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Posts Tagged ‘buying house’

It’s official: we tied the knot with our house today, and we’re finally home owners again. The Taylors are off the market!

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At last…….my house has come along!

Yes, as of yesterday, Bart and I are officially under contract on a house. We actually had our offer accepted and were mostly official on Thursday, but there was one other piece of paperwork that needed to be signed, and that took the sellers over 48 hours to handle (not quite sure why it took so long, but whatever…at least it’s done now).

After months of blind dates, a few rejections, and wondering if we would ever find the one, we realized that The Right House was actually there all along. Meaning it was initially priced almost $100k over market value and not even on our radar. I actually remember when it first came on the market; it was in a neighborhood that we really liked, but we were focusing our search in a lower price range. I MLS-stalked it a little as it dropped in price once. Then, a few weeks ago, it had a second, very significant price drop, right into our target price range. We had actually scheduled a showing for two houses one evening, and when one of them was sold right out from under us, we decided to tack this one on as a replacement, just for kicks. But when we walked in, we knew there was something about it that really resonated with us.

Unfortunately, when we talked to our agent, he looked at comparable sales in the neighborhood and determined it was still overpriced. Since they had just done a massive price cut, we didn’t think the owners would be willing to entertain the price we felt like we’d have to ask for it. So we made a very tough decision and waited two full weeks to make a move. If it sold before that, then it wasn’t meant to be. If it didn’t sell, then we felt like we had more position to negotiate, since well-priced homes move quickly in this market.

When we decided on our firm, top-dollar price, it was still so far below the current asking price that I wasn’t all that hopeful for outright acceptance. But the owners had already moved out, and it had been on the market for nearly four months, so we thought they would be motivated to work with us a bit. I can’t tell you how shocked I was Thursday morning when our agent said that they had flat-out accepted our offer. I seriously was dumbfounded. But hey, we’ll take it.

I’m sure we’ll more formally introduce you to the house when we move, but here’s a general overview and some more interesting features. It’s a 1960’s ranch with a fully finished basement, 3 bed/2 bath upstairs, and a nice guest bed, bath, and kitchenette downstairs for when you come to visit. It has a two-car garage (routine and ho-hum where we’re from, but utterly luxurious here in DC). It’s on a wooded, half-acre lot on a dead-end street. It has both a huge deck out back and a unique screened-in porch off the kitchen in the front. It’s a relatively easy commute into DC (at least during the hours I work). It has a newer kitchen and baths. And, maybe most excitingly of all, it has a five-burner, gas Wolf cooktop with a down-draft vent system. Swoon.

While it has some wonderful qualities, Bart and I realize it’s probably not going to be our forever house, and one day we’ll need to move on from here. But we think it will suit our needs for a number of years down the road. And while we’re under contract, we still have a few hurdles to get past before it’s official, namely the inspection and appraisal. So it’s not in the bag just yet, but hopefully it’ll be an uneventful process into October when we close.

Now I’ve gotta start packing. Dang.

P.S. Thanks to MH for the inspiration for¬†this post title. ūüėČ

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Sometimes the house hunt gets frustrating and discouraging. In order to stay grounded and keep a positive perspective on life, it’s good to maintain a healthy sense of humor and not take real estate too seriously. Therefore, I’ve decided to share the best of real estate jargon and the real meaning behind the listings. If you are now or recently have been in the market, I’m sure you will relate.
  • Meticulously maintained: museum-like curation of original 1970’s or 80’s hardware, fixtures, and decor.
  • Gourmet kitchen: granite countertops on 40-year-old cabinets.
  • Country kitchen:¬†your grandmother’s crochet potholders are still hanging by the stove.
  • Updated: original 1960’s appliances were replaced in 1991.
  • Transformed: bought two months ago and flipped with clearance items from Home Depot.
  • Cozy: small and cramped.
  • Charming: small and cramped and has crown moulding.
  • Wall-to-wall carpeting: possibly the original green shag. Even in the bathroom.
  • Must-see: We’ll host five open houses so you can’t possibly avoid stopping by.
  • Elegant: ornate, Louis Quatorze-inspired furnishings and paint colors make it hard for me to visualize my Ikea furniture in the space.
  • Move-in condition: everything looks like it is falling apart, but yes, you can technically inhabit the house because all the utilities and appliances work (for now).
  • With home warranty: we don’t expect those working appliances to continue to do so for very long.
  • Minutes to commuter routes: Takes ten minutes to get to the interstate before you can even start your commute.
  • Walk to shopping and restaurants: house is located on major four-lane highway.
  • Custom/unique: only one person on earth ever thought that was a good idea.
  • Giant price reduction: we overestimated the price by about 30%, and now we’ve realized the error of our ways…now it’s only 20% overpriced.
  • Motivated seller: we overestimated the price by about 30%, and now we’re desperate…now it’s only 20% overpriced.
  • And so much more: we¬†already¬†described every possible redeeming quality in the listing and there’s nothing else worth mentioning.

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