This is going to be a long one… and somewhat jumbled as thats all my brain is able to come up with this morning….
Charles and I have been looking at house listings somewhat seriously for six months and aggressively for the last two. It has been a frustrating process as the market is at an all time low for inventory. With few listings and a decent number of buyers and builders its been very competitive. We have put in 3 offers, and have been outbid on all of them. I suppose the old adage is true – if it doesn’t work out, it wasn’t meant to be. A home was listed at 11:59 Wednesday night that met all of our criteria, and was a better deal than any of the three before it. By 7 AM, our agent had drafted an offer, and we got it over to the seller by 7:30.
Now keep in mind that just because we were first, does not stop other offers from coming in the door. By noon there were 4 more on the table from other buyers/builders. Also remember, the house has been listed for 12 hours at this point and neither Charles or I have ever laid eyes on it. Our realtor suggested we get creative with our offer in order to give it a competitive edge. Amongst other things, we cut our due diligence down to five days and closing down to two weeks. Hoping the aggressive timeline would sway the seller in our favor. The gamble worked out and our offer was accepted!
You might be wondering WHY we would ever aggressively go after a house we have never seen. Well, perhaps this is a good time to review our home criteria. Listed below…
- Brookhaven-Ashford Park Neighborhood
- Home above the grade
- Level lot
- priced to teardown
- walkable to restaurants and shops
Notice there was nothing in there about bedrooms, bathrooms, or square-feet. That is mainly because we are not planning on living in the house we buy. Brookhaven is well known for its post-war 1950’s homes and their opportunity for renovations or rebuilds. There is not a street in Ashford Park that does not have 3 or 4 new builds going on at any point in time. And Charles and I are joining in on the fun. We will be knocking down the current home and rebuilding a new one in its place. Google Maps and listing pictures helped us confirm that this lot met our criteria without going onsite.
At 10:00 on Thursday night, we were informed that the seller had accepted our offer, and the realtor had given us a huge list of to-do’s for our due diligence. Most importantly, we needed to go see the house. But there were other critical things like getting the land officially surveyed by a civil engineer, potentially getting an inspection, and have the builder check out the property to help us determine if we would be keeping the current foundation or if we would be starting from scratch, etc.
We scheduled an appointment with our builder for Friday at 1:00 and met him on the property to get his feedback, and create some of our own. When we pulled up, the surveyor I begged to help us out was already there checking out the lot, and complaining his report. With the land surveyed, and the builders approval, Charles and I finally slowed down enough to realize that WE needed to make OUR choice. This is where everything came to a halt…. we have to decided is this where we want to build our dream home?! And that brings you up to where we sit this morning….
We are still debating if this is the perfect spot to build our home. Is the lot big enough? Who are the neighbors? Is the street right for us? Just a few of the questions swirling around in our heads. And we only have until Tuesday to figure it out. Knowing that, we are headed back over to the home this morning to see what a typical spring day looks like on Bamby Lane. We plan to talk to some neighbors, walk up and down the street, and get a better feel for the area. Hopefully what we learn will push us in one way or another.
We will keep you updated. At this point, we can either back out and keep looking, or we can move forward and close on 3/21! Either way, I have a meeting with the builder, architect, and interior designer on Wednesday to begin design and concept for our dream home. That is where the true fun begins – and I am so excited to sit down with them and see them take my ideas, hopes and dreams for our home and turn them into a physical plan. Charles will unfortunately miss out on the fun as he is headed to NY and CA this week (and every week in March).