Thursday, March 3, 2011

Please Accept My Offer On This House

I did it!
I took the big plunge yesterday!
I actually made an offer on a house!
I feel so grown up!
I am feeling excited - yet very nervous! Too many emotions to really name at this point.
(Perhaps I'm using too many explanation points???)
As of now my offer has not been accepted or denied so I am beginning to feel a bit anxious.

At this point I have looked at 25 houses over 4 Saturdays - most of which I could not visualize myself living in. I feel I have a good grasp on what is out there at my price range which has helped me be more comfortable with my decision.

To recap, my wish list is:
3 Bedrooms
2 Full Bathrooms
At least 1150 square feet.

Of those items I wanted in a home, only one previous house fit the criteria and would have been suitable for me. But then at my mom's (smart) suggestion I looked at the crime rates in the area and then changed my mind. That particular house had been burglarized and had a bunch of theft in the neighborhood around it. Obviously, this was not the home for me after all.

I guess I should start from the very beginning of my journey into home ownership (you can also look through a few of my previous posts)...

Back in October I was offered a new job with a little better pay which got me thinking about the future. I figured with this new job I would want to stay in this area awhile since it has great advancement opportunities. It made sense to buy a house since I hate apartment living due to neighbors, smells, and throwing away money. And even from a young age I always knew I was meant to own a home. I'm a homebody - there is no other place I would rather be. I don't want to be house poor, but if I was, it world not be the end of the world to me.

I was working with one realtor the first time I went out to look at houses and I was not getting a good feeling from him. I think I decided to use him since I had previously worked with him when I went to look at a foreclosed home a few months ago. I knew in my gut I shouldn't go with him since every negative thing I said about any house he turned it with a positive spin. In fact, the last house I looked at with him on the one Saturday I went out with him I mentioned the kitchen was too small for a kitchen table. You want to know what his response was? I could put a table in the basement and eat dinner down there. Uhhh.... I don't think so!
Luckily, the last realtor did not work out and now I have a wonderful realtor who is very patient and honest. I like how he doesn't follow right behind me when we view houses. I can tell he enjoys looking around them as well since he always looks. He also always points out things that look really wrong such as a dip in the floor or bad cracks in the foundation. He is the kind of guy I always knew I wanted to work with.
(If you want to know more please see my previous posts.)

Let me come back to the present....
My realtor had set up a house showing for my mom and I for this past Sunday after his own open house. I was really excited to see this home because the pictures showed it in a good light. However, the seller's agent called mine to cancel on us since the homeowner was sick. I won't lie - I was disappointed. I also believed the excuse and moved on with my day.
We did reschedule for Monday when I got off work but my mom was unable to stay so I was on my own. (I have been very fortunate to always have Matt or my mom view homes with me.)

Monday I go see the house.
I love it!
It has all the items I am looking for in a house including a fenced in backyard, wood floors, and open concept living room/dinning room which were all things I wanted in a house but didn't think I could get in a nice 'package deal'.
I told my realtor how much I liked it and asked if he could set up another showing for the next day which was yesterday since I wanted my mom and Matt to see the place. Once again he set it up for when I was off work. The seller tried to cancel on us again at the last minute! Thankfully my realtor explained to there realtor I had family coming in from out of town to see the house. They agree for me to see the house as long as the sellers could stay in one room. My agent agreed as long as she stayed in the smallest room. This suited me well.

When we got to the house - let me tell you what she did - she closed both smaller bedroom doors which made it impossible for us to know which room she was in so Matt and my mom could not view either room! I was kinda mad.
Good thing I had taken pictures and emailed them to everyone before they arrived here.

Once we all looked at the house on the inside and outside one more time we decided to go to my agent's office since I wanted to put in a offer.

I am very thankful to have such a good agent who fully explains everything to me, Matt, and my mom.
I am also thankful they both drove here yesterday to see the house and offer support.
Of course my mind was already made up.
Unless something major seemed wrong I knew I would be putting in an offer.
The home is a short sale - from what I understand means the owner is about to lose the house. In fact, they might have already stopped making payments on it. This is the step before the home becomes foreclosed. This is an option for a homeowner who can no longer afford their home and they want to try and protect their credit.
So what does that mean to me?
It means after writing my offer it must first be accepted by the current homeowner.
If/when it is accepted by the homeowner the bank who owns the current loan must accept/deny it.
If they deny the offer they could counter offer or accept another offer.
If they do accept my offer I then have 10 days to have a home inspection.
Depending on the results of the home inspection I can either proceed or walk away and get out of the contract. I have 3 days from the 10 day time period to ask for any repairs. In the case of a short sale, odds are the homeowner cannot afford to pay any repairs so I would be buying the home as is. This is very important to know. I have to make sure I am able to make the repairs within my budget. If the home inspector finds too many problems I will be forced to walk away.
If the home inspection is favorable I can proceed with getting the property (land) surveyed. Meaning people will come to the home to see EXACTLY where the property lines are. If all goes well, the fence and the driveway will be on that property and not someone else's property. If not, I know issues will arise. My mom pointed out that if this fence is on the wrong property that would mean the whole neighborhood is off. Can you imagine? When/if I get to this point I will be hoping for favorable outcomes.

I won't be thinking about the home inspection or the survey anytime soon though. I need the offer to be accepted by both parties first. My realtor has warned me this process could take any amount of time from a few days to (in extreme cases) up to a few years! We wrote in my contract a certain amount of time I am willing to wait. If that time passes without a response I can either move on and the contract ends or I can get an extension to wait longer. Yet again, I am keeping my fingers crossed it doesn't come to this. I am praying about this and I know God will either provide or he won't which will mean He felt this was not the home for me. I will be sad - not mad - and will continue to look for another home.

It is now almost 7 PM and still no phone call. Maybe I will hear something tomorrow. We did give 48 hours to receive a response from the seller. My realtor said we still might not hear anything by then though.
Very frustrating!
I will continue to blog about the good and bad about this whole process. I know I wish I could have read about what I would soon be going through.
I figure ff this helps just one person I will have succeeded.

Current and future home owners take note of the best piece of 'advice' I have learned and want to share with others --- If you pay one extra house payment a year, you will pay off your 30 year home loan in 17 years and 9 months. How awesome is that??? So just think how much quicker it will be paid off if you
just add $100/month to your mortgage! (If you can afford it of course.)

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