Sunday, January 30, 2011

Get your sh*t together

House hunting round 2 began at 9am on Saturday. Dan and I met our agent, Raluca, at house #1, a house than Dan wanted to see because of the large lot. It was in a nice quiet cul-de-sac and looked nice from the outside. We knew it qualified for a renovation loan and the estimate in the listing was $2800. Not huge, and workable depending on what the renovations were. Inside: huge mess. We nixed it quickly.

House #2 was a brand new listing, on the market as of Thursday morning. The bedrooms were clustered and there was no space for a dishwasher without removing cabinets, which were sparse to begin with. There were multiple listings, and we had to get a preapproval with the listing lender. It was okay, but not feeling it to go through the hassle.

We got in the car to go to #3. It was literally 300 feet away on the other side of the street. I hadn't been super stoked about the pictures, but we looooooved the inside. It had nice spacious living spaces, and an enclosed Arizona room off the living room. Compared to the first house we put an offer on, which had similar square footage, it felt very homey. The house had new carpet and tile, as well as new paint, throughout the whole house. It had a bonus room off the garage/laundry room that we could use as a pantry or office. It also had a separated master bath - the tub and toilet were separate from the sink - just like we have now. We ranked it highly on our mental list and moved on.

Houses #4 and 5 were nice, but not it. They were near to each other, but just didn't have that instant attraction we had to house #3. Plus, they had HOA fees and were at the top of the budget. If you're going to be at the top of our budget, an HOA fee and a small kitchen and/or odd entry won't get ya far. Nix and ixnay.

So we discussed House #3 as we stood in the living room of House #5 and decided to submit an offer. House #3 was priced well below the area's market average of $60/square foot. Raluca called the listing agent, an investment company, and learned that there were two offers: one below list price, and one "very close." So we decided to go over, and ask for closing costs to be paid, making the bottom line $4K above listing price, yet well within feasible appraisal value. A fair and more than reasonable offer. And then we waited.

Raluca called me as I was on my way to Tucson later the same day. She told me that she'd gotten a contract signed by the investment company (!!!) but then (!), then, she'd gotten a call from the investor's wife saying she was part of the LLC and they were going through a divorce and she didn't agree and her soon-to-be husband's contract was void without her signature. What.the.fuck? In subsequent conversations, Raluca learned that the husband wanted to take our superior offer, and the wife wanted to take an asking-price cash offer. She pretty much wanted to have a quick deal and get out of their business partnership. And neither of them can sell without the consent of the other. Well, shit. So we're stuck in some couple's feud. I told Raluca to keep me posted.

Two hours later, Raluca called again. Evidently, Mr. and Mrs. Happily Ever After weren't able to come to an agreement and decided to pull the house - the house we wanted as OUR house - off the market. Pretty much the opposite of her goal of getting all assets off their books ASAP and moving on. We went from a 50/50 shot to a 0% shot in a snap. We're torn between hoping they resolve their feud and accepting our offer, and wondering if pursuing the deal is stupid, as we could pay for an inspection and appraisal only to have them get in another fight and then we're out $600, if not more. I seriously don't know what to do. We could really see ourselves living there. I guess we'll take it day by day and see what happens. I honestly don't know if we should cross our fingers this will work out, or move on and thank our lucky stars they didn't pull out 1 day before close. I asked Raluca to get a status update tomorrow, as the investors are supposed to meet with their lawyer regarding their LLC. I guess I just hope the lawyer will order them to commit to the highest offer (us) and wash their hands of each other.

Everything has always come so easy to us. This has truly been our first challenge. We're running out of market listings we agree on to see. We've put in notice with the apartment complex. We can go month-to-month, but it would increase our living costs by 50%. We're just hoping we find something in the next few weeks that will allow us to not have to extend our lease. Hopefully, the third time will be the charm, but I'm quickly learning that it's not nearly as easy as hoping.


JMJE said...

That sounds really annoying. We were lucky with our house. I think the couple was getting divorced also. But they were at the point that the house had been on the market for so long that they just wanted to get rid of it. So that worked in our favor. Good luck.

MrsCaptKerk said...

Trust me when I say I've been there. When Nick and I were house hunting it was so frustrating. Not to be a downer, but we started house hunting in January and didn't sign for a house until June.

There were two houses that fell through, numerous houses that were nothing like what they seemed. It gets really depressing. Just think of the end result when you find your house! It will be wonderful!

If you need to vent, you know where to find me :)

Shana said...

Yikes. What a mess these two are. It's a really close call as to what would be better. I'm going to cross my fingers that whatever happens it doesn't cause you a huge headache or cost a lot of money.

Amanda said...

Like I said -- it's the DEVIL!!! I hope they get it together and you're able to get this one. It's awful when you have a deadline like that. WTF is wrong with people anyway...he probably said something to piss her off and she called off the whole deal.