Tuesday, June 16, 2009

House Hunting, and Being Out-Bid

Dog sitting went very well. Livy's dad will have me back in the future, which is always a nice thing to hear.

House hunting is not going well at all.

We saw a house we liked pretty well, and made an offer on it. It was a fair offer for the condition of the house. Not extravagant, not low-balled. An actual fair offer. Then we had to wait a full 3 days while they considered it, then they counter-offered for too much money but gave us only 24 hours to reply, we countered for more money but the middle of the two numbers, they took a full 3 days to consider it ... and ended up accepting a bid that came in at the last minute that was $25k over what we offered.

The irksome part is the seller is obligated to TELL us when they receive another offer, and they did not. Now, they're not obligated to tell us the value of the new offer, but they are obligated to inform us there is another offer on the table so we can decide if we want to increase our offer. They didn't bother.

Shady real estate people like this annoy the crap out of me. Why would I want to deal with you, if you're going to behave like this? In an industry that is built on personal reputation and repeat business, what a reputation you are building for yourself.

It's not as if we're trying to "steal" someone's house from them - we're perfectly willing to make a fair offer, but we're going to take into account the items that are wrong with the house - like the water stain on the ceiling (which may indicate mold or worse in the attic), the place next to the garage where from the ground to 3 feet up the stucco is primer grey, like it has been repaired but not painted (maybe someone backed into it with a car?) - we won't be able to match that paint color, so the house will need to be repainted. The garage door that is manual (no electrical opener), the broken window at the front of the house, the rest of the old windows that need to be replaced, the half-working sprinklers, and the carpet that needs to be replaced. Yeah, that kind of stuff. The stuff we would have to spend money on before we moved in.

Frustrating does not begin to cover it. We are probably 2 months into house hunting. We see 5 plus houses most weekends. And then we get out-bid, over and over.

We recognize that we are in a difficult price point - where there is a lot of competition from first time buyers (like ourselves). Houses often have multiple offers on their second day, and the houses sitting on the market have something really wrong with them - like earthquake damage (cracked foundation? no thank you!). A lot of them are REOs or Short Sales. And there are a lot of potential buyers.

Still, I asked my mom how many houses she saw before she found the one where they live now, and she said, "Oh, I don't think I saw 10."

We saw 10 in our first two weekends. And it feels like it will never end.

Wish us luck.