January 19, 2011: The Offer Is In

The first thing that happened today, after getting into the office in Las Colinas, was that we got the news from our bank in New York that our loan was approved and we now have everything that we need in order to be able to put in an offer on the house next door that we are interested in picking up as an investment property.  It has been two days of continuous work trying to get that all lined up but we appear to finally have all of our ducks in a row so that we can now attempt to put in an offer today.

This morning Dominica has started doing “school” with Liesl.  We are attempting to home school our little girl and we are trying to get started with it.  She is definitely at the age where she can be doing some structured learning activities every day.  So yesterday Dominica went out shopping and stocked up on “school supplies” for Liesl.  Dominica has some curriculum books for pre-“pre-schoolers” that start at around age two so she is using those to come up with a learning path for Liesl.

Today Liesl was working on two different projects.  The first is a sorting task where she takes lots of brightly coloured little pom-poms and has to sort them into colour-matched plastic containers.  She thought that that was very cool.  To a lesser degree she also enjoyed stringing beads.  I’m not sure how the beads are done or what the educational goal is with those, Dominica is writing about this in her own blog as well.

At lunch I drove back home so that Dominica and I could discuss the house and the offer that we want to put in on it.  Dominica heated up leftovers from dinner last night for us to eat and Liesl showed me how she could sort pom-poms. She is already very good at it and knows exactly what to do.

We got a chance to discuss the house next door situation and, with all of the relevant information now available, we made our decision and called our real estate agent in order to put in our initial offer on the house.  How exciting.  The offer is “in” to our agent but won’t actually make it to the sellers until tomorrow.  As we said before, everything takes a really, really long time in Texas.  If this was New York the whole process would be done by mid-afternoon.  Here in Texas the seller doesn’t even know that we’ve been working on this for several days and have put in an offer until tomorrow.  Such a bizarre way to do things.

Dominica finally got back into blogging today.  It has been about two years since she last blogged.  Maybe having another little one on the way made her think more about it or maybe it is because Liesl is starting her homeschooling now.

There are more people looking at the house next door today.  That’s not good.  There has been a pickup of traffic over there.  We get really nervous about this as we are not confident that our agent communicates effectively with the bank and that the bank might take another offer not even knowing that we had put one in earlier.  I absolutely hate the lack of communications that goes on here compared to back home in New York.  Everyone would have already spoken and everyone would be on the same page.

Doing real estate in Texas reminds me of reading books about the seventeenth century when ships would set sail from a port and until arriving in the next port would have no access to news, updates, mail, etc.  So all kinds of bad things could happen.  Like the ship’s orders could change, the alliances between the ship’s parent nation and other nations could change, the captain could be fired, and on and on.  A sailor might be attacked by a ship that they think is from a friendly nation but that ship hasn’t been to port as recently and things that they are from a waring nation.  All because they are waiting for the news to sync up.

That’s what is going on here.  We’ve put in an offer but someone putting in an offer after us could, in theory, have the offer get put in, negotiated and accepted all before the seller even finds out that we had put in an earlier offer.  It is seriously frustrating to even think about.

Tonight is pasta night at La Cima.  Dominica and Liesl were all set to go with us but Liesl took her nap several hours later than usual so that might cause problems.  We are hoping that they can still make it – possibly just for a shorter period of time.  They might be able to show up, eat and run which actually is easier to do when you have Liesl than needing to stay for an extended period of time where she gets restless.

I uploaded a number of pictures that Dominica took on her DroidX of Liesl doing her first day of school.  You can check them out on Flickr.  I also uploaded two very short videos that I took of Liesl using my iPod.  I bought a new app yesterday called “8mm Camera” that makes the iPod take videos in an 8mm film style.  It is cute.  It has filters for things like 20s and 70s style and does a pretty good job of making things actually look like old home movies, I think.  It’s cute.

Just before I was going to leave work to go to the club Dominica pinged me to tell me that the paperwork for the offer on the house was done.  So I ran over to the real estate brokerage as quickly as I could, signed all of the papers and we got them submitted.  Now we just wait.

Then it was off to the club.  Watson beat me there but only by a minute.  We were there for probably half of an hour before Tara, Souder and Jen joined us.  Then Grey just a little bit later and Dominica and Liesl joined us once we had already ordered food – which works out pretty well as it means that Liesl has to sit still for a much shorter period of time.

We had a really nice time at dinner.  Then we went home and Liesl could not fall asleep.  Dominica and I were very tired and just waiting for Liesl to get to a point where we could put her to bed so that we could go to bed.

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