September 24, 2010: No Deal

I considered going into the office at one thirty this morning as there was just so much to be done and no time during the day to do it.  Since I was wide awake and unable to get back to sleep it almost made sense.  But eventually I managed to fall back asleep so it was probably best that I did not go into the office that early.  We have to drive to Houston tonight so getting up crazy early would not be the best.

Today was, as expected, completely crazy at work.  I was just running from one thing to another as fast as I could.  It was just as bad as yesterday.  It wore me out quickly.

For lunch today, Dominica sent me to McDonald’s to deliver food to her and Liesl.  It was a fast lunch for me.  Just dropped it off, ate and ran back to the office.  What a week it has been.

We finally heard back from the house seller’s broker today.  They pretty much told us that they “deserved” the asking price for the house and that its condition or market value were not factors.  They came back with an insulting counter offer of just $100 off of the stated price that we got when they showed us the house the first time.

Our agent let them have it, which we thought was very entertaining.  She explained to them that the floors weren’t even and sloped all over the place (which is very true, we were discussing ways to use furniture and wall hangings to pull focus away from the floors falling away at the sides of the house while we were there) and that there were design issues, crooked pillars, etc. and other issues that, while the house is very nice, keeps it from demanding a completely premium price like they are asking.  Maybe our offer was a little low, but you bargain, that’s how it works.

So we decided that we aren’t even going to make another offer on the house.  They aren’t interested in working with us so that is that.  We knew that this was the sellers first house as well as his first flip so he is likely emotionally invested n the house and doesn’t think of it as an investment but is thinking of it as his time and craftsmanship.  But a house is an investment vehicle and we aren’t willing to lose money or take on extra risk just because he feels that he did an amazing job updating the house or overextended himself.

He has already had two buyers fall through due to an inability to secure financing.  We are very secure with our financing and the bank told the agent to let us bid anything we wanted – no issues there.  So this guy just walked away from basically a sure sale.  Very foolish in our book.  But whatever.  You can’t get emotional about a house.  That was actually a risk for us with this house because it was much nicer than the others that we were considering and that is dangerous for us because we move so often.

I managed to escape work actually at a pretty good time.  At six I ran home, dropped off the Mazda, picked up the family and we drove down to look at one of the houses again so that we would have it fresh in our minds to discuss on the drive down to Houston.

We went through the small house, the one directly next door to the one that we stopped bidding on today, that is also next door to our realtor.  We went through it very thoroughly considering how we could use it, what it would cost and we could set it up, etc.  We also found out that very likely the seller would be willing to push off the closing quite some time as long as the deal was in hand so that she could pursue another house.  That makes a big difference to us.  A difference of maybe two or three thousand dollars.  And that is thousands of dollars today… not someday down the road.  Our closing could likely be in December rather than October.  That is a big, big deal for us as we cannot get our of our lease until the first of March.

After looking at the house as thoroughly as we could and discussing as many options and needs as possible, we hit the road down to Houston.  I stopped at Jack in the Box and got myself dinner as Dominica had had herself a snack just before we left.  The traffic was really heavy this evening.  It took longer than normal to make the drive.  The entire highway was busy; it never lightened up for the whole drive.

We stopped at Buc-ee’s to use the restroom and to grab some snacks.  Then went on down to Houston.

It was almost exactly midnight when we arrived at the Grices’.  Straight off to bed for us.  We are all very tired – except for Liesl who napped all afternoon and then rested in the car on the way.  She was ready to party as soon as we got out of the car.

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