1. Do not buy the first house you see

  2. Don't get into a bidding war

  3. Don't buy a house without the following conditions
  4. House Inspection

  5. Financing

  6. Give yourself lots of closing time

We broke all those rules. Yet we still ended up with a fantastic house.

The story starts almost three weeks ago, when Liz was looking at MLS on a lazy saturday and said, "we should go look at this open house tomorrow", we thought about it, and 2 pm rolled around the next day and we discussed it some more, and we were both a little uneasy about seeing the house:

Liz; "It's a big deal, it just weirds me out a bit"

Me: "I'm just afraid we're gonna want to buy it"

Liz: "No, we won't, it won't have a backyard, or a basement, it'll be terrible, besides it's a huge investment, we won't just buy the first thing we see"

Me: "Like our car, or our dog..."

Needless to say, a half hour later we found ourselves asking: "So, how do you buy a house?"

We got the name of a realtor from our parents, who had just bought a house the same weekend we got married. We met with the realtor at the house a couple of days later, and she said... "This house is so hot we're going to need oven mitts, you better think about how much you want this house, because if you want, we're going to have to go all in, and make an offer with *no* conditions, no house inspection, no financing conditions, you're going to have to make an offer that doesn't just compete on price, but makes it easier for the seller to sell to you than any other offer"

So Liz and I thought about it overnight, and decided we wanted to go all in. We arranged for a house inspection on a house we didn't have an agreement to buy, and we met with our wonderful financial advisor, who jumped through all the hoops, and even possibly bent a few rules to make sure that we could ensure that financing was in place, before even putting an offer on the house.

The seller started accepting offers at 7pm the next saturday evening, so we met saturday afternoon and discussed offers. We decided to on two numbers. If there were no other bidders, we were going to go under the asking price, and if there were other bidders, we were going to go with an offer that was significantly over the asking price, with no conditions, and a closing date of two weeks. We were hoping that would be no other offers that night.

A few hours later, I got a text message (as a sidenote, we did an amazing amount of communication over text messages. The last time I had a celphone was before the days of SMS, so this whole text messaging thing was a weird novelty), saying that there was at least one, and probably three other offers on the house. OK, big offer.

We all trooped down to the realtors office at 6:30, and filled out the offer sheet, since we were all kind of mad at being made to spend our saturday night at a realtors office, we made the offer close at 7:45. The seller didn't make it 'til 7:15, so we presented our offer, and the other three bidders presented their offer, and we spent a very tense 15 minutes, and when the seller's agent came in at 7:30 and said that our offer had been accepted, the looks on our faces must have been something to see, because the seller's agent said "Don't look so shocked!"

So monday, I went looking around at Insurance. The House Inspector had said that the 60A incoming circuit would be a problem getting insurance. I still can't figure out why, as the less electricity coming into the house, the less chance of fire, but there you go. And I discovered that when you say your house is over 50 yrs old, getting insurance is much more involved of a process that takes running back and forth between me, the broker, and the insurance inderwriter. That was dealt with by Wednesday of last week, and then, it was pretty quiet for a week.

A week of painful waiting. Both Liz and I like things to be 100% assured, and for a week, things were almost 100% sure, but not a done deal yet, so neither Liz nor I slept very well that week.

On Tuesday, we met with the banker and signed a few more papers, and she went over the mortgage. Thursday, we went to the Lawyer's office and signed our names what seemed like thousands of times (a whole bunch of documents, three copies of each, with each page initialed by both Liz and I)

And ta-da! Friday afternoon, Liz went and picked up the keys.


Moving. Ugh. I hate moving.


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18 October 2008