Monday, February 15, 2010

Just some big HOUSE news!

Here's how our Saturday began...

We woke up and checked our email just to find out that our favorite house had been sold! We hadn't been inside, but we fell in love with the photos and the neighborhood. We were also feeling under the weather, so the morning was a sad one.

We met our Redfin showing agent at the first house on our 8-house itinerary. It had the nicest curb appeal and the was most expensive. At first, we weren't so thrilled. It just didn't feel like home. Neither did house #2.

Then comes house #3. We LOVED it. But, there was one drawback: it is located in the city next to our desired city. But, it has the same schools as people who live in our city (that was my main concern) and it's in a better neighborhood than many of the houses in that desired neighborhood. Actually, over half of the city we desired to live in was out of the question because they were zoned for outside of the city limit schools. So, I got over the whole "but it doesn't have the same address I wanted issue." It wasn't worth having a house I hated in a potential neighborhood we didn't like and schools we weren't interested in having our future children attend just so I could have a name.

We trekked on to House #4 & #5... and each were nice but not as amazing as House #3. Then on to House #6 (no way), we skipped House #7 (based on terrible curb appeal), and landed at House #8.

House #8 was actually our choice for about 30 minutes. We even got so far as to call in for comps to be run in the area. But... as we waited, we walked around the house. While it would've been great for entertaining based on the space, the neighborhood wasn't as nice (though in our desired city), it was quite close to the next house that wasn't as beautiful, and it was super custom. It had been on the market for around 250 days and had a lot to fix. (examples: floors in each room were mismatched, kitchen was small, flow was a little off, kitchen was not a place to hang, paint/wallpaper needed work...and the other place was turn-key, not to mention in a better area.) We needed one final peak at House #3.

Back to House #3. As soon as we walked in the door, we knew that House #8 was wrong and this one was completely right. It was just so right for us. The neighborhood is gorgeous, the houses around look classy and similar, and the exterior/interior are exactly how we would've created them-- aside from some of the wallpaper.

So, we wanted to place an offer. Well, this process is more difficult than expected. We thought, place an offer, done. Right? Wrong. We called our agent (he was moving so we had someone else opening houses for us) and set to meet at the house at 5:00 p.m. As we pulled up, another couple was seeing the place. Talk about ouch! Well, we sat in the car, our realtor pulled up... and we all sat. And waited. For over 45 minutes. Finally, we couldn't take it anymore. We had to leave. After all, we were only there to sign papers... so we did so down the street in the 7-11 parking lot. We put in an offer and had to go home that night and wait. We waited... I slept 3 hours... and nothing. Finally, we got a call 24 hours later with a counter-offer (our agent thinks that they were sitting on the offer hoping for more to come in so they could begin bidding wars--yuck!). They only came down $6,000 from the list price, but since they were already moved out and we felt it was worth the list price (considering location, comps, perfection for us, the fact that we didn't want any other house, how good it felt being inside, all the upgrades), so we were willing to pay it. Frankly, since the other couple spent so much time inside and we knew others went to see it before and after us, we thought surely we'd have a bidding war--forcing us to pay list anyway. Our realtor said we could come down $4,000 more probably and called back with a 1-hour contingency of reply. We got the call back within 45 minutes and they accepted our counter-offer!

Fast forward to the next day...Monday

We met with our agent at our new house (okay, not yet... but it's hard not to get excited, right?) and signed the final contract papers to send back to the seller's agent & get signed by the sellers. Then, we left. We called a billion people (financing people at USAA, attorney, inspector...) because we have to get things done quickly. We're heading back to Germany on Thursday and we had to get things moving because we're scheduled to close on March 18th! That's two days after we get back from Germany.

Monday night... (like, 5 minutes ago...)

The sellers signed the papers and our agent has received the contract back! We have ourselves a house!

...granted the inspection is decent...the finances are completed...nothing goes wrong...

This is the (world wide) web, so obviously I'm not interested in sharing our address or city. Just know that it's in a nice little Chicago suburb in an adorable area about 25 miles outside of the city.

Here are some stats:
  • Two-story Georgian style (looks like a white colonial with black shudders)
  • Double (red) front doors with glass doors (to keep that cold out!)
  • Brand new updated windows throughout the house
  • Corner lot
  • Bike/walking trails right behind the house that run through the whole neighborhood
  • 2,640 square feet (+1,320 square feet finished basement space)
  • 5 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms
  • Fully-updated house with a brand new cherry wood kitchen, granite countertops, slate backsplash
  • In-law suite in the basement
  • Living room, family room, full basement
  • Hardwood throughout first level, stairs, and top level hallway-- carpeted bedrooms
  • Double sinks in attached master bathroom with granite
  • Separate office
  • Attached 2-car garage
Basically, amazing. And it totally fits us. Nevermind that we don't have furniture to fill two rooms let alone a whole house! Rest assured that if you come visit us within the next year, you might be sitting on the floor. We will have a bed for you, though. :)

Here's a sneak peak of the amazing kitchen:

Oh, and the houses from my last post... none of them are the one we chose! The brick one was actually House #1, the one on the top left was sold before we could even visit it, and the bottom one was missing a few pieces, but was very nice.


d.a.r. said... [Reply to comment]

Ack I remember the whole offer/wait/counteroffer/wait process. Nervewracking!!

It is gorgeous, so glad it is yours. I'll keep my fingers crossed that things go well with the inspection and loan stuff!

Nic G. said... [Reply to comment]

The house looks great! so excited for you guys!

bratts29 said... [Reply to comment]

So glad things are working out! And the kitchen is GORGEOUS!!!!