So our real estate adventures have continued in the past week or so. We were originally thinking we would start house-hunting in the fall, but now that we have gotten here and see the neighborhoods and see what is on the market and see what living in our rental is like, we have decided we would prefer to move sooner rather than later. It's not even that much drastically sooner than we were originally planning, actually. We have this rental house until the end of the year, and many of the houses we have been looking at need a good bit of work. By the time we went through the process of finding a house, closing, having work done, then moving into it, we would be well into autumn, depending on which house and thus how much work.
Anyway, we found a house (a beautiful, beautiful house) that was so lovely that we decided to make an offer. It was this charming late-1920s Tudor with a gorgeous kitchen and amazing bathrooms, all done with really high quality. The house had a really beautiful, special feel, full of light and super-high coved ceilings and beautiful windows. The neighborhood gave us a bit of pause, not because it was not nice but because it was maybe a bit TOO nice. Seriously, there were mansions across the street, and it seemed like there weren't a ton of kids around. It was so, so beautiful that we decided we would like to try it, though. The house was at the top of the price range we were considering and thus our offer was low-ish, and it turns out there was another interested buyer who's been hemming and hawing about the house for weeks. He had told the selling agent to let him know if anybody else made an offer, so when we did, she did, and then this other buyer went and made another offer. I know this is a bit of sour grapes on my part, but doesn't that seem like a jerk move? I mean, someone else had to want the house for him to go, "No, wait, MINE!"? It seems like what small children do with toys. Anyway, his offer was higher than ours, so no beautiful Tudor for us.
Then, a few days later, we saw another house that seemed like a great option. (It was not the next house we saw, of course; we've been looking at tons and tons of them.) This house was built in 1917 and is a bungalow, sort of craftsman-y. It also has lovely bathrooms and a great kitchen, and it has a very cozy, livable feel to it. It has this gorgeous fireplace and a fabulously finished basement with a media room and a nice master area. It's a bit bigger than the first house, and seems more like a family home; it's really easy to visualize ourselves there, even 5-10 years from now with another kid or two. There's room for chickens in the backyard and lots of storage. Not unimportantly, this house was priced much lower and even its asking price would be comfortable for us. To top it off, the street seems like a better match for us; it's just off of 15th and 15th with fun things to walk to, and the street seems less fancy schmancy and there are more kids around.
So we love this house, we can see ourselves in this house, and we decide to make an offer. We make another low-ish offer, hoping to negotiate and get a good deal on it, but a few hours later our realtor calls us back and AGAIN there is ANOTHER BUYER who was considering making an offer and has now decided to, motivated by us wanting the house. I mean, really? REALLY?! As Rob said, what is this, 2005? Isn't this supposed to be a buyers' market or something? We have decided that we personally have witnessed the turnaround in the housing market, right now, right here, in the last week or so. You heard it here first.
The selling agent came to both of us buyers and asked us to make our final best offer and he would present both to the sellers. I thought this is a fairly civilized way to do things; we don't lose the house because we made a first offer planning on negotiating. We made a nice plump offer and changed our dates to what the sellers wanted and last night, at 10pm or something, the sellers got them both and decided. And hooray, they picked us! Supposedly, the offers were very close on price but the dates were what decided it for them. Interesting, no?
So we will have a house, a home of our very own! I am really excited about this house, with its big front porch and tin-ceilinged-kitchen and beautiful neighborhood. I don't have any good pictures (the ones online are tiny) but I will try to get some up as the process moves forward. We will close near the end of the month, and then do a bit of work (refinish the hardwood floors, paint all the woodwork, paint the walls, maybe refinish the front door), and THEN! We will move into a place of our own! And be settled and unpack all our boxes (half of which are in the basement of our rental) and be HOME.