Wow, we really pulled this one outta our… Well. You know. As a public service announcement, we must tell you not to try this on your home. We’re professional Real Estate Idiot Savants/ Evil Genius (mostly just Luke) and wouldn’t want to jeopardize any of your living situations by implying that our actions were a) Smart, b) Correct, or c) Anything but idiotic.
I’ll start by saying that we hadn’t planned to buy. We wanted “simple” this go around and were going to rent. I even flew out specifically to get us a rental house. After 3 months of finding absolutely nothing that allows pets (I was NOT being picky- you know how much I hate shopping for houses), we sold the house in Roswell and were able to shift gears.
We took a novel approach to house hunting this time, as I almost bit Luke when he stated we’d be going to look at anywhere from 25 to 75 houses on our 3 day “shopping trip”. I HATE comparison shopping for big ticket items. Houses, cars, even appliances are not exciting to me when viewed in bulk. I just get frustrated and bored because I can’t remember which was which and why it’s better than all the other ones that are exactly like it. Luke is the opposite. He can’t stand the idea that he may have let “the one” slip by without a 2nd look. I can grasp this, but I just can’t make myself care. If we pass it over, we pass it over, ya know?
Solution: We timed the trips so that Luke would get out there before me, look at a whole mess of houses, and pick out 5-8 houses that I needed to see. Then I joined him a day or two later and looked at those houses, we picked, we signed, and voila! We own a new house! Doesn’t that sound simple? Even a little sane? Well.
I absolutely LOVE the house we picked, but it is farrrr from simple. If anyone has ever tried to buy a bank owned house at a loss to the bank, you know. While we were in the house for my first time, Jane (our fabulous agent) got a call that the house had received another offer, so the bank wanted us to bring our “biggest and best” offer. Of course we couldn’t know anything except that the house was now in play, so we decided to offer below asking, but higher than what we would have if we were making the first offer.
TIME LAPSE… musical montage of phone calls and disappointed faces as we haggled back and forth…
The bank returned to us probably 5 times with higher offers- basically, “We have someone else who wants to buy it. You should offer us 10k more!!” The problem with this is they refused to admit that the other buyers had offered higher than us. Luke, being the Evil Genius he is, refused to play ball. As the bank’s offers got lower and closer to what we originally had offered, it was obvious that we had played correctly. They finally accepted our offer about a week after we made it.
It then took about 1.5 weeks to get a signed contract, they failed to de-winterize the house prior to inspections (postponed until later), and are driving both our agent AND her broker up the wall.
*****SKIP TO HERE IF YOU LIKE PRETTY PICTURES AND SHORT SENTENCES****
Long story short, we have had to fight tooth and nail to get into this house. We don’t have the keys yet, but really all that can happen now is a delay in closing, which we can handle.
THE DIRT: The reason there may be money in the walls is that the old owner was a big time embezzler. It made huge news up here, but we had never heard the story. Luke did the research, and it was a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme. Kind of adds to the… character? The great thing is that he loved to have the house worked on and took really good care of it. And now the house sale money can go back to the people he stole from- not that it would make much of a dent. And he’s in jail.
THE PICTURES: Here are my favorites, and some links to videos I took. You’ll see why it’s so important that we live here. =)
Here are the videos:
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