Ok…when I left off yesterday our offer was submitted and we were waiting for an answer. Well, after 24 hours of counter offers and negotiations, we got the news that we had an accepted offer. The sellers requested that we move as quickly as possible since they had moved 6 months earlier and the house was just sitting empty and we were happy to oblige. We called our attorney and our inspector and had the inspection scheduled for the next day…which was New Year’s Eve.
At noon the next day we headed up to meet the realtor and the inspector at the house. We were about 10 minutes away when the phone rang. It was the realtor and I knew right away that something was wrong. I answered the phone and I heard “I have some bad news.” I just handed the phone straight to J because I didn’t want to hear the bad news. J spoke to her a for a few minutes and agreed to meet her at the house…since we were headed there anyway…to get the details of what went down. The bottom line was that the deal was off. Immediately, the frustration and anger and sheer exhaustion of our search washed over me. I thought we were finally done…after three years of searching…and here we were, back at square one. I started crying because I just couldn’t believe it.
We went to the house and met the realtor. She told us that there had been a previously accepted offer on the property, but our offer was better so the seller took our offer. When the other buyers heard this, they increased their offer and now their offer was better. So the seller gave us the finger and went back to the other buyers. She said the sellers realtor told her the other buyers were not as strong as us and even after two weeks had not produced a mortgage committment…something we already had. He had serious doubts that they were going to be able to get financing and though the deal might fall through. He promised to call us if it did.
Up to that point I hadn’t spoken at all. To this I finally said “Fuck them. I hope it does fall through and when they come crawling back to us, we’ll offer them $10,000 below our original offer. Assholes.” Then J and I went to McDonald’s because I wanted french fries. He asked me if I thought we should raise the offer. I repeated what I’d said at the house. He agreed. We ate our fries and went home.
We got home and I took the dog for a walk and called my mother to tell her what happened. J got on the computer and started looking at the MLS to see what else was available. It turned out that there were only three other center hall colonials on the market in Yonkers at the time and they were all double the price of our house. They were also all much further away from the train and the bus. So J made a decision.
When I came up with the dog, he told me that he’d called the realtor and raised the offer to $1,000 over the asking price. (Note – this is probably a good time to mention that when I say “we were buying a house” what I really mean is “J was buying a house that we were going to live in together”. It was perfectly fine for him to make this decision without consulting me as it was his money.) I couldn’t believe it. Who pays over the asking price in a down real estate market? What about what we discussed? But J really felt it was the right thing to do so I went along with it. However, I did attach a condition to the offer…this was the final offer and we would accept no more shennanigans…we wanted the contract drawn up and sent to our attorney on January 2nd and we wanted the sellers to sign it on January 3rd.
At 10pm on New Year’s Eve we got the call that we had a deal.
We called our inspector and begged him to meet us at the house on New Year’s Day and he agreed. We had our inspection report that night and it went to the attorney along with the contract on January 2nd, as agreed. There was some squabbling over credits to cover necessary repairs found during the inspection, but after some threatening on the part of our realtor that all got worked out. The closing was set for February 15th. We decided not to tell anyone that the deal was back on since we felt like everything was so tentative. So we proceeded through all the pre-closing stuff in secret.
Then two days before the closing we got another call from our attorney. The title search had revealed a city violation and they city sent an inspector to the house to clear the violation. The violation was cleared (I don’t remember what it was for), but while the inspector was there he noticed that the side porch and back porch were not up to code and he invalidated the certificate of occupancy. The bank refused to close without a C of O. I was at my parents house when this call came. I answered the phone, J said “deal’s off” and I ran out of the kitchen so we could talk about it. I’m pretty sure my mother thought J and I were having some kind of fight. Actually, we were trying to figure out how to make this whole thing work.
As luck would have it, the bank’s attorney and our attorney were friends from law school and they worked out some kind of deal at noon on February 14th to allow us to close the following day and fix the violations later. The day was saved! The closing was back on! All was well.
I had brought the car into the city that night and after J and I went our for a Valentine’s Day dinner, we parked the car outside our building and went up to the apartment to get ready for the next day…a day when so many things went wrong it was like a National Lampoon’s movie.
But you have to wait to hear about it until tomorrow…