Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Waiting Game

image from

My head is swimming (hence the fish photo today, instead of something farm-y).

I had a HORRIBLE day at work and nearly missed my appointment to sign the contract to put in an offer on the Lebanon Farm this afternoon.  I woke up really excited, but spent most of the day worrying about the fact that I don't have a lucky number.  Lucky numbers seem trivial, until you need their assistance (say, in picking a starting price for the house). 

At a certain point, the dollars just feel like numbers and hold no meaning to me.  I know that sounds horrible, and it doesn't at all reflect my spending habits.  I've saved nearly every penny I've ever made since I started working when I was 16.  Money matters to me, but dollar amounts in quantities I can't fathom just don't hold as much weight.

In the end, I offered a higher initial bid than we discussed, and I felt good about it.  I'm still running off my disappointment from my last attempt at a contract and wanted to be sure that we would be in the game of negotiating.  After signing and initialing a MILLION times, we submitted the contract.  The only big change from last time was the waiting period.  Having to sit vigil by the phone for 5 (what ended up being 6) days last time I put in an offer was too long.  The unique situation warranted it, but I just couldn't physically worry for that long again.  24 hours felt like long enough.

I hadn't really needed to focus on the length of the contract, however, because I was shocked to hear back from the homeowners within a half hour of leaving the office.  Here's how the bidding went down:

Listing Price: $324,999 (originally listed at $349,999 in August 2011)
Comparative Market Analysis: $295,000 (the "market value" of the house based on comparable properties that have recently sold in the area)
My Offer: $295,000.  While initially my real estate agent advised starting out around $275,000 (in order to end up around my goal of $300,000), I do have some extra savings and wanted to be in a better spot for negotiation.
First Counter Offer from Homeowners: $320,000 (disappointingly higher than I was hoping for)
My First Counter Offer: $310,000.  This was the maximum price I was willing to pay for the property, but rather than go back and forth I submitted this as my best and final, hoping the homeowners would compromise in the middle.
Second Counter Offer from Homeowners: $315,000, plus a generator (~$1,000 value).  Apparently they didn't get the best and final thing, which is fine because I wasn't 100% firm.  My family had been willing to contribute a little and I could make $315,000 work, it would just be a big stretch.
My Second Counter Offer: $312,000, forget the generator (which I hadn't seen at either tour and could easily purchase as I see fit).

And that's it.  I paced and paced and paced and paced around the first floor of my parent's house and finally my real estate agent called back.  (It wasn't actually that much time, just much longer than the previous back and forth had been).  The homeowners wanted the evening to think about it and explore their options and will notify me of their decision by tomorrow at NOON.

And so, I wait until lunchtime tomorrow.  I desperately hope they accept the offer.  I would hate to lose the house over $3,000 dollars.  It's a lot of money right now, but in the long haul it's not that much.  I could scrounge up the $315,000, but my offer of $312,000 just seems more fair given the market value of the home and our negotiations.

I'd say that I'll be up all night worrying about how things will end up, but I'm so tired I don't think it'll be a problem. I feel good about my bid and trust that everything will work out how it's supposed to.  I think I'm actually more worried about the loan application - which still needs attention and revision in order to be processed as quickly as possible.  I suppose when you're good at worrying (like I am!) there's always something to worry about!

Fingers crossed my lucky number is 312.

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