Archive for the ‘house hunting’ Category

House update

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

To make a long story short (which I never do, so don’t get your hopes up), we have signed a purchase and sale agreement on a house! We are buying the house that Jesse used to rent when he lived out here before – kind of funny. There are people renting it right now, and they have a lease until the end of September, which would put our closing on October 1st. The owner (formerly Jesse’s landlord) has presented them with a monetary incentive to leave at least a month early, so there is a chance that we might close on September 1st. We are planning to do some renovations before we move in – wood floors, paint, new carpets upstairs, epoxy the basement. This all depends on cash flow, of course.

So, it appears we could be famous. . .

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

So, not much has happened on the house front – we have pretty much decided that we are buying the house that Jesse used to rent when he lived here before we moved to Vegas. The one problem with that house is that there are tenants in there until the end of September, which leaves us homeless until early – mid October! We’ve been searching for temporary or month-to-month housing to no avail, SO, I did the only rational thing I could do: I put an ad on Craigslist. Now, of course, I’ve received a slew of spam and scam emails. “Click on this link to get a free credit report,” “Go to this website and have landlords bid for you,” blah blah blah. TODAY, though, I got the best one of all, and it wasn’t even fake:

“Hello!

I’m a reporter with the [local newspaper]*, writing a story about what residents go through trying to find housing in the summer. I’m hoping to talk with people as they go through the process of finding a place and moving for a series to be published this month.

Unfortunately I do not have a place to offer you, but the exposure might help you find one. Would you & your family be available for an interview this week? I’d like to know your take on the advantages/disadvantages of renting seasonally.

Thanks for your time. I hope we can be in touch!

Jane Smith*”

OH, real nice…other people capitalizing on our pain! Eh, we might do it anyway. Why the heck not? Tune in later – I’ll post the article if we do it!

*Names have been changed to protect the guilty.

And the house drama continues. . .

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

Here’s a mini-update:

We put an offer in on a house on Satruday – the owners rejected it and came back with a VERY small decrease from the list price. We came back at them on Sunday morning with a moderate increase from our original offer, and they still didn’t budge! SO, we had pretty much written it off and were on to thinking about different houses.

A little back story here – this house has been on the market for 439 days! It’s a very nice place with a big yard. You can definitely tell it’s been well-cared for. The one problem is that it has electric heat, which really freaks people out around here. We would be planning to convert to solar at some point and to install a wood stove in the meantime (to help lower heating costs). I’ll give more details if this whole thing works out (don’t want to jinx it!!).

Anyhow, yesterday afternoon, our agent called and said they wanted to know what our best offer was, so they could try to negotiate with the owners of the house THEY want to buy and this could all work out. We gave them the price we were willing to pay, and now we wait! I hate the waiting game!

House Saga

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

Phew, our apologies for abandoning the blog for a bit. This house hunting thing is for the birds. We’ve already been outbid on two houses (in two days) and are working on a third. It seems like there has been a sudden flurry of people buying homes in our price range – many first-time home buyers trying to cash in on that $8,000 tax credit. So anyway, we have been so consumed with this process, that we have not been fulfilling our duty to keep up with everyone!!

Regarding house-hunting, though, here is an interesting tip: write a personalized letter to the owners about why you like the house and in what ways you can picture yourself in the house. While we haven’t actually landed a house yet (we’ve been putting in low-moderate offers on expensive houses with the hopes of catching someone who’s desperate), we have had great responses to the letters. One couple seemed genuinely bummed NOT to sell the house to us and gave us multiple chances to bid higher on the house (the back story is that we gave a very respectable offer, and then some butt came in and made an offer ABOVE list). So, while we just couldn’t match the other people’s offer, the owners actually told us what their offer was (which they DO NOT have to do) and wanted to give us a chance to compete if we wanted to. They told our agent to tell us that they loved the letter and were sorry. HA! Anyway, the letter seems like a nice touch that may sway the owners to move a bit more on their price or to choose your offer over someone else’s. Just an observation.

We’ll check back in as things progress!