We found a house we like. Wait- we found a house *I* liked. Yannick thought there was too much work to be done. You see, when we bought our current house, we did 3 months of renovations before moving in. And now Yannick does renos for a living. So…the thought of moving in and starting all over with the renos is NOT appealing to him. Me- I’ll be too busy with a newborn to care if the kitchen or bathroom is original…
In any case, during a slew of visits we came across one that I loved. I’ll call it the “C” house because that’s the initial of the street it was on. Well, the C house had good things and bad things about it.
The good: 3 bedrooms, really nice eat-in kitchen and separate dining room, large, open living room, sunny, 2.5 bathrooms (including an ensuite!), 2-car garage with a room in the back for Yannick’s tools, and a very, very large corner lot. It was on a quiet street, and to me the best part was the location. It was a 4 minute walk to a) a top-rated elementary school, b) 2 large kiddie parks, c) a swimming pool, d) football field, e) tennis courts, f) my parents’ house.
The bad: we saw some shingles lifting on the roof and knew that it was already about 17 years old, so depending on if it was a 20 or 25 year warranty…it would be up soon. There was no central air conditioning- instead they had cut holes in 2 walls and installed wall-mounted a/c units (not in the windows, actually through the house and brick and everything). There were some foundation issues as it was “bowing” out on one side. The ensuite bathroom was illegally built- there was a bare lightbulb in a non-waterproof socket INSIDE (overhead) the shower. Oh, and depending on how you look at it…it was a 4 minute walk from my parents’ house. ;p
I loved it but Yannick saw only the work. We kept visiting more houses, and after seeing another 20 or so crappy houses that were asking much more than they deserved we kept coming back to the C house and should we make an offer. In the end we decided (read: I convinced him) to make an offer. The original asking price was rediculous, but right as we were about to offer on it the price came down a bit. That wasn’t so much of a good thing, as that meant they would be less flexible, because in their heads they already lost money. Also, they were divorcing, and while the hubby wanted to sell ASAP, the wife was angry and taking it out by being a really big stickler on the price. They had already had, and refused, 6 offers.
So we made a conditional offer (we hadn’t sold our house yet). I think the last time I had been so nervous while waiting was on my honeymoon when I peed on a stick. When we finally got the word from our agent there was good news and bad news. They had refused our offer…but we were the first people they had actually given a counter-offer. This was promising, even though their counter was much more than we were willing to pay. We prepared a counter-counter-offer and marked it as “firm and final”. They refused it. However, their agent did tell our agent that they were willing to settle on a price that was $4000 above our “firm and final” offer.
Yannick said no. Knowing we’d have to redo the roof at some point, and add a thermopump, and fix the walls with the holes from the a/c, and possibly have foundation damage…he couldn’t justify spending more on that house.
I got really upset. I had already gotten mentally attached to the possibility of living there, was mentally picturing packing up my kid in the stroller and going to the park, playing outside, walking to school, etc… and couldn’t believe that Yannick was willing to walk away from my dream house for $4000. What is $4000 over 25 years? Nothing.
I’ll admit I got a little crazy at that point. I’ll blame it on pregnancy hormones. I begged, I cried, I sulked. I got friends to explain to him how “prime” that area of town was.
Then we sold our house. Now, it wasn’t official yet, as they had to do the inspection and give us proof of financing. But I reasoned that if the people from the C house were worried about accepting our offer because it had been conditional, maybe we could remake our offer but remove the condition because we knew we had buyers? Would that be enough to get them to ignore the $4000? We had our agent call their agent.
It had sold.
I was miserable! I cried. I sulked. I couldn’t believe I had sold my house and the only house I wanted to move into had sold.
We kept looking, but every few days I asked my agent for an update on the C house…just to know what was happening. At this point Yannick was fed up with all the dreck out there and was really considering the C house, so we figured if their inspection fell through but due to renos that Yannick could take care of…or because of financial issues…well maybe we could sneak back into play. When their buyers did their inspection sure enough it failed. We got word from our agent that they had found a problem with the roof that meant it had to be redone right away, not in 2-5 years, and because of that the potential buyers were trying to renegotiate the price.
You see, the minute they tried to change the price, they VOIDED the contract of sale. Which meant that WE were free to make an offer. We had already expected roofing problems and Yannick had calculated what it would cost, which would be less for him than anyone else because of his line of work. We had an emergency meeting with our agent and quickly drew up some papers. We removed the condition (our house had sold by then), added $1000 to our original offer (only $3000 short of their desired “sale” price) AND stated that we’d accept any and all problems with the roof. How could we lose?
They refused. They absolutely wanted their extra money and weren’t willing to come down.
So that was it for the C house. There was no way we’d pay any more for that house with all the problems. So we kept looking.
In the end it sold at their desired price. I guess they lucked out in being firm on their price, but man, did someone over pay for a house with that much work. Good luck to them!
In the next house installment…the saga of the W house.