After my cosmo, and some super sweet surprise flowers from my husband “just because” :-D, I mustered up the will to continue the hunt. Dave and I continued to go with John (our amazing realtor) to keep looking at houses. There was one house in particular that I had just not been able to dismiss from my brain. It’s an old colonial and needs a TON of work, but the character of the house, and obvious “good bones” as my friends (ok, the term friend is used loosely here, as I don’t actually know them) John and Sherry over at Young House Love say, had left my mind reeling with possibilities.
When I looked at the old colonial I saw mounds of potential. Knock a wall out here, delete a staircase there, recreate a staircase here, open up this area and add a bathroom there. This house had potential…$60K worth of potential to be exact. And that was just to get it livable. Yes, this is an exact estimate, as we had a contractor friend of ours come out and take a look to see if we could swing it, in a 203K loan (that’s a type of FHA loan, not to be confused with $203K).
We made an offer on the house, much less than asking, but higher than any contractor was going to offer. Side note: In case you aren’t fully aware of the ins and outs of flipping houses, as I wasn’t prior to this (and really what I know now is still very basic). In the state of MA if a contractor were to go into a house and then flip it, and sell it right away, they will then owe the government about 50% in taxes alone. Therefore, if an average buyer were going to purchase the house and offer $100K, the contractor will most likely only offer $50K as they need to ensure they are making enough to pay off taxes and still turn a profit.
Anywho, enough with the real estate lesson, back to the subject at hand. We offered what we felt was a fair price for the house considering it did have a brand new roof, and brand new septic system just installed. But also allowing for us to be able to afford the quoted $60K worth of work, as well as any “Money Pit” type surprises we may have encountered along the way.
While the seller’s realtor seemed to be on our side, the seller themselves were not. They were sticking as close as possible to their asking price, and at this time are unwilling to come down to the range we need to make it work. Boohoo. But, as I have done with most every outcome similar to this, I took it as a sign that this was not “the one” and told Dave we could move forward. While Dave also loved this house, I think there was probably a small part of him that was relieved I was willing to let this
dream house go. He was extremely concerned we would run into some big ticket items once we started messing with the renovations, and end up way over our heads. It took me a while to get there, but eventually I saw it too. This may have been just a little too big of an undertaking for our first house.
So, as we reluctantly bid adieu to the dream of the open concept old-made-new colonial house, we opened our eyes and hearts to other options. We eventually found our way to another house that would need a little TLC, but was more within our budget for purchase and renovations. It was a small cape, with a decent back yard, and tons of possibility. So, we talked to John and decided to put an offer in to see what they would say. As was typical in our offers, we went a little below asking price, and hoped that they would at least counter offer instead of giving us a flat out no. We asked for a response as of 5:00pm the following day.
Then began that waiting period I talked about in my previous post. The next day, when we still hadn’t heard as of end of business, and I had asked Dave, who had asked John, probably a total of 30 times “any news yet” we were starting to resign ourselves to another no. About that time Dave’s cell phone began to ring. Side Note: John always calls Dave’s cell, and that is always the hardest part for me. I can hear Dave saying things like “ok, ok, right, ok, sounds good” but I have NO FREAKIN CLUE what John is saying on the other end!
I have gotten pretty accustomed to sitting there, listening to this other side of the conversation, holding my breath and crossing my fingers, and my oh so handsome husband hanging up, looking at me with a long face and saying, “We didn’t get it.” Therefore, when he hung up the phone with John this time around I was prepared for the no. I was ready to say “ok, so onto the next” with as much enthusiasm as I could muster. What I was not prepared for was what Dave said next….
Dave: So, there’s still no word on House A*.
Me: Really? Ugh. Well, its 5:30 now, so we’re past our offer time limit, and typically when that happens we know it’s a no…so maybe we should just move on.
Dave: Yeah, maybe. We’ll see. Like I said, there’s still no word on House A, but House Perfect is going back on the market and they want to know if our offer still stands.
*We always speak about the houses in terms of addresses, and because I don’t want the interwebz knowing our potential addresses, I oh so creatively changed the names to House A and House Perfect – I know, I should really write novels with my level of creativity.
(Cue gianormous surprise grin on both of our faces) The house that had turned me to the comfort of vodka and blogging was possibly back in our line-up? The accepted buyers were backing out, just as we had prayed for…but why?
Immediately Dave and I started talking about what we wanted to do. Legally our offer for House A had expired, so we could move forward without concern on House Perfect, but did we want to? We had just wrapped our heads around the fact that we weren’t going to be getting House Perfect, and were actually excited about the things we could do with House A. We had a lot to think about…
So what would you do? Would you go with the house that you both felt at home immediately in? Or would you go with the house that you knew could feel like home and would be like new after the renovations you would make? Would you risk missing out on House A if House Perfect decided to not go with another offer you might make? Would you risk loosing House Perfect to wait and see what House A was going to do? What do you think we choose to do?