The same day we walked away from the Disastrous House, we found the Perfect House. It was on the exact street we wanted, even on the exact part of the street we wanted. It was a meticulously maintained Italianate style home built in 1893. The price made our jaws drop--it was so low. I can't even begin to explain how perfect it was in just about every way. So I won't even try. It was a FSBO, so we made an offer that day with no contingencies: no inspection, cash sale. Our offer was higher than the other one the owner had received, and we left thinking she'd take it. We also emphasized that we'd meet and exceed any other offers she might receive.
She called us back two days later, sounding apologetic, and said that she just couldn't accept our offer. From what I gather, the other people had assumed that they were buying her house (even though they hadn't signed anything) and there was quite a bit of tension. We upped our offer again. And once more, the next day, to a few thousand above her asking price. She still would not accept it.
After finding the Perfect House, and then losing it, we were very depressed. All of April, actually, has been a bad month for us. Our dog died, our car broke down, I paid almost $1,000 to have it fixed, then it died again 3 days later with the exact same symptoms. And the first two houses we tried to buy didn't work out. So we went on more house-hunting trips. Our realtor was probably tearing her hair out because we just couldn't find anything that was right for us.
We kept coming back to an old brick home a few houses down from the Perfect House. It has been totally renovated, has a double lot with a wrought iron fence, and a 3-car garage, which we have absolutely no need for, so it's almost a liability, but oh well... With our touches (landscaping, adding a half bath on the main floor and making the kitchen into a total yuppie paradise) the house will be amazing.
We put in an offer yesterday, and after much negotiating, we finally settled on $130k, down from the asking price of $145k. No inspection, no contingencies, cash sale. The house has been on the market for a full year, which I think helped us negotiate a lower price. And we're closing next week!
Some info on the house:
- Built in 1883
- 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths
- 2 large living rooms, so plenty of room for the grand piano that we're taking care of until my older sister has enough space for it.
- Very high ceilings: at least 10 feet
- There's an attic playroom off the upstairs bedroom that has a little window. It's just big enough to stand up in in the very center.
- 1,877 square feet, plus a large unfinished basement with 9 foot ceilings.
- Plumbing, electrical, furnace, water heater, and A/C are all completely new.
- New roof & all new windows (we are sad about the new windows, since we prefer having the originals...but it's too late for that now)
- Has all of the original trim, wood work, doors, and wood floors.
- Wood floors were all refinished recently.
- Lots of room (and sun) in the yard for gardens
- Perfect location: 2 blocks from campus, 4 blocks from downtown, 1 block from a neighborhood grocery store, a few blocks from a Mexican food store.
Okay, here are some pictures: