Know When To Walk Away, Know When To Run

A couple of posts ago I wrote about having lost 4 pesky, little pounds due to us trying to purchase our first home. Two more pounds have melted away in the process, one that has not worked out as we would have liked this time around.

We didn't get the house.

I suppose it's not that we didn't get the house as much as it is they wouldn't sell it to us for a fair, market price. I know there are two sides to every story, but as I don't know their side, here's mine:

Eddie and I LOVED the house. We still love the house. We WANTED to buy the house. We offered lots and lots of money for the house. The seller accepted our offer. (I was so confident that I bought a bath caddy online the next day...you know, for the dream bathroom I was going to own.) The game began.

The first step of any sane mortgage company selected by pre-qualified buyers when an offer has been made and accepted is to get the property appraised. The buyer shells out $350 dollars (or we did) for this particular service. While we were waiting for the appraisal to return, a formality at most as far as we were concerned, we didn't begin to pack. We started to accumulate MORE things, the aforementioned bath caddy, a rather large table for our new entry way, 2 chairs and a lamp (to go on said table) to name a few. I began shopping for curtains, garden furniture, a bath armoire and other odds and ends we NEEDED* (I tend to use this word interchangeably with WANTED or WANT*) immediately.

It was like Christmas and cake-for-breakfast, finding-the-perfect-skirt-on-sale-for-$23-right-next-to-the-perfect-shoes-in-your-size-for-$10, 72°F-and-sunny-all-day kind of time. All the time. Everyday we'd wake up and talk about the new house and what we'd do...in the new house. We'd go to bed talking about what it was going to be like to go to bed in the new house. I mapped out a new route to work (a faster one) from the new house, began to plan the guests we'd have for dinner in our new house, new house, new house, new house. We drove by the new house. Several times. I wanted to see what it was like at night, at 7:00, when the sun was beginning to go down, in the afternoon when people walk their dogs, and anytime on a Saturday. It was our new hobby. We took others down the street in our cars and in caravans of friends driving by to see the house. The traffic on our new street increased 10 fold in 2 weeks.

We were moving into our new house.

Then the appraisal comes in. It's $10,000 lower than our offer. Normally, a buyer would LOVE to see this happen. It means more negotiations with the result in their favor. Nope. Not us. We knew our seller wasn't keen on negotiations. We knew this wouldn't fly. He was firm.

Alrighty. So we consider briefly digging underneath the couch cushions and pulling out the ten grand we hide in there. It's chump change. Then we look lovingly at Cody and realize it's for his puppy college education. That's expensive. But we still want the house...So.

The seller says HE'LL get another appraisal because the one the mortgage company commissioned was FAR too low, an insult. He wants us to have the house so much that he also says if the second appraisal comes in higher than our offer, he'd honor it and we'd close. If it comes in lower than our offer, then he'd concede and we'd close. I figure it's a win-win. Let's pack.

And we wait.

Just so you know, when you're trying to buy a house, everything important will happen on Fridays at 4:30pm so you can agonize over the weekend. Want to guess when the second appraisal came back?

Friday, around 5:45pm:
ktm arrives home after an unusually traffic-ridden commute to a long-faced Eddie. She puts her heavy books down and asks, "What's with the face?"
Eddie realizes that he's got to tell his wife the worst news in a good while. He's known for the better part of an hour that she's going to cry, just pacing the house.
"The appraisal was the same. He's changed his mind and is not going to sell. He says he's just going to rent it for a couple of years."
He knew it would make her cry, but not in a puddle on the kitchen floor.
Yes, I cried. I cried for a while. Friday evening was fun. Saturday was down-right exciting. By Sunday we were resigned to the fact but understandably still disappointed. Then we get a call. It's Eddie's grandmother, who has been acting on our behalf through this process. He's called her and wants to speak with us. She gave us his number and we sat on it for a while.
We didn't want to re-open the wound. We discussed it and decided to stand firm. Our offer would be 100% of the appraised price, but no more. We were already paying closing costs and willing to overlook a few needed repairs. We couldn't let our love for the house cloud our judgment. We had to be able to walk away and we were.
Eddie reluctantly calls and gets bullied. He tells us we should have used another bank (to accept a bogus appraisal he submitted that was $8,000 higher) and insults our budget. (He doesn't have a college-age dog.) Bullying is the only card he has. Except for the one he plays last. He's going to put it back on the market tomorrow!
And he did.
So, we're out $350, some gas money and some tears. Not a bad deal considering we learned a lot for this first try. Eddie and I will buy a house. We're looking and we're ready. Look out.


Blogger Erika said...

Whoa, I've been well, out, and evidently missed alot. I. am. so. sorry. I know this pain. We have a similar story in trying to obtain this house. It worked out in the end, but took over a year. Yea a year, you heard me right. Hang in there. I promise there is a house out there for you. And that idoit won't be able to sell it to ANYONE for over the appraisal! Not even in our market. Sending good vibes your way.

10/13/06, 7:06 PM  
Blogger ktm said...

Well, we found out last week that it finally sold (another knife to the gut). I have my ways of finding these things out and someone DID pay over appraisal. Suckers.

10/15/06, 6:54 AM  
Blogger Erika said...

Wow, then you totally did the right thing, and there will be another house for you. The housing bubble bursting has been on the news everyday this week, just be thankful you got away. I know easier said than done, though. Hang in there.

10/24/06, 6:01 PM  
Anonymous sharyl said...

You called me, I cried with you, and I'm sorry that's all I could offer. You are my dearest friend, and your tears always leave tracks on my heart. I am already looking for housewarming gifts for the REALLY good house that makes this one just...you know...bad. Onward!

1/5/07, 6:15 AM  
Blogger Hollee said...

I'm confused or/and slow to catch on. College-age dog? I am truly curious.
It may be that It's getting late. It's 10:40pm on 9/13/07 and I can't stop reading your blogs. I started with the most current and I'm working my way backwards...wonder if I'll make it.

9/13/07, 8:43 PM  

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