Hurdles along the way

Buying a house is the most stressful experience I’ve ever been through. The business of real estate does not operate like a traditional business. There is so much that is out of your hands, and you are at the mercy of everyone else. I felt like I was constantly playing a game of telephone – my agent would tell me something that the seller’s agent said, that may or may not have come directly from the sellers and may or may not have been over exaggerated.

Once my offer was accepted, I had to immediately schedule an inspector because I only had 10 days to back out if they found something wrong. Thankfully the inspector didn’t find anything major with the house – some electrical work to be brought up to code, some other things that would be nice to get fixed, and a few repairs that needed to be finished from before the house was put on the market.  We encountered a few other bumps in the road along the way towards closing, but everything was worked out smoothly.

I began packing up my apartment and strategized what I would do first in my new home.

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Winning the prize

Thursday, April 4, 2013 started off like every other. I went to work checked my email, checked the new house listings and that’s when I found it. My house. Yes the decor was outdated and there was pink carpeting, but it was in a great location, was a great size (2160 sq ft) and had everything I wanted. I commented on the listing “Love this! Must see ASAP!” then emailed my Realtor.  When I hadn’t heard back from him, I called him on my lunch hour and told him I wanted to see it right away – I wasn’t letting this house get snatched up by anyone else.  We made plans to go see it that evening after work.

The house was in great shape – it had only had one set of owners in its 49 years and it had been well cared for. I immediately saw all of the potential.  A few coats of paint, removal of wall paper and some new furniture would do wonders.  We spent about an hour in the house and I was ready to move forward with an offer. We found out they were expecting another offer in the morning, so we put together a solid bid.  The next day, the sellers agent was in touch with my agent.  She was concerned about my FHA loan and the appraisal. I called my mortage broker (who was amazing!) and asked her what my options were. She said she would do everything in her power to get me bumped up to a conventional loan, but it would cost me more. I told her I didn’t want to lose this house just because I was FHA.

On Saturday morning I received an interesting call. The sellers wanted to meet me before accepting my offer, would I oblige? Of course! Sunday afternoon my agent and I met at the house and spent about an hour with the sellers. I told them a little about my background and we had some commonalities – one of my MBA concentrations was HR and the gentleman had spent his career in HR. They were a very sweet couple and wanted to meet the person who would be moving into their home with all their memories of their children & grandchildren.

After the meeting, I thought, we’re in the clear and I should have a contract soon! But of course it wasn’t that easy. The seller’s agent informed mine that she had 7 offers on the property and was going to present them all. She was definitely the villain in this story – I found out later she told my Realtor I was offering too much and should lower my offer. Huh? She makes a commission on the sale price so why would she want me to lower my price? She was hoping the sellers would go with an all cash offer so the sale would “be easy for her”.

Alas, the villain did not succeed and my offer was accepted on Tuesday evening. I was on my way to becoming a homeowner!