In the Spring of 2013, we started looking for a new home. We weren't sure what we wanted yet and we certainly weren't sure where we wanted to live. Our daughter was born in June 2012 and we had decided we needed to move to a new neighborhood before she started school (in 2017). We like to start the process early.
For 3 years we looked at neighborhoods, houses, towns and school districts. We wanted this to be right. We wanted to make sure we were making the best decision for all of us. Finally in the summer of 2016, we started looking really, really seriously. I was done with our neighborhood. I had convinced Dan that he was done with our town, as well. We wanted out and we wanted out now.
We started narrowing down our search. We no longer wanted to look to the east. We wanted to be out on the west side of our area. Dan fell in love with the town we have ended up in. The trees, sidewalks, neighborhoods and access to shopping made him think of home. He asks for very little in our relationship so I know when he likes something, I have to jump on that.
On June 19th, we put an offer in on a house we both liked okay. We saw potential in it. We could live there. The house had 3 other offers. Ours was not selected. I wasn't devastated but I certainly wasn't happy, either. Time to move on.
On June 23rd, we went to see 4 houses after work. The first two were in neighborhoods we didn't care for. The third was priced well out of our range and it needed a lot of work. We couldn't even see the house from the street. But, it was in a wonderful neighborhood. It was on a cul-de-sac with very little traffic. All of the homes looked to be built around the early 90's and all appeared to be well maintained. We walked through the house and were pretty disgusted by the shape of it. It was dirty. It had a garage full of trash (including food spilling out on to the floor of the garage). There were obvious areas on the siding that needed immediate repair. And then, the backyard. It backed to a stream and protected land owned by the HOA and the town. I was smitten. To do our due diligence, we went to see the 4th house on the list. That one was out almost immediately for me.
We went to dinner and talked. We talked about that third house. We both felt it had a lot of potential. We really, really liked that neighborhood. A day later we called up our agent and made an offer. On June 24th, we offered $50k less than asking price. And then, we waited. And waited. And waited. And we heard nothing from the sellers. They didn't respond. They didn't even respond to their agent. So, we gave up and the next weekend we went to see more houses. None of them appealed to us like the over priced fixer-upper.
That same day we went to see the other houses, our agent let us know that the owners of the fixer-upper had taken their house off of the market. We were discouraged but she asked us if we wanted to do something crazy. And so, we sent another offer. This time we offered $40k less than asking price. And this time, I sent a letter to the owners of that home. I found the address of their new home and I sent them a letter telling them that we don't want to flip their house, we want to live in it and love it and make it ours.
On July 7th, we finally heard back from the sellers. They had received our letter and they were willing to accept our offer and sell the house as-is. We. Were. Thrilled. We found this amazing house in an amazing neighborhood for a fraction of what we could have spent. We are buying a house!!
There is a house in there....somewhere...