It has been a really, really, really, exhausting and LONG 10 days.
Two Saturdays ago we were informed that our neighbors were putting their house on the market. It’s totally gorgeous, in a desirable neighborhood, in a seller’s market, so it of course sold in about 16 seconds. Our landlord emailed us letting us know about this. Also that he was “just brainstorming” and wondering what he could get for our place. Yogi Dad, trying to make sure we would not be homeless, asked if we could change our lease to a 1-year (we hadn’t signed one yet and had been toying with the idea of looking for a house later this year). Our landlord said no, apologized for needing to put on his “investor hat” and that was that. The clock was ticking. How much time we had, we still didn’t know.
We kind of went into panic mode and immediately sought out a mortgage broker that did not work for Wells Fargo*. Within 24 hours we were approved for a mortgage and were on the hunt.
Naively, thinking that he has a vested interest in getting us into a house so he can sell this one, we hired our landlord to be our realtor. Our parents were all kind of giving us the “are you sure you want to do that?” talk, but up until this moment, we hadn’t had a bad experience with our landlord, and anyways, he kept telling us he wasn’t going to “kick us out”, so we figured it was a win-win. He was available at a moments notice for showings, which is really helpful when there are 6 houses for sale and 9,784 people trying to buy them. This is a seriously bad market for buyers right now.
We took our list of houses we had to choose from and would drive around, culling them based on location- busy streets, no driveway and being next to a crack house, an auto shop, or train tracks were all deal breakers. On Monday (or was it Tuesday?), I went and looked at 3 houses with Judah.
One house stood out and after John and my dad looked at it, we put in an offer. They countered, we countered back, they wouldn’t budge, then a new TISH report showed a laundry list of problems we didn’t want to deal with. We talked it over, we talked it over with our landlord/realtor. He offered to let us live rent free for 2 months and guaranteed our deposit back to give us more cash up front. The kicker was we had to get out by June 2nd because him and his wife were thinking our house would be a perfect place to come home to with their newborn twins (they are selling their house as well).
June 4th is the boys last day of school, no way am I moving them out before then.
It was at that point I kind of lost it. I needed a break from the pressure- no one buys a house in week one after looking at 3 houses. We walked away from our offer the next morning, and that was that. John made plans to look at houses in a different part of the city on Sunday while I was at my moms with all my aunts and girl cousins and our kids. He was given the hard sell on a house we both had absolutely no interest in. I was really starting to losing my patience.
That night, or landlord/ realtor asked what I was looking for in a house.
So I told him:
If I’m buying an old house in the city, the dream with be a Victorian or a Tudor. After that I would be happy with a 1.5 story built in the 40’s or 50’s- still charming in it’s own way. Wood floors throughout are at the top of our list- if there is carpet, knowing there are hardwoods underneath is enough for me. Safety things that are top of mind because of the flight risk with the boys- not a busy street, not immediately adjacent to a busy street, fenced yard, a driveway is incredibly helpful but I know it’s not the norm in most neighborhoods. At least .12 on the lot and if there is a claw foot tub, that would be icing on the cake.
We didn’t hear back until the next morning.
When were informed, by email, that we had 60 days to vacate our house as per the terms of our lease. Also:
I am sorry to “spring” this on you, but in order for me to be able to possibly sell it/re-rent it**
or live in it…it needs to be empty…
After much thought and discussion with my wife and business partners***/friends, it is in my best interest
to make it official.
I completely understand if this situation makes it difficult to work with me for a potential home purchase,
so I am willing to cancel the representation contract that John signed on Friday morning…there is and was never
any compensation for this representation contract.
My head pretty much exploded at that point. I don’t think I stopped crying for more than an hour at a time the whole day and our world was pretty much turned upside down. Did I mention Judah was being evaluated for the red flags of Autism today?**** Yeah. It was not the day to mess with me.
Yogi Dad hired a new realtor about 10 minutes after getting this email while I hyperventilated in the bathroom.
Fast forward 24 hours and we are currently knee deep in an offer on a house in a neighborhood near our old stomping grounds. We are up against one other offer and the ticking of the clock definitely has us on edge.
I understand that it’s “business” and he had to put on his “investor hat”, but nothing about this situation is ethical- it’s like he saw what we were looking for, realized it probably wasn’t going to happen before June, and threw in the towel. He needed a place to put his family when he sold his own house, so we were going to be out in June come hell or high water.
I’ve had a lot of anger the past 2 days, I don’t know when that will subside. You can guarantee that all of the professionals we are working with are aware of the circumstances of our situation, and I just have to think, Karma is a bitch.
In the meantime…any good thoughts, prayers and crossed limbs are welcome! We have 12 days to have an offer accepted to be out on time. (I realize that is a completely ridiculous request considering my statement about Karma, but SERIOUSLY!)
Also: I am LOVING our new team- they came highly recommended and are taking great care of us, which is helpful considering my completely emotional state right now.
UPDATE: As I was writing the title of this, we got the call, our offer was accepted! We bought a house! In the city! In NORDEAST! So many things are exciting about that for me.
*It took Wells Fargo over 6 weeks of jumping through hoops over the holidays to deny us a loan- it was an experience I don’t recommend to anyone.
**I actually just noticed that “re-renting” it is an option…why would he kick us out to re-rent it- SERIOUSLY?
***Interesting, considering he told yogi Dad the night before that one of his business partners told him to stop freaking out his tenants with his “brainstorming”.
****He is fine-not showing any signs. Just high strung and crazy/normal.