"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

Hello Friends!

Friends, Romans, countrymen...y'all. Foodies, gardeners, artists and collectors - let's gather together to share and possibly learn a thing or two in the mix.

Donna Baker

Monday, August 24, 2015

I Bought A House


I only wish it was this English thatched house, but it isn't.  I, who know little to nothing about business, real estate, taxes, legal proceedings and paperwork, etc., went to an open house yesterday and with much gnashing of teeth, bought a house.  Let me explain.

This is not something I would ever do.  But, never say never.  We are in the process of selling our city house.  Let me add here that the moving process and packing and sale, sucks.  I rarely ever move and in fact, we've lived at the farm for 33 years.  Yet, we needed another house in the city.  My children and grandchildren live there, and my husband works there 3 days a week.  First, my daughter-in-law suggested we go to an open house on Saturday.  I loved it.  I went home and couldn't quit thinking about it.  Everyone, except my husband, who said it'll still be there (he's old school and doesn't know how houses sell in that part of the city), said if you want it you'd better make an offer or you'll lose it.  Where it could take a year or two to sell the farm someday, city houses go fast.  

So I took my daughter and her babies back Sunday to look at it.  Many lookers were there.  We went back out to the truck and I agonized over whether I should put in an offer or not.  I thought I would have a panic attack, or worse. I am the type of person to overthink everything, have to research and weigh things carefully. I finally got up the nerve, texted my husband that I was going to put in an offer on a house and meekly knocked on the door, ready to flee at any moment.  I am a spineless wuss I'll admit.

I took the seller aside and told her I'd like to make an offer.  We went into her office and I told her I would offer full price and asked for a floor allowance.  I don't do carpet; have to have hardwood floors throughout.  She agreed and she asked me to read contract first (it was legaleze and my brain was foggy and eyes glazed over).  She came back in and we proceeded.  Her husband called her out.  Seems the wife of another looker told her husband what was happening and they quickly wanted to make an offer.  The seller then told me the other people offered full ask with no allowances.  What could I do? she asked.  I had to up my offer with no allowances, but told them that was all I could do.  The other man that was making an offer, told them he'd beat whatever my offer was.

I thought I would die.  I, who know nothing of such proceedings and am a milktoast pushover, waited for their reply.  They were looking at me, trying to decide what to do for a long few minutes.  Then, the seller's husband said he didn't want to get into this bidding war, and was going to go with me. 

I died.  But, I got through it, though didn't sleep at all last night and am still running on adrenaline.  It nearly slipped away from me and I got it by the skin of my teeth, within seconds really.  They've already had four more offers they had to turn down.  The man that lost out was devastated and wouldn't leave.  Kept wanting to up the anty.

So, my husband didn't kill me.  We've been at the bank this morning filling out forms.  They want copies of everything financial and contractual etc.  Buying a house in the US is crazy, with all the inspections, closing companies, mortgage companies, inspectors and appraisers, etc.  Is it so complicated in other countries?  

I love English thatched cottages which mine is definitely not.  But, I loved the house and felt it was the one.  What I didn't tell you is that it was the first one I've looked at which is why my husband was so opposed.  "You can't take the first house you look at!" he said.  I know.  It is weird, but I just knew it was the one and was afraid of losing it and I just about did. 

39 comments:

  1. Golly you are a brave one. Full marks to you.

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    1. Brave or foolish, I'm still pondering that. Here they call it buyers remorse, but thankfully, they say it is common.

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  2. Who says you cannot buy the first house you view?! Is that the house? (I am guessing not). If you love the house, the just buy it like you did! You will LOVE it, and continue to love it, I am sure.

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    1. No Tom, I just love those British thatched cottages and googled that one. It just felt right - felt like home.

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  3. You've got your BIG Girl's Blouse on Donna, It's an un-nerving process, but I'm happy you were able to buy the house in the end.
    I've seen many houses I could buy at first glance...lol.
    ~Jo

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    1. Jo, it's funny you said that, because I was frantic trying to decide whether to go back in or not and my sister said on the phone, "put your big girl panties on and go back in there before it's gone."

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  4. It will be OK. Thirty years ago we went looking for a house. On the way down the road my sister's little Yorkie yapped like a fool. At the house he flew straight out of the car and ran to the door. My sister said "This must be the one." Inside the house was was a thirty by fifty foot room, used for lay ministry. Totally empty. Obviously the new studio. I turned to the seller and said "I want to buy your house." The real estate agent went crazy. It was the only room I looked at. I bought it. It was the first house we looked at. It's been the perfect house. Yours will be, too.

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    1. Joanne, that makes me feel better. I am still reeling from it all. So not like me to do something like that.

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  5. Follow your heart, it usually turns out great. We did 42 years ago and love it still.

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    1. I did Doc, but I think it took a few years off my life trying to decide to or not. I mean, I would die if my husband were to go buy a house without me seeing it first.

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  6. The house buying system in the U.S. sounds very complicated - you were very brave to stick to your guns - I hope everything goes smoothly for you - and that the farm sells quickly

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    1. I heard once that in Mexico or South America, you just pay with cash and that's it. Here, it takes 6 weeks for all the loan stuff to go through. One issue is that we are not selling the farm, just the house in the city. The new one replaces that one, thus having to get a mortgage for the new one. It must be the legal system that has made it all so difficult. Thank you for your kind words.

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  7. Donna - wow!!! Huge congrats to you and there is something to be said about following one's heart and soul in such matters - may you live in this new abode with great love xoxo

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    1. Oh Amanda, thank you. I really want to be with my kids and grand kids more and my husband doesn't want to sell the farm. So, I'll just be living much more often in the city.

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  8. Donna, I am so, so happy for you and yours to have been able to find and buy this house.

    Of course, I am curious as anything to see some photographs and to learn more. Yet that will wait as you celebrate this transition.

    (I've more than a casual interest in this post, as I am in some sort of early stage of considering a change of locale.)

    Bravo. xo

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    1. Thank you Frances. I will post some pictures asap. Selling and buying at the same time and moving and packing too is stressful, to say the least. Plus, I am trying to do it all as much as possible since my husband has been so sick. I will survive it though, just want it to go fast.

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  9. When you've driven by a place that calls your heart every day on the way to work, to church, to town---imagining the lovely life those lucky people must be living, and the parties they must have in that garden, the plants they must have in that big glassed room on the end, the snoozes in the shade of that wonderful back yard, the little swing you could hang from that biggest tree---when the FOR SALE sign appears like a magical mushroom one afternoon when you're driving home---you call the number, and unable to stand the waiting, you dash up that sweet brick path through the flowers and KNOCK. abandoning two dozen eggs, the milk, and a gallon of ice cream to the Summer heat oi the car.

    Nothing like sealing the deal, floating home on a cushion of DONE, then celebrating the deed with a melted vanilla Sealtest milkshake toast all round..

    Congratulations!! Pictures soon?

    r

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    1. Just as soon as I can Rachel. I'm trying to take it all one day at a time. My old brain can't process much more than that. Sign this, go t the bank, look for papers, pack, just one step at a time.

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  10. WOWOWOW and I am so happy for you and your chutzpah.
    You know what..often..my clients ended up uying the first home I showed them:)
    Yet..we had to look at more..and that's fine:)
    I think you have to be in love w/ a house.
    It's a total affair of the heart for me.
    When I had "investment" clients..it was not the same feeling at all.
    I want to walk in and get goosebumps and FEEL something overwhelming.
    You did and you did it..
    Look..someone else wanted to offer more!

    THings changed in the course of my almost 30 yrs as a realtor..

    I did fall in love w/ some I showed..waterfronts..and would brig Jacques and he would say..:"too much work"..I live in an old town..older homes..except some recent ones..

    He is a new home man.
    Renovated one in FL..and he did a super job.
    Jacques could build anything when he was younger..and worked hard on all our homes..

    but that time has gone..
    I hope to be in this one..until it is no longer possible..because I love the light..the town..and most especially my neigbors..(Family)..
    Moving is a PAIN.. we had a truck for 3 weekends moving just boxes and things..then a full blown moving truck..I have never had a packer nor a mover..except once ..a mover..all other moves were family.

    And yes here also..lots of red tape..actually your offer and sale went quickly..usually..there are written offers..counter proposals..etc.. many conditions..building inspection..fireplace.. asbestos..pyrite..water potatbility..conformity of certificates of location..septic verifications..

    septic installation conformities etc..financing.. blablabla....

    It can take a long time to finalize.

    Very excited for you!!
    Very.

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    1. Oh Monique, I wish I would have had you on my speed dial. The owners were selling it themselves and have done it many times before so knew what they were doing. In the US, the mortgage and abstract companies do most of the work, though we were looking high and low for paperwork yesterday. I still have a list of items to come up with. My favorite thing is the big back covered porch and stairs leading down to a small dock over a little lake. I'm an outdoors person. She has planted flowers everywhere. Some were even from her mother's and grandmother's gardens. The house is about 15 years old and I don't have to do anything, though I'd like to do some painting indoors (not my color) and the floors. It really is just a jewel box. Thank you my sweet Monique.

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    2. You just got me even more on lake:)
      I had the opportunity to go on my son-in-lasw sailboat the last 2 nights.
      ZEN.
      ZEN.
      You will be in 7th heaven..
      and well deserved.

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    3. Just read below..I could work in an ER room too.. but w/ life my middle name is what if.

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  11. How exciting Donna …… you must be so pleased that you got it !!! Try to just enjoy your decision …… it was meant to be !! XXXX

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    1. I am trying to Jacqueline. Things like this are just hard for me; anxiety nut that I am. I do love it though. Hope to live there for the rest of my life.

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  12. Dear Donna a song came to mind when I read your post..."I am Woman- hear me roar." Maybe it is only a meow but hooray for bravery. Hope hubby is doing better. Hugs

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    1. Thank you Debbie. It was a meow; fearful weenie that I am in matters like this. I could work in an ER room as calm as could be, but get me to do things like this and I cave. Hubby is better day by day. Still weak and awaiting more results, I am trying to pack up the one house we are selling and arrange for moving and storage so he won't have to do anything. Can't even begin planning moving to the new house. Just taking it day by day.

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  13. Donna, that was a great story! You did it. I too am a wimp when it comes to negotiating, but IF it is something you really really want, the backbone is mightily strengthened. That man was really stubborn and used to getting his own way, it seems. Wow, I can't wait to see pictures of your new house, you must be on cloud nine. I am very thrilled for you, how exciting!

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    1. Thank you Jeri. I will post pics. I'm on cloud 9, but need to come down and come through the fog. Selling and buying at the same time, plus packing and all the other stuff doesn't leave time for much else, and I'm used to my own pace. This is just not like me, but hopefully I'll get by. I am such a worrier; what if the other house falls through and on and on. It is a buzzkill. I think my husband is coming around though, so that will help.

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  14. Hi Donna,
    I meant to comment on your cautionary tale from Monday but BlogSpot.com just won't respond...anyway, I can relate to your story as my husband has had some scary things happen due to infection. And now, today, I finally got in and find that you've purchased a house!
    Fast-moving!!!
    I've been looking for a house all summer and it isn't "the right one". Nothing makes my heart sing! :(
    So glad you got "the one"!

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    1. He's better each day Becky. Thank you. I guess the saying about if it doesn't kill you... I thought I was the same - would never find the one I wanted as just too picky, like I don't like garage doors in front of the house and can't stand wall to wall carpet and lots of burgundy red rooms which I can't stand, but you just have to accept that there will be things you don't like. There was just so much I loved and to tell the truth, knew it would be hard to beat. And, I don't know why, but I don't enjoy looking at houses so this was a win win.

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  15. I'm thrilled that you've found your house - and I'm sure hubby will love it too!
    Now I read it's on a lake and you have water access - how on earth did you manage that, and in a 'city' no less? Sounds magical - a covered porch (no mozzzies!) and the owner's family passalong flowers to boot!!!
    So happy for you my dear and long to see some pix when you can.

    Good luck, hope all goes spiffingly with the closing etc. and you two will live there happily ever after.
    Mary

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    1. Mary, that is so sweet and I thank you. Yes, it backs up to a lake. Eight houses surround it. There is a small deck over the lake and my grand kids are going to have a ball fishing and watching the turtles and water fowl. Plus, there is a separate koi pond. I just love it.

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  17. Yes..its that crazy in my country too..I know it because I did buy a house about a month ago.And .Now I get it..now I know why you feel like 100...

    Good luck..when are you moving..?

    We end of October..we will survive my dear xoxo

    my comments are a bit wild today..one disappeared...

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    1. Oh thank you Dutchess. You know what I am going through. I can't multi-task like I used to and can hardly wait for it all to be through. And, I have found that I do not like packing. We sell one house September 15th and buy the new one October 1. One day at a time is what I am operating on now.

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  18. DONNA! YOU DID IT! Congratulations! Oh, to have a cottage as that one in the photo! We bought our first house 18 years ago, and we are still in it. We made it to look as much like this cottage as we possibly could, and we couldn't be any happier. I wish you FUN FUN FUN to make this purchase your home. Thanks for visiting!

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    1. Thank you Anita. I may have lawn chairs for furniture for a while until I can save up for some new furniture. My husband already said he's not buying new furniture. It is funny how your old furniture doesn't go with a new house. It is already 'home'. I could feel it - the reason I bought it.

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    1. Thinking of you too Monique. This whole moving process is, well, nearly impossible for me. Am trying to do everything so my husband doesn't have to. I can't hardly think straight and don't know what they are all talking about half of the time. Muddling through though a day at a time. Wish it were easier to move.

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