Tuesday, October 11, 2011

House Hunt Update

My last post was about the dream I had about the perfect house, now I have real news to share with you.

We have been looking for the perfect house for many months now. In fact, we thought we'd be moved into it by now. It's just been really hard to find the perfect place to live. When we started out we were mostly looking at the size of the kitchen and making sure there weren't any handicap hazards. But then we (and by we, I mean me) had visions of living there for the rest of our lives. I want our next house to be the place where we raise our children, where they live all their lives and where they come home to at Christmastime from college. I want it to be Grandma and Grandpa's house where our grown-up children bring their children and tell them stories about growing up there. This is how I grew up, and this is the culture I came from, and this is the experience I want to share with my children. So, as you can imagine we've had to be very very picky.

So, we got creative. We thought maybe we should find a house at auction and asked our realtor to send us a list of pre-foreclosure properties. The list was 27 pages long, with 10 houses each page. All we had to go on from the list was square footage, really. So, I started weeding through them. I'd look at the ones that were big enough for us according to square footage, and then I'd type the address into Zillow and Google Maps and I'd get an idea of what the house was worth and where it was located. And out of the first 10 pages or so, I came up with a list of about 7 houses. And then we asked the realtor for previous MLS listings on these 7 houses. Out of all of them there was one that we were really interested in.

There were no pictures. We could tell from Google Maps only that it didn't have a pool. We knew what the square footage was. It had an auction date for sometimes in October. But for some reason we wanted to know more and to go see it, so we had our realtor call and get some information.

It was complicated and I'll spare you all the crazy boring details, but basically the house had an uncooperative tenant, one offer, and the owners lived in California. But after some poking and prodding, we got a chance to go look. However, that was a day that Sadie was struggling, so Brian went by himself. He decided he really liked it and he took a video (which isn't really that good) where I could kind of get an idea of what the house looked like. I liked enough of what I saw that I was willing to write the offer...but we were lucky enough to get in there and see it again.

We didn't have a lot of hope, but we submitted the offer, which was $10K higher than the other offer, so our only chance was that the other buyer would back out. The selling realtor didn't really think the other offer was that serious anyway.

We pushed and pushed and pushed. And luckily we have an EXCELLENT realtor who has a lot of experience (probably more than the selling agent), so he was able to kind of use some leverage and suggest some things that we were unaware of. But we still didn't have a lot of hope, in fact we were starting to look at other houses. And then we had a breakthrough.

Just today, we got an email from our realtor saying that the other buyer had cancelled and that our offer had been accepted!!!

He also told us that as far as short sales go, at this point in the process, we're in the best situation possible. I think it's because since there was a previous offer the short sale process was started and a lot of the "foot-work" has already been done. So, hopefully our offer just shoots right through smoothly and quickly.

We're hoping to move in for Sadie's second birthday (January).

What makes this house so perfect? Mostly it's the neighborhood. We want to live there the rest of our lives, we want a nice, established neighborhood. But the house itself has 4 bedrooms...plus an office. It has a nice, big kitchen. 2 of the bedrooms are in a separate wing from the other two...perfect for slumber party all-nighters where mom and dad don't want to be bothered! It doesn't have a pool, but it has a nice yard with some mature citrus trees. Brian has promised to plant our pomegranate trees in the ground when we get there...and of course we'll be digging up and bringing with us the banana tree.

Hooray for the perfect house!!

Find more information about Jim Gordon (our fantastic realtor) here, and find him on facebook here.

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