Sunday, January 20, 2008

Bittersweet

Well, we sold the house. The realtor came over this morning, and we signed the papers. It's contingent on a home inspection, so we're not home free yet, but the basics are done.

We got our bell rung. We knew we would. We lowered the price five grand on Monday. On Wednesday, a couple came through, and they made an offer within a few hours. Carol, the realtor, called to tell us there was an offer, but she didn't have any information--the buyer's agent wanted to present the offer in person the next day. We knew that was a bad sign. For all of the offers we've put on houses, even when they are low, we've never made the agent present the offer in person. That meant the offer was really low, or really complicated.

Turns out, it was complicated. They were offering one number, but they wanted 3% back for closing costs, since they had zero money to put down. That meant that the real number they were offering was less that $1500 more than we paid for the house six years ago. They also didn't want to close on the house until the end of March, because they had an apartment lease they weren't sure they could get out of. And apparently they were maxed out money-wise since they had only prequalified for a certain amount.

I didn't see the offer until Thursday night--I had the MSTP retreat all day Thursday, and Tim had class until 9 PM, so even though he had gotten the offer at lunch, we couldn't go over it until late. We called the realtor back on Friday and asked for two simple things: one, that they get 2% instead of 3% back (saving us about $1400), and two, they close at the end of February to save us a mortgage payment. Well, our realtor said she didn't they they would do it (side note: I was fairly irritated with our realtor at this point. She really stopped trying as soon as there was an offer. She's suppose to work with us till the end since we pay her commission, but she definitely was more for them, just to hurry up and get the deal done).

Saturday we talked to Carol, and she said they really couldn't do anything money-wise. We asked her one more time about moving the closing up to February (it's still a 45 day closing. That's longer than average. We did it in 20). We said if they could agree to that, we'd have a deal. So about 7 last night, they called and said they'd do it. And our realtor was "too cold" to leave the house to sign the papers last night, so she came by this morning.

So basically the house is sold, pending inspection. By the time we pay commission and closing costs, we'll have $10,000 less than we paid for it. And since we put in about 10 grand in remodels and fixes, we've lost 20 grand since we bought it.

That just kills me. I'm a total frugal fanny. That was why we bought in the first place--rent was just throwing money away. And here we are, throwing money away. Between our mortgage and the bridge loan we took out to buy the new house, we are actually going to have to cut a sizable check just to sell our house.

Don't get me wrong--I love our new house, I couldn't ask for a nicer area, and my commute is a million times better than it was. But does that mean we should have moved? I don't know. We never would have been able to afford our new house if the market didn't suck. So that's a plus. But losing 20 grand, when we had been talking about being able to pay off the old house by the end of residency? That eats at me.

I am glad the house sold. Having it sit there was really stressing me out. But it's bittersweet. There's the financial aspect that hurts, and then there's leaving all of the hard work we put into the house, and all of the memories we got out of it, behind. It always saddened me a little to go over there when it was empty. It was such a good little house for us. If the commute would have been better, we wouldn't have even thought about moving.

It's hard. Like I said, I am so thankful we were able to get into our dream house. I don't want to sound ungrateful. But it's like I'm giving a piece of myself to total strangers that don't see the value--they just see a bargain. I just hope it can be as good of a house for them as it was for us.

And I am praying it passes the inspection. I don't have a specific reason to worry, but we weren't told to get a house inspection when we bought it--our realtor at the time blew it off--so although everything appears to be fine, there could be something lingering that we don't know about. And if this deal falls apart, that's when I'll be really depressed.

Anyway, for now, we're single home owners. And that's something to be thankful for.

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