I’ve had a bunch of posts/topics that I wanted to write in the last week, but once again life got in the way of me having any time to sit down and write! We had our housing trip to our new city last week, and since getting back on Sunday I’ve been fighting a cold, and am now sick.
I’ll start with the housing trip. I arrived first thing last Wed morning, with the plan to see a few houses and then take it easy most of the day. My husband was away for business in Europe, and would only be joining me on Thursday, so I didn’t want to see too many houses without him, but there were two houses that looked quite nice that had offers due Wed night, so I wanted to get in and see them before they sold. Our real estate agent threw a few more houses on the list (ones that had been on the market for a while, so could in theory sell any minute), so there was a total of 5 to see.
Well, wouldn’t you know it, one of the houses due for offers that night looked just right for us! It was in an amazing neighbourhood that we both loved (but for the most part could not afford), was nicely renovated, and met all of our other criteria. My mom saw the house with me (she’d also seen all the houses I saw in April), and after going through it, she said “You have to put an offer down on this house”. Despite the fact that my husband hadn’t seen it yet, I agreed with her.
Thankfully it was still early enough in the day that my husband was still up, so I emailed him about the house. He was in the middle of a conference, and had to present an award to someone shortly, so it took some time to finally get him on the phone, but we went over all the attributes of the house, and decided to go for it. Our #1 criteria for housing was location, and this house was in our absolute dream area. The rest of the day was taken up with deciding on the right price (we had to bid over asking, since there would be one other offer), and the offer negotiations.
As the day went on, I fell more and more in love with the house. The house purchase process is a real catch-22, because in order to want to put an offer down, you have to love the house and therefore are already emotionally invested. But when you’re only at the offer stage (especially when there’s other offers), you have to also guard against getting too far ahead of yourself as there is a good chance you will be let down. In many ways, it’s so much like going through fertility treatments. You’re doing treatments because you will go to great lengths to have a baby, but there are no guarantees that the treatments will be successful. So in both cases, your mind flip flops between imagining your future if everything pans out the way you want it to, and forcing yourself to not think about it in case you’re disappointed (again).
We knew we were at a disadvantage to start, because the other offer was the selling agent’s buyer, but our agent did everything he could to level the playing field. While sitting in Starbucks with my mom when our offer was being presented, I couldn’t help but imagine our lives in the house. In a twisted, doomed to be disappointed moment, I even picked out the room that would be the nursery – that’s right, a nursery for a non-existent baby in a house I don’t own yet.
After about half an hour, I finally got a text from my agent saying that both offers were close so the sellers were sending them back to us to try again. We met up with the agent, and called my husband to discuss, and decided to go back with what we’d previously agreed was the highest we’d pay for this house. Our agent was confident we had a strong offer and that our chances of getting the house were really good.
Again, my mom and I waited, this time in the lobby of the real estate office. At one point I heard my agent walking towards us. He was walking very briskly and decisively, so I thought he must have good news for us. It was a false alarm though, as he was only coming out to tell us that they were reviewing the offers. So we waited some more.
Finally, he came out again. He made a thumbs down motion. Despite doing everything we could, we didn’t get it. It was back to the drawing board.