Thursday, June 21, 2007

A brief word about Real Estate showings

When our house first went on the market back in April, we seemed to get plenty of notice for showings. Usually I would get a call in the morning for an afternoon/evening showing. Sometimes even 24 hours notice, which was always pretty nice. Although this phone call is a courtesy, it is beneficial to get the heads up as to when strangers will be traipsing through your home. Any extra time is wonderful when you have a one-year old to clean up after! The fingerprints on the glass never end...

The last month or so the courtesy calls have been last minute. We've been lucky to get ten minutes to get out of the house -- which is quite a feat with free-running toddler to chase around! I guess the agents figure that at 30+ days, the house has been on the market long enough for us to be used to such intrusions. Yeah, right.

Another irritation has been the times at which the showings are scheduled. I know most people work for a living (ha ha! Not me for the last four months), but a showing at 7:30 PM? Of course they don't know that we have a small child, but about going on a weekend? Or take an afternoon/morning off? It isn't out-of-towners necessarily, because we had very few weekend showings -- only two on a Sunday in 2+ months.

My absolute favorite showing (sort of) was a combination of several irritants. First they called at the last minute for a 6:30 showing. So we packed up and took off to the Outlet Mall to pass the time. We got back to the house and we can't tell if anyone has been there. Usually the agent will leave a card, take a booklet, turn lights off/on, or lock us out of the house (ugh). Not so lucky -- she was a no show, no call. Our agent tracked her down a few days later and she gave some lame excuse about traffic. Generally, this is what happens WHEN YOU SHOW A HOUSE DURING RUSH HOUR.

At least our long Real Estate journey is coming to end -- fingers crossed, knock on wood.


In an amazing stroke of luck, we have both a contract on our current home as well as a great deal on our new home!

We decided last week that we needed to go out on a limb and make an offer on something up in Hartsville. This decision was made easier by the fact that we somehow could afford carrying two mortgages. I don't know how, but the bank agreed.

So on the the hottest day of the year so far, no offers on our current house, we made an offer on a new spec house that we had been watching for a while. After some wrangling, we agreed on a price. For me, it was a relief that I would have a home sooner than we planned. The original plan was to wait until Lisa went back to work...which would have been mid-August at the latest. Six weeks as a transient vagabond didn't sound appealing. Not to mention that I wouldn't see Owen during the week.

We got home Tuesday and kind of forgot about how this house was on the market. Until the centralized showing service called with a last minute showing the following evening (which should be another blog all together -- last minute showings at night with a small child are terrible!) We quickly raced around and put the house back together.

This morning our Realtor called with the offer. It was a first showing offer that they made as soon as they got back to their Realtor's office! We countered their fairly generous offer and waited. We got the word that our counter was accepted at 9PM!

Next up is the home inspection, which I am dreading. We have an older but well-maintained home. I am scared to death that the inspector will find something that will scare the buyers off or cost us thousands of dollars to repair. Ugh!!!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Getting Caught Up

Owen and I had a wonderful month home together alone. He began walking during this time (starting only a few days before his birthday) and he is communicating a lot more.

He recognizes and says several words -- shoes, cheese, momma, daddy, water and several others. Anytime he gets near the refrigerator he points to the bananas on top -- he loves bananas! He craves them to the point of wailing when he sees them in a grocery store (and can't have any).

Anytime we open the fridge, he is right there squawking "Cheese! Cheese!" To see this development first hand was amazing. I really am lucky to have had this opportunity.

As for the house, it is still for sale and no offers as of yet. Mostly good comments, one comment about it being overpriced, and no takers yet. It's interesting how we had so many early comments about how much value our home had, and how interested people were in it. I guess after a month and half on the market, other agents start wondering what is wrong with the house. The "great value" comments stopped almost as soon as they started! We even thought that we priced it too low. Ha ha!

We've had three second showings, one of which canceled at the last minute. The first guy thought it was overpriced, and bought a house he didn't like as much for $160K. His Realtor isn't a good one -- he should have at least made an offer if he preferred this house to the other one. Although we wouldn't have accepted that low an offer outright, we may have been able to get the price up to something more acceptable to us.

We have another couple who are interested, but are also looking at newer homes in a better school district. Whether or not the school district is important to them or not is not known; they are first time home owners which means they are probably young. Although my wife's uncle waited until he was in his mid-forties to buy his first home.

One thing about our house, compared to the newer homes: you aren't going to get the combination of large, private yard, screened-in porch, and two-car garage for our asking price (now reduced to $169,900). Even looking at some of the homes they are looking at, we have more square footage.

Supposedly, they are taking the weekend to think about it. I really hope that they or someone else makes an offer soon. We really need to get this sealed up so we can buy something up in Hartsville. Unfortunately, we are probably going to have to do that in the next few weeks just to have something in place before Lisa starts back to school in August. I start work in just three weeks!