*the* house

What do you do if you find a house that you pretty much fall in love with and want to buy, but you haven’t put your’s on the market yet?

We found one such house yesterday and toured it today and I love it. It was built in the 70s and needs a lot of updating, but it’s on a huge (for this area) lot at just shy of half an acre. It has tons of fruit trees and berry bushes, and loads of perennial flowers. It’s in a nice neighborhood. It’s being sold by the original owner and it’s clean and been well taken care of. I’m sure it won’t last long at all at the price it’s at.

I want this house. I can picture the kids growing up there and playing in the back yard. I admit I was thinking about what room we could set up a birthing pool in if we have another baby in a few years. I even confessed to Jody that I can picture the kids coming home with their own children to celebrate Christmas with us there in 30 years. He told me I’m getting too attached. Am I?

Jody left a voicemail with a Realtor today about getting our house on the market. Even if that happens quickly though, I have my doubts about the likelihood of us getting this house. I am certain it is going to be snatched up fast. If there was any way we could put in an offer and pay for two mortgages, I would go for it, but there’s just no way. And realistically speaking, we need the money we’ll make off of this house to apply towards that one since it costs more than we’d get for ours.

I want to be positive and say “that house is mine” (we’ve already been talking about it as “our house” LOL), but I’m also trying to prepare myself for the chance that it won’t happen.

Anybody have any tips for me/us on what we can do to get our house to sell FAST, FAST, FAST?

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20 thoughts on “*the* house

  1. We found a house like that just before we were ready to start looking for this house. It was THE house and I wanted it sooooo badly! In the end it sold before we got our ducks in a line…and it ended up being out of our price range once we got serious about everything. I still think fondly of that house though. It’s what got us serious about moving forward and making plans for our future so it was a good thing! That and I’ll always love its front porch ;)

    I’ve never sold a house so I have no advice. I just wanted to wish you good luck!

  2. I have mixed feelings about the ethics of this (not for you, but for the realtor), but it would help if you could get the realtor who is selling the new house to also be your realtor in selling your current house. If a realtor stands to make a commission on both sales it gives her/him an added incentive to make the deal work.

    If you think that the new house might get snatched up and you’re really in love with it, make an offer – either with a contingency that your house sells, or without if you think there will be multiple offers. If you love it, it’ll all work out, and I think it’s better to make an offer sooner than later.

    - Tanya
    (who writes a breastfeeding blog but loves real estate!)
    http://breastfeeding.blog.motherwear.com

  3. I wrote out a comment, but don’t see it, so I’ll type it again…

    From what I have been reading PRICE is the # one thing you can do, to sell your house quickly. If you price your house too high, then it will usually sit for months, and by the time it does sell, you have had to lower the price several times, or accept a significantly lower offer then your starting asking price, and you have lost a lot of time. It makes more sense to just price it as low as you can in the first place.

    It also says your house has to be in perfect, showhome condition to get top dollar for your home, and the price has to be competitive for market trends.

    I agree w/ Jody that it is SO easy to become emotionally attached to a house fast. A house is the biggest financial decision you will make, and houses usually sell on emotion.

    You kind of have the best and the worse in the situation, b/c it is a total buyer’s market right now, so there are ton of houses for sale and not a lot of qualified buyers. Even if your house is priced competitively, it may take a few months to sell. On the other hand, the house you like may not sell either.

    I was *sure* “our” house woudl be gone- the one we were going to buy before the accident, and it is still on the market AND they have lowered the price about 10K. So in our case, waiting hasn’t been a bad thing, and we may still end up there, for less money. We have also seen a few more places that we like that could work for us too.

    Congrats. though on finding a place you want . I know it is so hard, when you want it now, and I hope it all works out. If it doesn’t, know that you will find another house, and it may even be better. There is always another house, even though it may not seem like it at the time. :-)

    Good luck!

  4. Here is my advise, having sold a house recently. Get the most cut-throat, “not a nice guy” realtor. Find out who sells the most houses in your area. We had one realtor and she didn’t sell our house in 10 months, we changed to a cut-throat dude, huge top seller in the area and he sold the house to the first person that saw it. He had a second offer for us by 30 days as well. You have to find someone who is willing to be very honest with you about your house. They will probably suggest a price you don’t want to hear, especially in this market.

    And, if you really think this is the house and there is “no other like it” put in an offer with a contingency, AND stop looking for a house to buy until yours is under contract, it can’t lead to anything good!!!

    Much luck, we’ll be rooting for you!

  5. Oh man…I feel for you. We just went through the EXACT same situation. We found a great house in our neighborhood, much bigger and ours is not on the market. We made an offer, but it was rejected because it was contingent on selling our house. It is a total buyers market right now, and sellers do NOT want contingencies. Jason does real estate on the side and he can see how the market is changing. We ended up putting ours on the market for a few weeks, but the house sold before we could sell ours. We were SOOOO bummed, and weeks later we’re still kicking ourselves for not just buying the house without selling ours first. We have found nothing we like better – I got too emotionally attached too.

    If you truly feel this is the house for you – is there any way you could make an arrangement with family to borrow some money in the event your house doesn’t sell quickly to cover both mortgages for awhile? That’s what we were planning on doing, although I really hate to borrow money from family.

    And if you do want to sell yours fast – rent a storage unit and clean out your house – get rid of all the clutter and kid stuff (which is HARD – we tried it!) and price your house the lowest in your neighborhood. I don’t know what your area is like, but around here in AZ, houses are sitting on the market for 6 months plus…it’s hard to be seller right now. Good luck!!

  6. Amy- Had to jump in from lurker land to say: Ditto Tanya. It’s iffy to go with the same realtor, but if it saves you all money and this is something you want, than it’s less of an issue. The ethics come into play more if the realtor is trying to push you to buy only homes that they are listing- in this case, you are ONLY interested in that particular home, so it’s not a violation. If you feel your interests can’t be represented fairly to the seller, than you’ll need to find your own realtor. However, while not always suggested, it CAN work out to BOTH buyer and seller to use the same realtor- so it’s worth checking into.

    If you are REALLY interested and are serious, make a contingency bid. They may take it. If not, they may counter. You may be able to buy the house and do a rent back if they are not in a hurry to move. They stay in the home, renting from you, and you have time to sell your current home.

    Bottom line: you want the house, you have to make a move on IT first, not focus on house you have now.

    Call your bank and see if they’ll do what’s called a “Bridge Loan” (google it) to help with the gap as your house sells and you are in the new house. We had no problems doing this but thankfully our house sold in less than 6 weeks.

    Good luck!

  7. We were in exactly the same situation a few years ago.

    So we put in an offer which was accepted. Then we sorted out the new mortgage and got a loan to cover the deposit. (in that order!)

    We couldn’t get a buyer for our own house and were getting desperate. So in a lightbulb moment of inspiration we decided to let our old house. We got a Buy to Let Mortgage which was the best thing we ever did. It allowed us to buy our new house and rent our old house which meant both mortgages were being paid.

    In the intervenig years we’ve managed to remortgage the first buy to let property to buy a further two. And right now we are selling our first one to do lots of renovations to our current house!

    It worked for us… you just never know!

    I don’t know anything about the US property market as we are in the UK, but it made such a difference to our lives and we always have security now for our future.

    I just knew we had to buy that house and it worked out for us. I really hope it works for you too :)

  8. just wanted to wish you luck! i hope you get this one and even if you don’t you may find another one that is just as good!!

  9. Dunno what the US realty market does but here we can put an offer on a house with conditions … i.e. in your case, conditional on your house selling. It’s not always perfect ( if there is a “cash out” clause) but it does mean you can get your house listed and in the market.

    Good luck!! The house sounds great.

  10. thank you all for all of your feedback, personal experiences, etc. that helps a lot. :)

    having slept on it for a night, i’m not feeling as attached as i was yesterday. i still like it a lot, but i won’t be crushed if we don’t get it. and i just found out it was on the market last year (thank you, heather!) and didn’t sell, sooooo…maybe there’s something really bad about it we’re failing to see with our rose-colored glasses on at present.

    in the meantime, we met w/ a realtor today (yes, caroline – it was tony!) to talk about what we need to do to get our house on the market, so we’re moving forward. even if this house isn’t “the one” for us, i do feel like seeing it was a kick in the pants we needed to get serious about selling ours. we have a lot of work ahead of us.

    thanks again! :)

  11. So glad to read your update. I was going to be the voice of reason … the “making an emotional decision may bring huge financial regrets many years down the road.”

    I always stop and ask myself, “Will this decision cause me to look at my kids one day and have to apologize that I couldn’t help them with this, that and the other … because Dad and I made that huge financial decision when they were ten?”

    So, much easier said than done, of course. Emotions rock! LOL

  12. When we sold our house, we rented a storage unit and cleaned out half of our house and almost all of our garage. If people go through your house and see closets or cupboards jam packed, they’ll wonder how they’ll get their own stuff to fit. You want to basically take away at least half of everything that is in every closet and cupboard. You want lots of empty space. After you’ve made space, you’ll have room to put the things you normall keep out every day. For example, put your toothbrushes in a drawer, hair dryer in the cabinet. Also, I know it’s going to be difficult with kids but everything should always be Ritz Carlton clean. Seriously. Every morning, we would go through the entire house and spot clean the mirrors, make sure there were no water stains on the shower doors, polish the bathroom faucets, straighten the towels, make sure the beds were military made, etc. One biggie is the front door/exterior entry way. Buyers usually stand there for a long time while they’re waiting for the realtor to get the door open. This area should be spotless (make sure the door is scrubbed clean, stucco or house siding is clean, no cobwebs, etc) with beautiful blooming/green plants if possible. You might even want to consider hiring a room stager to help you make sure your furniture is positioned to best show off the good features of your house.

    Good luck!

  13. I can only imagine how good it feels to decide to sell your house and move on! I’m eagerly awaiting that day myself :)

  14. Oh – I so remember that feeling of love at first site. I’d overlook all kinds of serious flaws because I loved the view from the kitchen, or the tree in the backyard, or the closet space in the master bedroom.
    In the end (after many disappointments), I decided to believe that the house that was “meant” to be ours would find us. And it did.
    Good luck!

  15. My thoughts are way more esoteric but if you picture yourself in the house then it will be yours. I truly believe it, so put it out there.

    On another note…I found your post and thought I’d reach out to say hello and ask if you’d like to receive a free Maya & Miguel DVD. If you’d like to receive the DVD just email me at Kerri at boldmouth.com with your address and I’ll have it shipped it out to you.

    I don’t know if you’re familiar with Maya & Miguel, a show on PBS in the afternoons — http://pbskidsgo.org/mayaandmiguel — that emphasizes cultural diversity and language learning but I’m reaching out to talk to parents about the program as part of a marketing project I’m working on with Scholastic.

    If you do choose to blog about Maya & Miguel show or episodes on the DVD, please make it clear how you received the information. Our goal is to be open and honest with everyone we reach.

    Kerri Roberts, BoldMouth

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  17. Amy, I hope you can find a solution that works for you guys! Ever watched Designed to Sell on HGTV? That’s a great show in how it shows you what to fix up to get your house in good condition for buyers.

    When we bought our current home, the market was pretty hot, but it took us 8-9 months to sell it. So we were paying double mortgages for 5 months. We could afford it, and it was before daycare, so really it was showing us what life with daycare was like. Would have been really nice to have saved that money though!

    Another thing, is that we really loved our house, but overlooked a few things. Believe me, even though the bones of the house may be good, you need to be oberservant for other things.

  18. LOL! I had to laugh at the “birthing pool room.” If there’s no room for the birthing pool, “the” house can’t be “the house” for me! Fuggedabodit!

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