So it all started in June after Stan and I got home from Italy. “It’s time to start thinking about a house,” and we did. We got the condo on the market in mid-September and waited. With the age of the carpet, we put a $2000 allowance for replacing the carpet.We usually had one or two showings a week, and we did our best to keep things as clutter free as possible, which is something that I’d rather not do again. It feels like living in the window of a department store.
During the fall we had nearly 20 showings with a variety of responses, from “nice but going with the unit away from the road” (can’t do anything about the placement of the road) to “Ugh” from one particularly annoying agent. The one thing we heard most often was “dated,” not a big surprise with a unit built in 1980 and never remodeled. Once we reached December, things slowed a lot, and though we left the Condo ready for showings, not one person came over the holidays.
Our realtor Tom was very good at remaining positive and though we had hoped to be in a new house by the holidays, we were keeping our chins up. And once we hit January, showings start up again with a bang. Tom was going to be out of town for 10 days starting on the 12th of January, but he put us in the hands of another agent in the office, Neil, and we thought nothing about it. But that’s when things started to get crazy!
On Saturday morning (the 14th), I got a call from the backup realtor that we had an offer on the Condo. The offer was all cash (no financing to fail), but asking for a very short contract. The offer was a little lower than we had hoped, but the real issue was the time element. Stan and I had seen enough properties over time to have a favorite house and about 5 backups in line, but we had lost all but one over the holidays and the first week of January. Neil suggested that we ask for 10 days to find and get a house under contract that would allow us to end the deal on the Condo and not be in breech of contract. So that’s what we countered with – give us ten days and if we find a place, we can close at the end of Feb. The buyer took the deal.
And then the real fun started – we looked at 4 houses on Sunday, I saw 8 on Tuesday, we saw 3 on Wednesday (one holdover from Tuesday) and 3 on Friday. The holdover house, in Westminster, was starting to look like a real possibility. Tom got back last weekend and we revisited the house with him, using his keen eyes to see if we were missing something that might make the house not a good deal. At that point, it looked like time to make a offer since the deadline on our other deal was the 15th.
We offered, and the seller countered. (He’s just recently married and is selling his house after moving into the wife’s home, so no one is living at the property presently.) His counter was pretty good, down about $12,000 from the original selling price (it had been lowered $5,000 just before we saw it). So although we have to sign the documents etc on the new deal and update the paperwork on the sale of the condo, looks like we’ll be in a house by March 1st.
There will be photos to come.