Things just sort of worked out that way. It made for a very exciting day. It wasn’t planned, but my wife and I just purchased our first home! And on my birthday no less…
We were thinking in January that we might want to leave the renting scene and take the plunge into our own home some time this year. Then, as January plowed on we decided to rent for perhaps another year or so. But as February rolled on, we revisited the buying option. We had already been approved for a mortgage at a really low interest rate and our realtor was sending us weekly updates of homes on the market that meet our criteria.
A few days ago this really nice home (above) just hit the market. We arranged with the realtor to see it, but the only time available was the following Monday (i.e. my birthday, February 27th), along with a few other homes today (in January our realtor took us to see several homes too).
To be honest, on the way to see it I was only “half-sold” and not very excited. I fully expected to appreciate some bits, not others and move on. But from the moment we pulled up we were in for a pleasant surprise.
The homeowner was home (a very nice catholic man and his baby). He was the type of man who took great pride and care in his stuff. He liked us. We liked him. The house, being only 10 years old, was purchased by him before it was built and has a whole lot of customized features throughout. The kitchen is outstanding and so is the backyard. It has a sweet gas fireplace, and a movie entertainment room where the flatscreen TV is on the wall but the cables have been dropped behind. This is perfect because we have a flat screen TV and had said that when we buy a home, we wanted to do that. But here it’s already done! The house, aside from a gorgeous and private backyard, has four wonderful bedrooms, two full baths, and a finished basement with, as I said, a gas fireplace.
Dollar for dollar, nothing in our price range compares.
So we went home and crunched some numbers and discussed low-balling the offer. When we called our realtor she explained to us that she contacted the seller’s agent and though the house had just hit the market, they have received many offers. Some people had even offered up to $10,000 OVER the asking price. But the owner had turned them all down. Why? Because he’s building another home and wants 120 days before he moves. The other offers were all conditioned upon moving in sooner than that. To make things more intense, two other realtor’s were bring more interested homebuyers to look at the house that evening. Whoever puts the offer in first would have the best chance for the purchase.
We went to our realtors office where the paperwork was drawn up. She called the selling agent to arrange a visit to pitch our below-asking-price bid, and the agent had told her that another agent was asking her questions about us because his homebuyer wanted to stall us so that they could make the first bid. It was a race. We were first in line but coming up beneath their asking price.
So our agent met with the home sellers agent and we went to have a birthday dinner at Red Lobster. As we finished up dinner my cell rang. It was our agent. She was there with the homeowner who wanted to come back with a counter offer: they wanted $1,000 more, but in turn where willing to give us there newer washer and dryer. We were beyond thrilled since we were in need of a washer and dryer anyways. We also couldn’t believe that they accepted our low-ball offer (it was still a few grand beneath their asking price). We met with our realtor one last time today, signed a few papers (which needed to be signed by 11:59 pm today) and the deal was done.
We put a few conditions on the home including things like we are having a home inspector inspect it this week. But assuming all goes well with our conditions, we are no longer property virgins (to borrow the phrase from a popular TV show we have been watching for the past few months).
“So”, I asked my wife, “what’s for my birthday next year?”