Ok, so we (or maybe I should say “I”) never stopped watching that house we lost. It had seemed perfect, in a “needing lots of love, but having great bones” perfect sort of way. Perfect for our family and situation. Besides being in our favorite neighborhood, there were school friends 3 doors down, a couple of little boys the same age as my boys 3 doors up, and lots of other folk we knew within a few streets. The house had an incredibly large (for here) shaded backyard with a huge deck, a split bedroom arrangement with 4th bedroom and 3rd full bath off to one side of the house, that was perfect for our one girl to have a spot of her own and to double as a guest “suite” should we have visitors, two other secondary bedrooms with full bath between them just made for the three boys to share, a mostly redone master bath complete with jetted tub and oversized shower, a large (for this aged home) kitchen and breakfast area with TONS of cabinets and storage space, huge laundry room with double utility sink, oversized garage, large rooms, french doors to the deck, crown moldings, you get the picture – we really liked this house.
The setting and neighborhood were also really appealling to us. The area was built in the early sixties, so the trees were large, beautiful, and plenteous. Down the street was a duck pond, walking/biking trail, and creek/park/playground area. The elementary school was just 10 houses away, providing another playground for afternoons/weekends/summer playing, as well as a huge parking lot – a great area to take kids to learn to ride their bikes. The neighborhood had its own pool for swimming in the summer. Library with great kids’ programs was within walking distance. The neighborhood had an active group of folks who organized playgroups, ladies nights out, parades, Bible Studies, Christmas Caroling, etc.
Well, anyway, I truly did accept that the house was not going to be ours. But, as I kept my head in the market over the next few weeks, I also kept tabs on the lost house, just to see what would happen with it. I pulled the mls listing each day to see if it had gone under contract. I kept in touch with my school friend down the street who watched it anxiously for showings. And yes, I prayed that maybe, just maybe, something might happen to cause the situation to work out after all.
The problem with the house had centered around the fact that it required some work which would be costly to us. The inspection had uncovered several issues, none of which were terrible, but which needed to be addressed for the soundness of the home. This represented money and labor over and above some of the cosmetics which it also needed. Though we’d tried to negotiate the sellers down in order to account for the needful repairs, they’d remained fairly firm on the price they wanted. And so, despite loving the house, we had to, in good conscience, let it go. It would have been foolish financially to take it on.
Well, almost a month went by, and a few folks came to see the house, but it remained on the market. We joked about putting another offer in on it, but weren’t that serious. Eventually though, our agent did some poking around on his own, and learned the house was indeed still available. But the listing realtor told him that the owners were still being fairly firm on their asking price.
So, Jay and I talked. We agreed to place another offer on the home. Much lower than our previous offer, but with a sooner close date, thinking perhaps that the owners would find that attractive given they’d already moved and likely needed to sell the house pretty soon. We never dreamed they’d be happy with our new offer given how much less money we were offering, so we didn’t really think too much about it after we sent our offer to them. Imagine our immense surprise when we learned that the sellers accepted our offer almost immediately! There was no counteroffer, no hedging, just a quick acceptance exactly as we’d written the offer. And this despite their unwillingness to negotiate to a significantly higher price than this one month prior! We were astounded, and really really thankful.
But with such a near closing date, we had a ton of things to do, so we sort of held off our excitement and we set to work gathering all the necessary papers, loans, information, etc needed to purchase a house. Unlike the previous go-round, this time the purchase went off without a hitch. As of Sept 1st, we were homeowners! Well, homeowners now of 2 homes!
You dear readers will now be asking, “What are you going to do with 2 homes?”. The answer is, nothing. We are not the sort of people who can afford to own two homes. We’d been preparing our “old” house for listing all during the months we searched for a new place, so as we closed on the new one, we finished up some small things to ready the old one completely for the market. Closets were cleaned out, windows washed, clutter and toys culled through and streamlined, paint touched up. Things were going well, and it was looking really beautiful – more beautiful than it had looked during our more than 5 years of owning it!! And then, just as Labor Day weekend was ending, and a mere two days away from listing we woke up one morning to this…
(to be continued – again!)