4/9/09

Meant to be

Thanks for all the congratulations on our simultaneous house selling/purchasing! It looks like we are proceeding along in both buying our house in VA and selling our house here in CA. What a roller coaster! What amazing LUCK! Am I really this lucky?!?! I couldn't have planned it better if I tried!

Have I used up my daily allotment of exclamation points?!?!

!!!!!!!!!

The way it all went down is enough to make me say it was "meant to be" and I'm not a "meant to be" type of person. I'm not religious or particularly superstitious and I tend to chalk up strangely perfect events to the random chance of a kooky universe.

But, seriously. This was all MEANT TO BE.

We've been watching the house listings in VA since we went out to visit over the holidays. We had sized up the neighborhoods, schools, kiddie attractions and knew the general areas we wanted to be in. CG had spent a day with our realtor out there every time he's flown out for meetings and saw tons of houses that were okay but just not quite right for one reason or another: too expensive, too big, too small, or too much work to make it "ours". CG asked me if I would consider making an offer on a house that we hadn't seen. I said "No way." MAYBE if he had seen it. But I was convinced we were going to have to just move there and rent for awhile while we found our house.

I should also mention that we were a little nervous to be working with our realtor since she lives and works a little far from the town we decided we wanted to move to. We worried she wouldn't have the local connections you sometimes need to make house purchases happen. But we liked her personally and we knew from buying our CA house with a GREAT realtor, that liking, respecting and trusting your agent are extremely important.

It was late Thursday when we were emailed the listing for this house. It was lovely, the right size, in the right neighborhood AND it seemed underpriced compared to other things we'd seen. It looked too good to be true. So we emailed our agent to see what was wrong with it. She told us that the seller's agent's office was right down the street from her office and she would try to get in to see it before anyone else. Which she did. And she confirmed that this was the perfect house for us, in great shape, on an awesome cul de sac. "One in a million and definitely underpriced", she said, and she's not prone to hyperbole. When touring it, she told the sellers (who have a three year old girl and a 4 week old baby!) about us and they said we'd fit right in with the other young families on the block.

We slept on it. And dreamed about it. And asked her to go back and check on it again.

Luckily for us, our agent knew everyone in the seller's agent's office and is highly regarded there (apparently, they've tried to hire her away from her company for years), so she had inside information about everything that was going down with this house. She told us that there was another serious contender, a couple that had seen it twice already and was writing an offer. She asked us to get someone, anyone, to come and see it for us so we could say someone other than our agent had seen it.

So we called my sister-in-law who has some friends who grew up in VA. Many phone calls later (OMG are you bored with this story yet??!?!) we got the husband of the friend of a friend of my sister-in-law to take time out of his Sunday to spend an hour going through the house with our agent taking pictures and trying to find things wrong with it. (My favorite picture shows a dead bug he found on the floor in a corner!) The man has never met us or even my sister in law and he did this for us! How crazy is that?

We decided we had to make an offer and got our agent to draw up the paperwork which we hurriedly filled out Monday morning. We wrote a glowing letter about why we thought this was the perfect house for us, included it with our offer and sent it off with fingers and toes crossed.

We got the call on Tuesday that they accepted our offer.

Meanwhile.....

We had started to get very discouraged about ever selling our house here in CA. Our neighborhood is a hodgepodge of people who've been here forever and haven't touched their houses in 60 years, people who've been here for awhile and don't care about their house/yard because they're too busy working their asses off or selling crystal meth and those of us who bought in the last 5 years because it was the only neighborhood we could afford and have totally maxed out the potential of our little houses. Unfortunately, it has been especially hard hit by foreclosures. So other houses in our neighborhood have been on the market for substantially less than our original asking price. And we had had lots of compliments but NO serious inquiries in the first two weeks of listing it. We decided to lower our asking price substantially to see if we could drum up some interest and get this thing sold before Lima Bean arrives.

Since open houses traditionally take place during Zoe's EXACT naptime (2-4), we decided to take some day trips to get away from the house in the morning (to keep the house clean!) and have her nap in the car on the way home. Hence Disneyland on Saturday. And we were thinking about the beach on Sunday but were so exhausted from Disneyland that we decided to take up our neighbors on their sweet offer to nap Zoe over at their house during Sunday's open house.

This turned out to be fateful!

We spent Sunday morning at home, cleaned up the house and headed over to our neighbors with the pack n play for Zoe's nap. Fifteen minutes before the open house was about to start, we got a call that our agent was throwing up and would have to cancel the open house because she couldn't find anyone to take it for her at this late notice. Since we just happened to be next door and NOT at the beach, CG was able to turn around and head back to host the open house.

The first person who came to the open house works at the same institution as CG and the two of them hit it off as CG took him around and showed him all the hidden (GEEKY) details of the work he's done to it over the last three years (you know, all that sunk time and cost and energy that you don't necessarily see but do appreciate once you actually live in a house. And are a GEEK science-type.).

The guy left the open house, sat in his car, called his agent and drew up the contract over the phone. For our asking price. (Our new, substantially lower, asking price but STILL! Our asking price! With our requested time-line!).

So many little things lined up in unexpected ways (our far-away realtor having ALL the right connections after all, the friend of a friend of a sister-in-law being a good Samaritan for people he's never met, the randomness of us actually being around and able to do the open house, the workplace connection that made CG the PERFECT person to hawk our house to our eventual buyer. EVERYTHING.)

It was truly MEANT TO BE.

(See, I did run out of exclamation points after all.)

4 comments:

Hillary said...

That is so cool. I love that someone is going to live in your old house, which looks so lovely, who will really appreciate the work you guys did.

Kathleen said...

MEANT TO BE!!!! You deserved this, honey! Hallelujah! what a great story!!

Astarte said...

I am SO happy for you!!! This is a wonderful story. I totally believe in fate. The last time we sold a house, the buyers arrived in the middle of a tropical storm, there was no power, and we had no idea they were coming. Patrick was running around with no pants on, I had paint in my hair, and the dogs were wet. The place was a MESS. It was meant to be. I'm so glad it's working out for you!!

bat7mess said...

Wow! Congratulations! Truly meant to be :)

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