So a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…just this past March, in Texas, I mean. I wrote a post about how we were house hunting. We found a house that we loved at the time and we were very disappointed when everything fell through. About a week after I posted that we found ANOTHER house that we kinda, sorta, liked. It had everything we needed, but neither me nor Jeremy got the greatest vibe from it. And maybe it’s silly to talk about “vibes” when you’re on a time schedule to buy a house and there’s very few houses on the market, but that’s just how I operate. And then I thought I was being dumb about the whole vibe thing so we decided to put an offer on the so-so house. But it sold before we could even blink.
And a part of me wonders if whoever bought that house really LIKED the house or were they just desperate to find a decent house in a horrible housing market?
That was almost us.
Thank God that wasn’t us.
Because a few days later a house came on the market that was just a smidge over our budget. I know, I know. Rule number one of house hunting is never go over your budget. But I totally fell in love with it. There were prospective buyers coming out of the house as we were going in. And there were two more families coming in to see the house as we were leaving. That alone made me feel hopeless about it. It’s one thing to hear that there are way more buyers than sellers at the moment. It’s another to run into a million buyers as you’re looking at the house you’re in love with.
The house wasn’t perfect though. It LOOKED perfect from the pictures. But once we got inside, we realized it needed a lot more cosmetic work than we were expecting. I mean, we knew from the pictures that we weren’t crazy about the wall colors.
(Brown, brown everywhere.)
(Really didn’t care for the pea green color in the kitchen.)
(Or the bold pink and blue bedrooms.)
So we knew all of the walls would need to be re-painted. But what we weren’t expecting was the additional cosmetic work. There were areas of the house where someone clearly drew on the walls, on the baseboards, doors, doorframes, etc. And we knew something would have to be done about that.
(And the blinds definitely needed to go.)
We just had to decide if we loved the house enough to do the work.
We went back and forth on it. Neither of us was crazy about the amount of work it would take, but we loved its potential. And we knew that finding another amazing house in this city, in this school district, and very close to our budget would probably not happen in the current housing market.
So we immediately put in an offer for full asking price. Because there was no time to sleep on it or see the house again (losing out on the “so-so” house made us realize that) and there was no room in a seller’s market for negotiations.
We really didn’t sleep that night. The next day we didn’t hear anything back from our realtor until around 6pm.
“The sellers have received multiple offers on the house. Everyone’s best and final offer is due at 8pm tonight.”
Well that’s it, I thought. It’s over.
We knew we really couldn’t offer any more than full asking price. We were already over our budget. So we did the one thing that we always heard and read about people doing, not quite knowing if it would actually work — we wrote them a letter.
Well, Jeremy wrote them a letter.
He wrote a BEAUTIFUL letter. He shared with the sellers who we are and how much we loved their house. He told them all about us, the kids, and what we wanted for the kids. He expressed how much owning the house meant to us as a family. It was a perfect letter and I couldn’t be more proud of Jeremy for writing for it. Especially since he was under such a tight time constraint.
So we sent in the letter and we waited. Probably the longest wait of my life. We were so nervous. Around 10pm or 11pm that night, we figured they weren’t going to let us know that night and we were about to head to bed when we got a text message. It was from our realtor — and it said that we got the house.
WE GOT THE HOUSE!
I couldn’t believe it. Out of all the offers they had, the sellers picked US. I still can’t believe it. I like to think that the letter had a huge impact on us getting the house. I know that the sellers were moving because they’re a growing family who needed more space. And I know Jeremy and I could definitely relate to that. So it was nice to be able to express that desire in our letter.
To anyone out there who’s currently house hunting…if you come across a house that you love, but has multiple offers, definitely try writing a letter.
After a month of holding our breath that the deal wouldn’t fall through, we were finally able to call ourselves homeowners.
“Um, where’s my room again?”
(You can see on the left where someone drew on the wall.)
But they were over the moon with excitement. We all were.
Stay tuned for the next post to see more of our little cosmetic renovation!