Buying a New House
Manijeh BadiozamaniI love my house, our very first home. For a family of three – me, my husband and our 10-year old son – it is comfortable and adequate. It has four bedrooms, and is within walking distance to a good school, K through 9th grade. A neighborhood swimming pool, tennis courts, and shopping centers are all close by. It is located on a cul-de-sac so there is no through traffic. Our backyard, pie-shaped, is large with several trees, and there is a narrow creek that runs at the end of the yard.
Then why are we selling it? Because we are nuts!
The whole thing started right after Thanksgiving when a nice, vivacious real estate lady kept coming around with brochures, telling us how much our property had increased in value. She insisted on doing a market evaluation of our property. Besides, she brought us a free poinsettia plant for Christmas!
“What the heck, let her do a market analysis. We don’t plan to sell anyway, but we can find out how much our house is worth in today’s market” I said to my husband.
After the market evaluation came in, again I said to my husband, “Hey, what can we lose? Let me go around and check other houses and see how much a bigger home costs.”
He was not thrilled about the idea, but didn’t object to it either.
So the realtor – the nice lady who gave us the poinsettia – kept coming over and took me around town. I saw a lot of houses: new ones, previously-owned ones, half-finished ones under construction, the just-finished ones. It was a great educational opportunity. I learned plenty about different builders, their style and quality of work. I increased my vocabulary, learning the terminology and lingo used in building and construction. None of the houses I saw appealed to me, thus there was no point in even asking my husband to come and see any of them. However, I would report back to him my findings.
I kept asking myself, “What does this house have that my own doesn’t?”
Aha, my present house does not have a formal dining room or a basement!
With these two on top of the list, the realtor kept showing me basements and formal dining rooms! But none of the houses felt as nice or comfortable as my own house! I know, we all are partial to our home and property; but frankly, no offence to any builder, the new homes did not look as solid, or well-built.
My quest for a better-built house took us to a higher price range. Now I was looking at homes, twice the price range I had in mind.
Then, suddenly we came across a house that had been vacant for quite some time – the owners had moved to Arizona. The realtor informed me the house had been on the market for a while because the price was too high. I rather liked it and asked my husband to take a look that same evening. Frankly, he didn’t care for it much, but graciously said if I liked it we could go ahead and make an offer. We planned to do so the next day.
The following day, early morning, the realtor called to say the house had been sold the night before, full asking price!
We began our search all over again. This time, I had zeroed in on certain locations – now we had to find a house within a certain price range, and within the area of our choice. Obviously it made it much harder. I was getting discouraged, thinking I’ll never find a house that I like. Then I would remind myself the idea had started leisurely, that we are not serious about selling and moving.
Then one day in early spring, my next door neighbor and I went for our morning jog. I noticed she could hardly keep her eyes open. Come to find out, she and her husband had negotiated and bought a house the night before. The offer and counter-offer had dragged on till 3 a.m. After that she had been too excited to fall asleep. Instead of jogging, we got into her car and drove to see the house. All we talked about that morning was “houses.” I knew that they had been looking, off and on, for a bigger house. I was indeed happy for them.
That afternoon, my realtor picked me up, and on our way to see some more homes, she pointed to a house and said she was going to show it to me but the house was sold late last night. “I know, it was sold to my neighbor at 3 a.m.” I replied.
Now that my neighbor who happened to be a good friend was moving, I was determined to find a new house and move too!
Lo and behold, a month later, I came across a lovely-looking Dutch colonial style house. The owners were planning to move to Michigan – a transfer by the company. It had a formal dining room and a partially finished basement! And it was in the neighborhood we wanted. The price was a bit more than what we anticipated. And there was also a catch! If we bought the house, we could not move in for three months. They were building a new house in Michigan that was not yet finished.
“So what? We can wait three months – we have a house to sell too!” I told my husband.
By early fall, we moved into the new house. It had been a year of constant search but we finally found what we wanted, and the location was ideal.
Does anyone believe in destiny? I do.
A month after the move, my husband received a call from a company in the western part of the United States to come for an interview. They wanted him to head a newly established department. They made him an offer he could not refuse! We were out of that dream house after Thanksgiving!
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