September 22, 2010: Making an Offer

After talking last night, Dominica and I decided that we wanted to look at the house again, the last one that we saw yesterday, again today.  This time the owner would not be present as we knew that he was going to be out of town.  Then we would get a chance to look for the problems in the house rather than to get the dazzling tour.  The house is extra challenging to evaluate because it is staged very well and very sparsely.  So there is a tone of open space as if it was a house twice the size but none of the key furniture is there.

Work was pretty busy this morning.  I came home late and spent the afternoon watching Liesl while Dominica went to a doctor’s appointment.  It would have been nice to have gotten some time with Liesl but I was very busy with work and she was exhausted and really just needed to go down for a nap.  So there wasn’t really any quality time there.

I spoke to our bank today.  That didn’t go well.  They are a New York bank and don’t have the option of lending in Texas.  So we have to look elsewhere to find financing.  They also cannot help us with refinancing our house in Peekskill because that is now a rental and therefore investment property and they are not licensed for that either.  Argh.

I did get through to a lender that we found through our agent.  He managed to pre-qualify us right away and we have our credit information (amazingly, no one has stolen our credit yet!) and our pre-qualification in hand now.  The bank is happy to loan us the money and we are in great shape to make an offer if we so choose.

Dominica brought home a very late lunch from McDonald’s and we ate that.  She was late enough that I had decided to just work from home this afternoon before we went back out at five to look at that house again but there was a disaster at the office so I ran back in for a little while to deal with that in person.

We were running a little late, but not too bad, getting out to look at the house.  It was probably five thirty when we got out there.

Going through the house without the owner was much better.  Our first question was answered right way – the master bedroom truly does not have any windows whatsoever!  We are not too keen on that.  We would have to have a skylight put in immediately – adding to the cost of the house from the onset.  I checked the electrical and there is no allowance for any type of data cabling whatsoever, not even cable or phone let alone modern data cabling.  That is an issue.  And the media room has no electrical outlets on the media center side of the room – a puzzling oversight.

The biggest issues that we noticed were that some of the rooms had significant slopes to them.  We knew that there had been foundation issues that were repaired and had lifetime warranties that would transfer to us but rooms that are wonky are rooms that will always be wonky and we would always have to work to hide the fact that the main living area falls away by a few inches in one corner.  There are places in the house, like in the front office room, where standing in the doorway put you an inch or two over a person standing by the window in the same room!

Overall we still really like the house although we now have a better grasp of it and have our concerns laid out carefully.  We spent a bit of time going all over the house figuring out exactly what would need work and what would not.

When we were done we decided that we would put in an offer and see where it got us.  If this was New York we would have had the offer in in minutes and the bargaining would all be done in an hour.  We were told that the offer would go in “by Friday” at the latest.  Wow.  Everything really does move on “Texas time” down here.  This is our third house and our fourth or fifth time through pricing negotiations but we’ve never heard of time frames like this before.  Weird.

We had been planning on all going to La Cima for Pasta Night tonight but Liesl wasn’t in the best mood after having spent so long at the house and she needed to go home and start working towards going to bed.  So I took the girls home, dropped them off, changed and drove over to the club.

It ended up being quite a party at La Cima tonight.  I was expecting to meet up with Brian and Donnie tonight but Mike, whom I haven’t seen in many months, was there as well.  We did happy hour then moved into the dining room.  We did our usual wine flights and pasta and dessert.  Roasted garlic cream sauce tonight.

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