Wednesday, March 21, 2012

And the winner is...

I know I said I would get right back to you about what house we chose. I am so sorry it has taken me forever to get back to you on this. I had a few people pick both houses actually! In the end we picked option number ….. 

Wait for it....


We bought the first house! The deal is done! We could not be more excited to move into our cute new home with our dog and start making improvements!  

To give those of you who have never bought a house the break down here are the phases of the process we have gone though: 

1.       We put in an offer. First you sign a bunch of contracts with your agent and figure out what price you want to offer. In our case, there were three other offers coming on the house. So we knew offering less than asking was out of the question. To our REALTORS advice we also opted not to ask for concessions for closing costs. She thought this would give us more room for negotiations on the house for repairs after our inspection and she was right.
2.       You wait. You wait for the seller to get back to you. In our case they got back to us about 24 hours later. They countered with a few changes and after Mr. A got pissed off that we were not getting a deal (even though we were getting a house for WELL under our budget) we settled on the details. Sometimes you need to know when you have found a good deal for you.
3.       You wait some more. You wait while your realtor and their realtor drum up all the paperwork on the offer and you sign away again.
4.       Inspection. We have what in Texas is called an 7 day “option period”. Basically what this means is we give earnest money to the sellers of $100 so they will not sell the house to anyone else, while we got the inspection done. We had 7 days to get it done, and get cracking on asking for repairs. Two days after the offer was accepted we had our inspection done. (more on this later)
5.       Negotiations on repairs. After we tabulated all the repairs that the inspector suggested we had our REALTOR ask the sellers for about $2600 in repairs. They basically laughed at us and said they would do $750… they suck. We settled on $1000 in repairs with them also having an electrician come out and fix all of the issues with the electrical system. So with that it worked out to be about $1500 in repairs. So BAM done.
6.       Final Contract and amendments. We signed away on our final negotiations, including getting that totally bad ass picnic table you see in the listing, and signed the final contracts today! Woot Woot! 

So there you have it. We are now out of our 7 day option period and the house is ours (mostly). We still need to get to closing. We gave them an escrow check and are closing on April 25th! In a month Mr. A, Harry and I will be closing on our first house! I am so pumped up right now! 

Now we get to the fun stuff… picking paint colors to cover up that horrible red wall and possibly paint the fireplace! Who’s with me!?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

We are buying a house!!!!

Dude what happened!? This is the feeling I have right now. The last 72 hours have been a total whirlwind. I can’t believe I am saying this but we are UNDER CONTRACT right now! We are sooooooo excited I can’t even begin to tell you all.

Let me start at the beginning of this whole story and give you a play by play on how we found our new home!

About 10 days ago we got notice that our house came on the market. At the time we were still not over the house we lost in Crestview and were not really ready to accept that we were not going to be able to afford the neighborhoods we were stressing out to look in. On top of the houses were selling so fast, or they were going above asking price. So even if we thought we might be able to afford a house we would be out bid by someone else. We thought we were in for the long haul on this but as I mentioned before this whole home buying process had started to kind of suck. So when the house we are now buying came across our emails we dismissed it pretty quickly even though our REALTOR has suggested we take a look at it. Ironically she was totally right.

Fast forward to Sunday. Nothing had come on the market really at all. And I was not really doing much on the house search really. I just did not want to end up finding a house we loved that was out of our price range and doing something crazy. So this past Sunday I got my car washed and ran some errands. While waiting for my car to finish up I stated to screw around on my app on my phone. Using the map feature I was able to hone in on the area we liked. Two new listings that I had not seen came up in the search. I looked at the pictures and both had lots of promise and best of all were in our price range! So then I noticed that they were both having open houses right then. So just as my car finished drying, I headed over to the open houses to check them out. I did not even tell Mr. A or have my REATLOR with me. Just thought I will knock these two off my list and keep waiting.

I have found that the camera can be super deceptive so even though these looked good on my phone, I had no excitement that they would be good in any way. So I headed up to this neighborhood, which is further out from town than we wanted, but still a great location. It was doable to me to compromise on the neighborhood to get the house we wanted.

I walked into the first open house and the REALTOR was standing there waiting for me. He was super nice, but to be honest knew jack shit about the listing. Clearly he was just covering the open house. This house was also clearly a former rental, and then an investor came in and spruced it up a bit. But I was just not feeling it. For those who are curious here is the house I am talking about:

Then I hoped over one block and pulled up to our house. It was totally adorable and cute from the outside, so I of course thought that there was for sure going to be something wrong with it inside. When I walked in I was pleasantly surprised. It was super cute. Vaulted ceilings, good living space and flow. I got super pumped at this point. I called Mr. A right away, who was at SXSW film festival and told him I wanted him to see this place. After talking to the REALTOR on site she informed me that the house actually already had a cash offer on it. This house had been on the market 10 days, WTF!? I called our REALTOR and got her to make an appointment to see the house at 8am the next morning. I was not going to loose out on this house dammit.

Then in a  twist of fate… a third house in the same neighborhood just a few blocks away listed. It was the same size and open concept, just slightly different layout. We called our REALTOR and she booked a showing for that house at 8:15 the same morning. So we headed over bright and early the next morning.

Here are the links to the two homes. I want you to tell me which one you thought we picked! I will tell you all about the negociations and contracts tomorrow when I reveal the house we picked!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Gut Check Time

I wanted to write about this sooner but I was not emotionally stable until today so I am going to give you a recounting of making our first offer on our first home. Spoiler alert: I end up a sobbing mess.

Mr. A and I made an offer on a house this past Sunday! Woot woot! Now I am sure you are wondering what the house looks like and all of that so here is the link: Please, I will wait while you judge…

Back to our story, 6 weeks ago when we started looking at houses we NEVER would have given this house a chance. It has very few of our required items, sold as is (which means if there is something wrong the seller will not fix the house) and it has yellow Formica countertops. Come on, this house on paper was a joke. But we decided to give it a chance because it had great light and square footage and was within walking distance to one of our favorite restaurants/margarita joints.

It was listed on MLS on Saturday and we go to the house Sunday morning at 930am, and the bitch already had a full price offer on it. Seriously. I know. So we proceeded to check it out and realized there were SO MANY great things about this house. The best of which was although there was a lot to do, we could totally live in the house while we fixed it up. It was a perfect situation for us. So we proceeded to head home and talk numbers. When we first thought of a number, we thought we could do full price plus maybe about $5K. Our REALTOR advised us that the house was priced WELL under market value and that we should go in with our best and final offer. So after crunching numbers and taking a walk around the neighborhood we would be buying in we came up with an offer of $11 over asking price, all closing costs paid by us, and a 45 day closing. We thought that was a pretty damn good offer.

All day Monday we obsessed over the house. We thought about changes we want to make, where our furniture would fit and how much fun it was going to be to take on this project. We nervously waited all day as our REALTOR submitted the offer. There were a total of three offers made on the house. All of them more than asking. We knew it was going to be close. At 9:30pm we got the call.

There is nothing worse than being told you did not get the house that you have now fallen in love with. Our REALTOR said it was really close, but could not tell us what the deciding factor was. I went from the high of researching DIY videos to the low of crying on my sofa cell phone still in hand in disbelief that we did not get the house. $11K over asking and we still did not get the house!??? Seriously!? I thought this was supposed to be a buyers market! I guess that aint the case in Austin people. I wanted to blame someone but there was no one to blame. Just the overwhelming feeling of disappointment. Mr. A and I both just hugged each other and sat in silence for a good while as we let the loss wash over us.

So after a few days of mourning that loss, I am picking myself back up again and we are on to look at more houses. I am still not over that house, it feels like I got dumped right now and I am looking for a rebound.  Inventory is so low, and there are tons of buyers out there just like us, so we are going to be acting fast and offering aggressively and find a house to rebound with. We are not messing around anymore. Gut check time.

Friday, March 2, 2012

List Baby List… List Baby List…

Everyone here remember the “Tootsie Roll” song? Now sing the title of this post to that song… Dip Baby Dip… Awesome. 

Anyway back to what I meant. Mr. A and I have now been officially looking for a house for about 6 weeks, unofficially I have been looking for a house for over a year. Heck let’s be honest I have been looking at houses to buy since I started my career in the Real Estate field 5 years ago. I obsess over new listings, and up until late last year felt that there were almost too many great options. 

Fast forward to today. I am at a loss. There seems to be a conspiracy amongst sellers. They are all holding off their listings. There is CRAP on the market right now. Other than the first two homes that we had found promising, and the house that got away (still a sad panda about that one BTW), there is just nothing out there.

We have looked a few other stray houses here and there. We have been unsuccessful at even making an offer on a house. Mr. A has become SUPER picky about every house we look at, worst of all he is picky about things that I could care less about. Like the infamous, “yea, but where do I put my TV” or “my sofas don’t fit in this living room” and all I can think about is, we will get a new sofa, or we will figure out a way to watch TV I am sure of it. I care about location and location and maybe an updated kitchen at this point, but that is not even a deal breaker.

Mr. A I believe is trying to make me happy by agreeing to look at smaller houses in the area I like but in the end I always wind up heartbroken because our frigging sofas won’t fit… Really!? I have since told him I want him to stop wasting my and our REALTOR’s time. I know he wants the perfect first home as well so I am trying not to freak out on him all the time when he acts like that. But Grr.

So really, the reason I am writing this post is not to bitch about my sweet husband, but to bitch about sellers. COME ON PEOPLE MOVE!!!!! I know you want to list your adorable house in the perfect neighborhood at the best price ever today! List baby List, so I do not freak out on my husband. I want to find a house already dammit!

This is really starting to blow, just in case you could not tell.

Just because we all like to look here is the link to the house with the small living room that I like but he does not like: