Wednesday, March 10, 2010

What we’ve been up to

In the past few weeks Christi and I have kind of been absorbed by our house hunting efforts. We saw a number of houses here in the local area and even put offers in on several. We had high hopes for one that was only a block away from where we live now, but had a complete ½ acre that was already landscaped, a fireplace in the master bedroom that Christi fell in love with and some great spaces that would lend themselves to renovation for extra bedrooms. Unfortunately that one was scooped up by an investor with cash in hand. We were initially following the strategy of bidding high and asking for closing costs but it seemed to get us nowhere. Then a funny thing happened. A house in short-sale that Christi and I had seen online before our pre-approval came through, came back onto the market after the escrow on it had gone south. The asking price on this one was $175,000. Our initial move was to again bid high, we offered $206,000 hoping to completely shut down the competition. They actually counter-offered with $200,000 but asked for an extra $3900 cash before closing to satisfy a second mortgage. I’m not exactly sure what happened to us then, but somehow even though the actual price came down, the sudden addition of the cash for the second rubbed us the wrong way, plus Christi’s dad took a look at the place and suggested that maybe the price was a bit steep, so we didn’t sign the counter offer and let it slide. We went on to look at a few more places, and even submitted another offer on one that we weren’t completely thrilled about. As we were in the office working up the paperwork, our agent was scrolling through the listings and came across the short sale we had offered on before. Apparently, the other buyers who had been countered at the same time we were hadn’t returned the counter offer either so it was once again available with no pending offers. It was then that Christi and I decided to pounce. We countered with our own offer at asking price, $175,000 and asked for some closing, while agreeing to the $3900 cash for the second. Surprisingly, this was accepted by the owner. Last week the bank holding the second accepted their portion of the offer and now we are just waiting for the main bank’s response. We’re told it will come no later than the 19th so we’re almost there. Our agent feels pretty certain it will be accepted because the bank initially accepted an offer for the same amount. I’m hoping it comes in sooner rather than later. I’m itching to get into escrow and get both the home and septic tank inspections completed. This house is such a great fit for us. It’s a 4 bedroom, 2-1/2 bath on a 1/3 acre lot. It has a nicely upgraded kitchen, new carpet and tile, upgraded bathrooms that all match and each of the bedrooms are really pretty large. Plus it has a “family room” area that will be perfect for adding in a 5th bedroom. It has a huge laundry room area and a nice 2 car garage. Best of all, it’s in a nicer area with low tax rates and not on a racetrack like our current place is. We’re looking forward to moving as a chance to clear out our clutter and start fresh in a new place. This is gonna be sooooo good for us and the kids. We’ll update as this process moves along.