Did you hear about the time we tried to buy a house? And again. And again. I’d like to say that one day J and I will look back on the big house hunt of 2013 and laugh. But why waste time? Let’s laugh about it now. It’s a story so incredulous that we could barely believe it ourselves as it was unfolding. It’s also actually quite long, so I’ll be posting it in two parts.
We bought a new house in September. But wait – didn’t we have a baby in October? Why yes, we did! You see, we never intended to purchase a house three weeks before having a baby. We started our house search way back in April, which gave us plenty of time to find something and move in before L arrived. Apparently God had other plans.
J and I learned some hard lessons when we bought our Tennessee house, so this time we wanted to be smarter about it. We interview a couple different realtors and chose one who we just can’t say enough about. He stuck with us through all the crazy. And goodness, was it crazy. Jim said in all his years of business, he’d never had a house fall through like it did for us, let alone multiple times for the same buyers. I’m sure if Jim didn’t lose money by working with us, he didn’t do much better than breaking even after all the driving around looking at houses in four different areas, time spent dealing with some less-than-stellar selling agents and even covering our second home inspection out of his own pocket after the first house fell through. Seriously, the man has our business for life.
House #1 was a hidden gem, or so we thought. We were slightly taken aback when we arrived at the house for the showing and found the owners still at home. But as we walked through the house, J and I took turns jabbing each other in the ribs with our elbows with glee at what we found; patting ourselves on the back for being able to look past the noisy television in the living room, toothpaste in the sink, clothes strewn about the bedrooms and a broken fence in the backyard. We knew that not everyone looking at this house would be able to see the house for all that it could be and we just knew that with all the work that needed to be done, we could definitely negotiate a lower price. And since J is quite handy, there would be enough money leftover for us to fix anything major ourselves before we moved in.
So we sent in an offer, negotiated back and forth a few times and finally settled on a price we were happy with. J and I were thrilled to have everything fall into place and we got busy packing up all our
junk, I mean, belongings, gave our notice to our apartment complex and patiently waited for the closing date to arrive. Two weeks before closing, we got a call from our realtor. Unbeknownst to all of us (the selling agent included, apparently), the sellers were not only upside down in their mortgage, but they negotiated our contract knowing that they didn’t have the money they needed to come to closing with. Our only options were to either purchase the house for more than it was worth (yeah, right), keep our offer on the table hoping that the bank would accept it as a short sale, or walk. And so we walked. With boxes half packed and a date we had to be out of our apartment. But we walked. To this day, I am still so thankful that we never pre-ordered that carpet we looked at for a house we’d never own.
House #2 seemed like it was meant to be ours. Unlike the last house, this one was well-maintained and didn’t need much work. It was perfect. “Lucky” for us, the owners were planning to move out of state and wanted to be out of the house as quickly as we wanted to be in it. We were able to push our move-out date from our apartment back one more week and we were set to go. Until the sellers changed their minds. I won’t go into much detail since we’re now living in the same neighborhood, but let’s just say that although there’s a signed contract, there wasn’t much we could do about it other than to head out with our realtor once again and beg our apartment complex to let us stay a little longer. Did I mention that they already had someone else lined up for our place?! Thankfully, they were able and willing to work with us, but we did spend several days unsure of where we would go.
You would think that after two houses falling through for very random reasons, that house #3 would finally be the one. We thought so too. But more on that later. 🙂