After feeling disappointed in Houses #7 and #8, we then returned to House #3 with Jord’s father and brother in tow. Upon stepping into the garage, I immediately saw my brother’s excitement level peak. He was instantly in love. The garage which I liked, but cared little about, made him and my father very excited.
Before stepping inside the house, where Sara and our agent were looking around, my father, brother and I toured the exterior of the house to gather as much information about the house as we could. While they pointed out a few cosmetic issues that we could remedy, they overall were largely impressed with the obvious care that the owners showed to the home.
One aspect of the home that my father helped me to appreciate was the awkward positioning of the home on the lot. Remember, this house was located on the curve of the street, and featured a rather small and awkward back yard. Even though the yard is sidelined by a street, the position of the home on the lot offers a large amount of privacy in the expansive front/side yard, which borders on the neighbor’s garage.
After touring the exterior of the home, my father, brother and I combed through each and every room. As they moved from room to room with smiles blanketing their faces, Sara and I took more mental pictures and dreamed a bit more. After it was all said and done, the house in itself was incredibly impressive to us and to our family members. After two weeks of searching, we knew then that we were prepared to make an offer on House #3.
A bit of nervous excitement rushed over the both of us. We said our thanks to my family for being helpers and followed Maggie to the offer table. We had some discussions on strategy in the car, and after thinking back on our previous car-buying experiences (which were full of tense negotiations that made Sara squirm in her chair), Sara determined that she wanted me to take the lead in negotiating. I was completely comfortable with her decision to take the passenger seat; I have a feeling that I would have been an all-star in the days of haggling and trading.
A few times during the offer process, Maggie asked Sara if she was okay, as Sara sat stoic, afraid to even say anything one way or another. A simple response is all Maggie would get as I asked Sara various questions, prodded her for addition information and prepared our first offer. Sara later said that she was extremely nervous but equally excited as to how things transpired.
After a short thirty minutes, our first offer was off, and the sellers had 24 hours to respond.
A few hours later, we received a counter-offer and responded. We then gave the sellers until 5PM the following day to respond.
Again, we waited.
And had borderline breakdowns of patience.
And waited some more.
At times, it felt as though time almost stopped.
Jord played in a StarCraft 2 tournament.
The issue holding up negotiations? Our timeline for closing. Because Sara is starting her new job in July, in order to approve us for a mortgage, the bank required us to seek a closing date after Sara’s first paycheck was transmitted.
According to our realtor’s suggestions, we bumped up our earnest money (the money that is included when making an offer on a home to show the sellers how committed you are to the offer) and waited to hear back.
Since it was a 3-day weekend, we waited some more, and then we finally received word.
The sellers had accepted the offer. We were officially under contract for House #3!
In all, the home-search process was a rollercoaster ride from start to finish. We learned so much about ourselves (we make a great team!) and about what we like and dislike in terms of the features of a home (while we can look past cosmetic issues, we are a bit more tentative to take on structural or layout complications). We discussed things without fighting, we handled our big boy/big girl negotiations like adults, and we generally crushed the whole deal out of the park.
We are so excited to become homeowners!