Monday, September 6, 2010

As the Days Creep By

We are moving forward with the house - I was mistaken in my assumption that we could not make an offer until some things were improved in our mortgage application, but we actually will be getting the PRE-approval this week sometime! I am definitely interested in anyone's advice about when to make the first offer. Here are the facts:

The home has been on the market over a year. First, it was the son who had control of the selling of the estate, and he believed it to be a "goldmine," wanting $700,000 for it. (Shhh, don't tell him I agree with him, it IS a goldmine!) His listing agent finally convinced him not a single home in the borough sold for that much, and that he needed to scale it down - which he did - to $499,900. There it sat for about a year.
Then the daughter took over the reigns of trying to get it sold, and, as the listing agent told us, is VERY motivated to sell it quickly. She lowered the price to $250,000. It has been on the market at that price, as of today, 80 days. The only interest has been from us and shortly before us, an engineer who was primarily interested in those extra lots in the back. He never made an offer after seeing the home, though.

Now, here we are in a position to make an offer sometime this week. Do you think we should make one this week, or wait until it's been on the market 90 days? (Maybe she'll even reduce the price at that point?) We've told the listing agent that we are interested in the home AND another one (which is the truth, but we definitely prefer the first home) which is listed at $235,000 and is completely renovated already. Since the listing agent knows we have this other home on the backburner, we think he'll realize (and tell the seller) we will not be going above $235,000 for this home. As awesome as it is, there are a bunch of things that would need immediate attention - nothing majorly wrong, but the single-pane windows that do not have storm windows would need them, and quickly, or we'll freeze our butts off. We need to get a bigger service panel with more amps.

When did this turn into a real estate blog?

Anyway, do you have advice? Should we make an offer as soon as we are able? Wait until shortly after 90 days on market? (Which will be next Friday or early the following week.)

All I know is it seems the days are going SO SLOW!

We are just so excited to be moving onwards with our lives. I know this may seem like small beans to most of you, but trust me, when you've lived with your in-laws for over four years, it is HIGH TIME to be getting out!

Saturday DH and I went to Confession and Mass. Between the two we had some time, so we went and sat in front of the Eucharist. It was a great opportunity to take Father Mike's advice and just RELAX in prayer. I literally just cleared my mind. I said a couple of prayers out of habit, but then just did NOTHING. And you know? It felt awesome! I really do feel a peace coming into my life that has not been there for a very long time. It's funny, because in Confession just a few moments earlier, I had mentioned to the priest that I was finding it difficult to understand my Cross. But once I came into the presence of the Eucharist and cleared my mind, I realized, it's not for me to understand! It's for me to CARRY and embrace. (And how timely that The Comeaus comment came right after this experience! Elizabeth, we may be soul-sisters!)

Do I still ache to have a baby? Yes. But somehow, it's not the same kind of ache. The ache doesn't rip me apart from the inside out the way it used to. Now, I look at my life, and I mourn the things that could have been or "should" have been if I had planned it all... but instead of allowing myself to wallow in that misery, my heart lets them go. It's just like Father Mike was saying! I feel like I've opened up the windows in my spirit, and all of the smoke is no longer building up, making it difficult to breathe. I am spiritually refreshed. And, dare I say, joyful.

God is so good!

29 comments:

Nicole said...

Hi,

I've commented before in the past, but have been a silent lurker as of late.

My husband is a Realtor. I told him of your situation and asked for his advice for you.

He suggested making an offer as soon as you are able, and offering a lower amount, maybe $225 or $235 + closing costs. His theroy is that the BEST time to negotiate a lower price is when you are the ONLY buyer interested. If you wait for them to drop the price again you run the risk of other people looking at the property. Then you lose your bargaining power.

Good luck. I agree, it is a beautiful house!

Casey said...

So glad to read that peace is comming back to you!

Casey said...

(I mean *coming back to you...sheesh! ;)

Trustful Surrender said...

I am sooooo happy for your peace right now. You are an example to us all.

Not that I am an expert, but I would suggest that you make an offer now so a) you won't loose it to someone else and b) since they are really motivated to sell right now. I've seen people go back and forth.

Also, are you going to get a home inspection just in case?

I'm truly so very happy for you and will continue to keep you in my prayers! :)

Complicated Life said...

Do you have your own realtor that you are working with? I would get one to represent you as opposed to just working with the selling agent. We found it very helpful and then you can trust that they will advocate for you. Plus, the sellers pay for it, so why not?

And act fast before others get interested! They sound motivated; I'll bet you can get a GREAT deal on this house! Oh I hope you do get it. I'm excited just thinking about the possibilities!

Glad the smoke is clearing and you're feeling peace and joy. That truly brings a smile to my face.

Xan said...

Hi Sweet Thing,

I agree with the other posters that you should put the offer in now, rather than waiting. Also, because it appears that you are the only party that is interested, I would offer lower than the 235,000 you are willing to spend. That will give you some room to negotiate if they come back with a counter offer or, even better, you could get it for less than you expect. That of course will help with the renovations, too. Good luck and keep me posted.

Ha! Posted! This is your blog! Ha!

Little JoAnn said...

Offer them 227,000 and do it now. Make it contingent upon mortgage approval and home inspection. Tell them you will be ready to close fast to be helpful to them. Is it on a Town Sewer? Also, ask them if they have any previous approval (from the two for subdividing the land and what the history is with this. Then you can think about selling off a piece of the property (if you think it would afford you enough privacy) to pay for those home improvements. Enjoy every precious moment. It's a great house! How long did your mortage banker say you had to wait for the positive updates to show on your credit report? Just curious.

This_Cross_I_Embrace said...

LJ, just 1 month - just enough time to make a couple more payments on time (student loan and car), which will give us the extra 2 points.

Great suggestions, everyone, thank you! Esp. Nicole - so sweet of you to ask your DH for me, thank you! (And him!)

We are thinking that 227,500 is the highest we'd like to go. This I'm basing on the comps, which on average sold at about 91% of the asking price. (227,500 is 91% of the current asking price of 250,000.) Our first offer is going to be slightly lower than that, BUT, that first offer will be 93% of the average sales price of the 5 most applicable comps sold over the last 6 months. AND, we're going to make sure we stipulate in the offer that this is based on all of the issues we've already seen that need updating/fixing. We'll make it as appealing as possible, I hope! (Our family best-friend is a real estate lawyer, so we'll have his help in drafting the offer.) Obviously there will be a counter-offer, but we want to ideally make our top offer $227,500, with seller covering closing costs.

CL - no buyer's agent, but we feel really comfortable with that decision for several reasons. Additionally, it means the 1st home that we really want would yield the seller's agent a 6% commission, whereas the 2nd home (which is not his listing) would only yield him 3%. He's going to be more motivated to get us the 1st home, we figure ;)

OK... so I think a blog title change is in my future. Maybe... "This Victorian Home I Renovate?" :)

Xan, absolutely will keep you posted! I expect you to build me some furniture!!

matchingmoonheads said...

Yeah, I wouldn't wait if you really like the house. You'll regret it later if something happens. I don't have too much other advice as our house buying experience was extremely painful, but as hard as it is I would recommend NOT getting your hopes up too high. We made offers before we finally got our house and I found it way too easy to get attached and then have my heart broken. Anyway, remember that its not yours until you get the keys and you might be able to save yourself some heartbreak...
I do wish you success!

Erin said...

I am seriously so EXCITED for you to be pursuing this house!! Like I said before, very marriage building!! As is confession. Man I am overdue. :)

Lauren @ Magnify the Lord with Me said...

I've got nothing to offer...just wanted to say how excited i am for y'all!!!

mrsblondies said...

Excited for you! Glad things are moving forward on the house front! I'm sure Misfit would love it if you focused on renovations and home decor.

Ann - Building a Nest said...

Nothing to add except to agree with Joann (cont. upon financing & home inspection) and to say I'm so excited for you.

Sew said...

Oh the reason I didn't comment sooner is because the word verification is screwed up. So it takes me like 6 times to post a comment. Since when was blogging sanctifying? Hello?

But did the gospel not blow you away yesterday?! Oh I loved it. If I would have been baptist I would have said amen all the way through the homily! ;) The price of discipleship is high....So beautiful! So beautiful!

This_Cross_I_Embrace said...

Yeah, it's totally time for me to switch parishes. Our deacon (who usually does homilies) was away, leaving our pastor to have to do the homily... which consisted of him saying basically, "You don't actually have to give up everything, including material things... as long as your focus is on God." Nice. Cater to the people, Father. Don't stir up any waves.
Another reason I'm happy to be moving.

Complicated Life said...

Having your family friend/real estate lawyer help answers what I was concerned about-just all that paperwork!

And hey, if things come up during your inspection, you can give them notice of it and try to get them to take some more money off the agreed upon price! Of course, hopefully nothing big would come out of your inspection...

Anyways, exciting! Can't wait to hear more. And if this does turn into a real estate blog, I'll still be reading!

Hebrews 11:1 said...

So exciting! I say go for it! And post immediately afterwards!!

Danya @ He Adopted Me First said...

Beautiful post...once again! You are a true saint in the making!

Leila @ Little Catholic Bubble said...

I agree with everyone about making an offer now, and I am SO excited for you!!!!! Ahhhh!!!!

JellyBelly said...

Make an offer now girl!!! The market is soft (well it is up here at least!) and this house has just sat there. I'm so excited for you!!! I'm a real estate fanatic too and I've been waiting for my "forever house" to go up for sale!!!

Seems like we're in the same place again (what a surprise!!!). I hope that this truly is a turning point for us!!!!

Praying for Hope said...

I wish I could give advice about making an offer on the house. I have no patience at all, so I'd make some sort of offer. My husband. who is much more patient than I, would probably wait until the 90 days if he thought the price might drop.

the misfit said...

I'm SO glad to hear you're feeling better. And, bring on the real estate blogging :). As to the offer - I haven't gotten that far myself yet, so I have only the teeniest suggestion. Do you have a realtor of your own? If so, that person should be able to help with timing an offer. If you don't, then you'll probably want to explain your offer price in your offer (in nice non-offensive ways, as I'm told). For that, I would look for the tax assessed value of the property; comparable sales in the region (www.redfin.com provides good comps for the areas it covers; if it doesn't cover your area, www.realtor.com has a comp-finding tool. I think they look for same number of baths, same acreage, 3-month time period, and geographically close. Obviously, the more similar, the better); and other estimates (eppraisal, zillow, and one other website provide them for most residential properties). If those numbers help explain your position, they may help the seller see that your offer is not intended as an insult, and that she may not get a higher offer from anyone else.

Good luck!!! I am SO excited for you to get this house.

My Heart Exults... said...

I hope by now you have made your offer on the house. You would definately regret holding back if someone else rolled in and swipped it! And thank you for the end of your post. I feel soo much alone out where I live, and this little blog community is all the connection to others that I have! I feel the same about not having a child (yet). I don't worry about it (like I did a year ago)...I'm not in control here! My desire is still there, but we need to embrace what we have now - God gave us today too! And even thought I have bad days, I'm still waiting in joyful hope! Praying for you :)

The Comeaus said...

I, for one, will LOVE reading about your renovations! Oh, I hope this works out for you...

Tridentine Wife said...

I hope the house is yours b/c I want to see how you decorate that gorgeous home :)

Jess said...

Definitely make an offer! You don't want to wait for other interested buyers. I sure hope you get it and I can't wait to see it renovated! My husband and I are thinking of buying an older home and fixing it up to our liking. I think it would be fun!

Fr. Michael said...

Tomorrow is the birthday of our Blessed Mother. Her parents, Joachim and Anna sighed and bent in prayer, weeping for their barreness and childlessness, begged the LORD to be loved. When their voices reached the ears of the LORD, they brought forth life, a life to fruit out joy for the world. Joachim ran to the mountain to pray while Anna wept in her garden and pleaded God’s mercy. Joy for the barren ones who gave birth to the Mother of God, God who is the Sustainer of Life!

I am still lifting you in prayer every day.

Megan said...

You are amazing. :) I know I have said this before, but you always blow me away. I love what you said about not needing to understand our crosses. So true and yet it is so contrary to our human nature which has a compulsive desire to make sense out of everything.
I'm praying for you, and I am so excited to hear about the house!

Stacy said...

Love my in-laws but can't imagine living with them for four years. I hope hope hope you get the house of your dreams! What fun to make it into your home....we had NO IDEA when we bought our 1938 home what God had in store for us. My husband envisioned hearing the pitter patter of little feet one day. And you know our story. Praying for God's peace to abound as your pursue this. Keep us posted!