Sunday, January 04, 2009

How it went down...

So for those of you following the house saga... here is how it went down.

This last long weekend AB and I spent a fair amount of time wandering houses with our agents. We actually had a great time with them. Or at least I really enjoyed it. Even for the houses that we just aren't interested in, it was fun to get ideas. We also had in there an appointment with one of the local builders mostly for information gathering.

On Friday we hit five houses. The third house struck us. We both fell immediately in love with it and it was the first house we have seen so far where we knew we needed to get an offer in.

I am kicking myself because it has been on and off the market for awhile now. The first picture of the exterior... not something I would have been interested in. So while I was going through finding houses to check out when we started looking, I probably flipped right by it. It wasn't until we were starting to exhaust listings that fit our criteria that it popped back up again. This time I took a better look and immediately said we had to see the house.

We saw it, we loved it. It wasn't a grand house. It had a stellar view, but was a pretty modest house on a half acre lot. But we left the house knowing there wasn't anything we would change about it and feeling we could live in that house forever.

Saturday we got our act together and scheduled another viewing. When we arrived we found out that an offer had been received for the house and so we knew we would need to move fast. We went and saw the house again and went directly to our agents office and made an offer - which took forever since there was also a rent-back agreement to be filed. The couple are older, wife's health is declining and they need a smaller house and are building one which will be finished in May. They didn't want to move twice and so we readily wrote up a rental agreement with our offer letter.

Our agent presented the offer in person as she likes to do. She explained that it isn't done so much anymore, but she likes to make a personal connection and tell the seller a little about the potential buyer. In this case I tuned her into the fact that I knew the husband through work, how I knew him and she ran with it.

We waited Saturday evening. We waited Sunday. Finally at 5pm our agent called us with the answer.

In the listing agents experience she has never had a case like this. Offer letters came in within hours of each other for the exact same price and the exact same rent back agreement. The difference? We had asked they split the closing costs with us and the other buyers did not.

This should be an easy decision for the seller right? Except that the wife liked Terese and really wanted to sell the house to a family. She debated with her (very analytical analytical) husband all day, which was why we didn't get the answer quicker today. In the end, the husband won out and we lost on the offer.

Back to the drawing board.

AB is more disappointed then he thought he was going to be. I am less disappointed than I thought I was going to be. AB actually has said he is a little ticked too. The sellers never countered. Who doesn't counter offer? If they wanted to sell the house to a family, why not counter and ask for the same offer as the other buyer? Or more? Because we could have and would have done it.

At this point we have looked at everything in our region fitting our criteria. We are hoping to see some new homes hit the market in the next month or so. We will also start looking for lots and considering building. But given that we were willing to not have a house until May potentially, it also says to us that we should not be in a hurry. Interest rates aren't as great as they were initially touted - so that isn't a reason to push it either.

We will just take our time and see what hits the market here in the next few months while we look for lots and decide what the layout of our house would be - if we build.

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