Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Hunting Houses: The Day I Thought The Deal Was Dead

To say that the sellers in our house buying experience were accomodating would be a far stretch.  You would think with a house that was on the market 90+ days and already had one deal fall through, that the sellers would be very eager to close a deal.  Especially since they were currently living in another state which meant they were paying for a mortgage and potentially rent or another mortgage.

There were 3 issues that arose after the inspection and from reading documentation that was provided by the sellers.

(one of the first companies we will be contacting once we get the keys will be tree trimmers)

1. Age of the Roof
In the seller's disclosure, they listed the roof's age as 1-3 years.  We thought that was great, indicating that we shouldn't have to replace it in the near future.  After the inspection, our inspector let us know that the roof was indeed 14 years old with a few sections that looked to have been replaced since the house was built.  Although it's mainly the original roof, the inspector said that it was in good shape and should hold up for a while.

2. Foundation Warranty
In the seller's disclosure, they listed that foundation repair had been completed by the original owners and that there was a 20 year warranty on it.  After reading the warranty documents the seller was "shocked" to learn that the warranty only covered adjustment of the piers AND that they would have had to pay for a transfer of warranty 30 days after they closed (back in 2011) in order for the ability to transfer the warranty to us now.   I mean really people.  It's clear as day in the 5 page document (not even a long read) that you provided to us, do you just not read when you're making a huge purchase like a house??

3. No Above Ground Pools
After reading the HOA documentation (all 60+ pages of it), it clearly states that no above ground pools are allowed on any lot.  Interesting because this pool has been here since 2005 and they have never given a violation to this house because the pool can not be seen from the street (but can easily be identified on any google map).  We asked the sellers about it.  Since it was not an issue when they purchased the house they had no plans to remove it or to ask the HOA for a waiver for it.

Now the issue with the pool isn't because we want it (because we don't), it's because the title company would have to make an exception in the policy due to the violation of HOA restrictions.  Our lender would have to accept the exception in order for us to get the loan.  If our lender didn't accept the exception and asked for the pool to be removed prior to lending, and the sellers have no intention of paying for that removal that would be the end of the deal.  We wouldn't get financing and would have to start house hunting all over again after already shelling out bucks on inspections and an appraisal that would not be refunded.

Cue tears.  I thought this was it and this house would never be ours. (<-over dramatic much? why yes, this house buying experience has made me that way)

After further review, the legal team associated with our loan did determine that there would be an issue with the exception, so the pool would need to come out.  UGH!  Not exactly something that I wanted to deal with or pay for at this time (we had plans to remove it in due time once we owned the house), but I really wanted this house.  So with 7 business days until our expected closing date I was on the phone attempting to get removal estimates for that stupid pool (a pool that I had no real stats on and could only guestimate on the size).

Until...Our amazing realtor received word from the title company that they would remove the exception as long as we sign a couple of documents including an agreement to remove the pool (we would not have to bring any extra funds to closing!).  So after the roller coaster of emotions, it looked like we could finally breathe a sigh of relief...or could we?

Did you have any issues when you purchased your house?

Monday, July 15, 2013

Hunting Houses: The In Between

The period in between an accepted offer and closing is not nearly as fun as house hunting was.

Once we received the executed contract we were on the clock to get the inspection done during the 10 day option period.  Thankfully our realtor was on the ball with one of her contacts and was able to set that up right before the 4th of July holiday.  There was nothing major from the inspection which was good news, but there were lots of smaller items that we'll need to take care of soon (cracked window, pest control, fix some sprinkler heads).

Another view from the dining room

There was some back and forth with the seller on the repair amendment because we asked for repair of the A/C unit (which is working, but working like a 14 year old system).  Unfortunately, the sellers would only agree to a minimum concession for the repairs, to put in new air filters and to have the A/C serviced (but not repaired).  We're hoping that it will at least hold out until the winter months so we can get a deal when we do replace it.

A better view of the kitchen

Other than that, the loan application has been submitted and the appraisal has been ordered.  We've received the title work and HOA documents and are just waiting on the seller to provide the survey.

On the plus side, we've been able to make a couple of additional trips to see the house during this time (a great chance for me to take even more pictures like the ones in this post).  One of those trips included showing the house to my brother and his girlfriend.  They loved the house and Dennis became a little addicted with the butler's pantry.

In our free time we've been busy calling all of the companies that will need to be set up with the home purchase (utilities, security, electric, gas, our contractor, pest control, cable, etc).  It seems like that list never ends!  Although secretly, the list maker part of me is loving writing and rewriting all these to do lists and potential service company's pros and cons lists. 

If you have purchased a house did it feel like you  had a lot to get done before closing?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Hunting Houses: The Waiting Game

The wait during the house hunting process can feel so agonizingly long.  Although the below events happened within a short time period, it felt like an eternity to me.

Saturday was our first outing to see homes.  
  - All three homes that we saw were similar in layout (one that we have seen on and off the market since 2011 and really loved).
  - 2 houses were quickly ruled out, but one was a real winner.

Sunday, our realtor Iris schedules another showing.
  - This time we spend a full hour in the house to get a good second look.  
  - My parents come along so I can get their opinion on the house as well.
  - Iris provides some comps, what she feels a good offer price would be as well as rough estimates for closing costs.
  - We have some questions for the seller's agent, phone messages are left and emails are sent.
  - And we wait.

Monday, a back and forth between the agents.
  - Documents on foundation repairs may be located in the house, but the sellers are currently across the country.
  - Iris learns the reason why the last deal fell through -VA appraisal came in low.
  - We talk it through and decide to put in an offer at 89.8% of the list price (the property is overpriced as evident from the last deal falling through on appraisal and the house being on the market for 72 days in a market where nearby houses are selling in 4 and 8 days)
  - I attempt to sleep through the night without much luck

Tuesday, spend the entire day wondering if the sellers are going to come down from the list price
  - Around 8:30 pm the Sellers counter with 3 conditions and an offer at 93.3% of the list price
  - We talk the conditions over with Iris as well as financial options with our mortgage broker to determine what we might want to counter with
  - Decided to sleep on it (I doubt they're up waiting for our response at 10 pm)

Wednesday, discuss our counter offer plan one more time before school/work
  - We decide to counter at noon at 92.9% of the list price, agree to 2 of their conditions, counter on the other by asking to pay half instead of full amount, but ask for seller's concession
  - And we wait.

Thursday, still waiting on the seller's response to our counter
  - Thankfully I had a couple of big work meetings to keep my mind off of the waiting
  - Finally hear back from the sellers at 7 pm, who notify us of the lowest net amount they will take (which is 92.9%)
  - We sleep on it

  - We submit another counter which increases our offer to include the concession and still meet the sellers net amount.
  - Seller's agent comes back to say the higher amount may not work (I'm guessing based on previous appraisal).
  - We decided to do the offer at 92.9% without any seller's concessions.
  - You know the drill...more waiting

  - Sellers finally send back the signed contract
  - We've Bought A House!!

Now I'm trying to keep my excitement in check until we have the inspection and appraisal completed. I really can't believe that this all went down within a week!  I never thought that we would have a house hunter-ish experience, seeing 3 houses and putting in an offer on 1.  A part of me is sad that we didn't look at more houses, but after seeing this one we knew it was the one.

How many houses did you check out before putting in an offer?