Blog PostsUncategorized December 11, 2018

Buying our house… chapter 3

If you haven’t read chapter 1 and 2…

STOP right now, go back & read them.

It’s important.

Let’s get started right where we left off at the end of chapter 2…

“We’ll take it!”

OMG. We were REALLY doing this…

Deep breaths… big, deep breaths…

This is chapter 3 and it’s a really, really long chapter. Well. Maybe the chapter isn’t that long but let me tell you… the time from “pending” to “closing” was really, really long. June 19th (accepted offer) to August 31st (closing & possession date)… that’s 2 plus months… almost 11 weeks… 1,776 hours… 106,560 minutes… you get the picture.


You have to keep in mind a few things about our offer & the time between pending & closing…

  1. We knocked on his door out of the blue.
  2. He didn’t have the house actively for sale.
  3. As hesitant as I may have been in the beginning, I was now ALL IN & IN LOVE with the idea of buying this house.
  4. I’m a REALTOR in my 14th year of helping people buy & sell homes.

Let’s talk about those first two items… we caught him a little off guard. Yes, he did want to sell the house & we had a deal but he didn’t have a plan for the future. No plan for where he would move, he didn’t even have a town picked out…maybe stay in town, maybe move closer to family, maybe buy another house, maybe just rent… no set in stone plan.

Keeping those first two items in mind we offered a long “pending” period before closing, 74 days. In our area cash sales & some conventional financing sales occur within a 30 day period and USDA, FHA, VA financing sales usually take around 45-60 days. When we made our offer to him we wanted to make sure that he didn’t feel rushed and that he had plenty of time to find a place to live. Hence we gave him almost 2 1/2 months before we possession and closing. Not only did he need to do some soul searching and find a property, he would likely need to get pre-approved & have 45 days to close on a property too.

Keeping item #2 in mind… We offered to take the house “as is” and we did no inspections. Ok, that’s a little bit of a lie, we had to do a pest inspection because our financing required it. As is, no inspections was a way to make our offer more attractive and “easy” for the seller. I didn’t want him to worry or be hassled by what we might find and subsequently ask for if we did a typical home inspection. And honestly, Cory and I knew the house would need work (the roof was obviously shot, he said the furnace and a/c system were old, wood siding has issues), we knew we wanted to make a lot of changes (did I mention the orange counter tops?) and we were aware/prepared for items that would need addressed. And just a side note here: I always suggest that buyers do a home inspection, do what I say not what I do. I (and my husband for that matter) were leaning heavily on my experience & knowledge and were very comfortable taking our future into our hands without an inspection. Great article on why to have a home inspected… Importance of a Home Inspection Contingency

Keeping #3 in mind… 74 days is a long time to wait for anything. If you think back to chapter 1 and 2 you’ll remember that we knocked on his door, took a 10 minute tour of the house, made an offer and spent maybe another 10 minutes at the house. That’s a grand total of about 25 minutes. Again, do as I say not as I do… always take your time looking at a potential home before you make an offer.


If you know me, you know I’m a planner and a list maker so I did what I’m good at and started making lists… Things We Need… beds… hmmm… this could be a problem… I have no idea how big the rooms are or what size bed will fit in them. Ok, furniture… another problem… no idea what will fit or where outlets are, windows fall… ugh. Let’s move on…  Things We Need to Do… Call the contractor, flooring company, kitchen guy – easy enough but what am I going to say… we’d like you to come look at our house in 74 days to give us an estimate on projects? Electrician… wait did we even look at the electrical service?

I knew the seller had a lot on his mind already and I refused to be a pain in his you know what. I preach to my buyers that they shouldn’t ask to see the house over & over or schedule follow up showings for measurements and estimates. We were just going to have to be patient. For 74 days…

Keeping #4 in mind… I had 14 1/2 years of real estate experience under my belt when we made our offer. I’ve got stories upon stories to tell of deals gone bad. My colleagues and I often joke we should write a book, but we wouldn’t want to scare away innocent buyers so we haven’t done it. My experience is what makes me a great Realtor (yep, I just referred to myself as great) but it does not make me a great buyer…

You have no idea how many times I reminded myself that this must be what my buyers go through when they are buying a home. The middle of the night panic attacks wondering if we’re doing the right thing, grumbling about tracking down more documents for the lender, all the hurry up and wait, worrying about the 88 things that can wrong in a transaction… oh wait, normal people (read NOT Realtors) probably don’t worry about those 88 items (if you’d like to know what they are, message me & I’ll send you a handy list!) but I did worry. I knew how unique this deal was and I knew how many things could go wrong… What if he changes his mind? I mean we knocked on his door… What if his family or significant other talk him out of selling? What if someone else offers him more money? I mean, I know how unpredictable FSBO (for sale by owner – which is basically what he was) can be… What if he can’t find a house he wants? What if he can’t get financing for what he wants? What if something stupid on our end falls thru? What if the house doesn’t appraise? What if he finds a house to buy, gets a deal put together but then that purchase falls thru?

quiet please

Keeping all of these things in mind I insisted that we tell NO ONE we were buying a house there were just too many things that could fall thru. NO. ONE. Have you met my husband? 😊 I absolutely love the guy but our promise to tell no one lasted about… 22 days. Then it spread like wild fire. So for the next 31 days I fielded “I heard you bought a house!” with “We haven’t bought it quite yet… still have to get the appraisal and thru underwriting, closing isn’t until end of August…” and then the last 11 days I kept replying “Not quite yet, closing isn’t until the 31st!”

We finally made it to closing day… and then… deep breaths…

~  to be continued  ~