw in their grand piano. Well, a grand piano is nice and all, but come on, meet us in the middle here! Sure we low-balled them, but honestly this house had so many red flags in its history (such as having recently sold as a short-sale for 150K LESS than its current listing price) that we didn't want to offer the inflated asking price. So we countered back. We came up a hefty amount.

Then silence. Again. We were being blown off AGAIN. Can't you people have the decency to return a phone call? An email? Crikey, how about a text? Don't you people want my money? Our agent finally called their agent's principal broker (and have I mentioned that this agent has a reputation in the industry for being difficult to work with?) and Mr. Boss Man blew us off and said that he was certain the agent was being professional and would do everything possible for us and would definitely return our calls.

Nothing. No response.

Then our agent's principal broker called their agent's principal broker. Come on, people, talk to us. Don't you WANT to sell you house? Why on earth did you list it if you're not willing to enter into negotiations with interested parties? Well, finally the agent called ours. He gave a price that he thought we should offer but couldn't say whether or not the owners would find it acceptable. Hmm.

Back to the search.

Discouraged. Disheartened. Tired. Sick of it all. Time running out as the deadline for the tax credit looms ever closer. We went out with our realtor again. All the houses were lame, lame, LAME! We were depressed.

Not quite ready to give up hope, we scheduled another tour. The day before the tour the house we thought had the most potential cancelled our showing. The owners of the house had accepted an offer the night before. Grr.

Wanting to fill the time slot, I picked a house to see that I remembered finding online months ago. It had been under contract last fall, but the sale fell through. It had only been relisted for ONE day. Last summer when I saw the house online I crossed it off the list because of its location. It looked like a great house, but it was too far away. Of course, by this point in the hunt we were much more flexible on a little thing like location. Once we saw what was available in our area of choice and realized we didn't like anything there, we cast our net a little wider. Or a lot wider, depending on your point of view, I suppose.

With less than 24 hours notice, the owners decided to let us see their house. After the tour that day we had two properties we wanted to see again.

Faith renewed. Energy back up. We were FINALLY excited about a couple of properties again. In fact, we liked them both so much we had some serious deliberation to do. We weighed pros and cons. We made a matrix. I assigned a point system. We evaluated every tiny detail of the houses and our lifestyles. It came down to six on one side and half a dozen on the other.

The second showing would break the tie.


Gentrey said...

Seriously? I have to wait for another post to find out which house you chose?

You better post tomorrow. :)

The Laubs said...

Brent told Chris you guys signed! Congrats! It's a lot of work but so worth it to be in your dream house! Guess the Elder's Quorum is going to have to do some serious rebuliding.

We are HamakerLove! said...

Maybe its watching too much HGTV but I LOVE theory and dreams. MOstly I just want to get the house bought, and tear it apart and make it mine. We have owned our house for two and a half years, and we love it. It is A LOT of work, but I still love it.:) Congrats!!!

Donna, The Decorated House said...

Congratulations on your new home!
You are quite the house hunter!
It was a "part time" job for me when my daughter was looking for house a little while back. Since she worked full time, it was impossible for her to put in the amount time and work to find a house. So I understand how good it feels after all the work you have done to get to this part. A new home!

Lissa said...

I'm glad to see from your comments that this story has a happy ending!