We made a decision. We chose House number one.
It was really pretty crazy how fast things moved. We left the appointment with the realtor, went to the two bedroom apartment above Whole Foods, and then to lunch, where we had a burger and a beer, took a breath, and said, so what do you think? Thankfully we both felt exactly the same. There was no question. The house was right.
The house had a lower Walk Score than I wanted, but what I didn’t really think about is the lower walk score means that we’re surrounded by neighborhood and have that as a buffer to the city around us. We are still less than a mile walk (and often closer to only half a mile) to pretty much everything I could want. The boys have only a short walk to school. Jason can get to work in less than 15 minutes during rush hour and can even bike to work if he’s so inclined. I won’t go on and on here, but in short, it all just felt good.
After lunch, we did go ahead and see the final rental just to be sure, then drove by “our” house once more and traced the route the boys would walk to school. From there we went straight to the realtor’s office, filled out forms, and headed to the airport to catch our flight. It was a whirlwind and when we sat down on the plane I kept thinking… oh. my. gosh. that was fast. We just made an offer on a house we’d only see once, for 30 minutes. Wow.
The thing was it kind of had to be crazy fast. Houses in that neighborhood are only on the market for an average of four days right now and are receiving multiple offers, with some being over the asking price. There wasn’t a lot of time for us to sit back and ponder. So, we made our offer, flew home, and waited.
We found out the next morning that our offer had been accepted and we would be closing on it in less than a month. I still can’t make that all seem real. However, one thing I’ve learned in this process is that the seller accepting the buyer’s offer is not the end; it’s the beginning. We made our offer, they accepted, and I was promptly excited and scared (remember, we still have a house here to sell!).I thought then it was just a matter of getting all our documents (pay stubs, tax records, bank statements, grocery receipts, IOUs to our children, picture of our loose change jar, etc) sent to our lender and waiting for the closing date to come.
Wow, was I wrong. The next step is inspections. Once those are done, we review them, then spend the next what seems like forever haggling over who pays for what. That’s the spot we are now.
This process is an interesting study in the psychology of negotiating. You can have a house that’s a million dollars (well, we can’t, but someone could) and end up nitpicking the last $1500. It’s such a small percentage of the overall cost, but you want to walk away feeling like you got something out of it or you won or something. We keep trying to back up from it and look at the whole deal instead of getting too caught up in whether we “won” or not. I think it’s easier for each side to give a little if they feel they get something as well, even if what they get doesn’t translate straight across in cash. In order for both parties to feel good about the transaction everyone needs to come away with a little something.
Maybe I can give them a coffee card and they’ll pay for the sewer repairs? I’ll let you know if they go for that.