Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The final four

This is a house in the downtown/historic part of Lewes we've been interested in. We call it the "New Victorian" since it is not an old house. Its got loads of 'new' charm and space, but has no garage or storage, and is priced well above what we want to spend.

This is another house in the downtown/historic part of Lewes we've been interested in. We call it the "Donahue house" because the owner's last name is Donahue. Its got loads of vintage charm and space, but hasn't been modernized since the 60s or 70s and would require a fair amount of work and money to update. It is unrealistically priced.

This is a brand new house in the Rehoboth Beach Yacht and Country Club community in Rehoboth Beach we've been interested in. We call it the "Basement house" since it is the only house in contention that has a basement. It has a garage, a basement for storage, and good space inside. Although its location makes it a 10 minute bike ride to the beach, it is 10-15 minutes further away from Joe's office, and it is surrounded by other new construction. It is not as over-priced as the New Victorian or the Donahue house and we've been told the seller is "very motivated".

This is the view from the backyard of a ranch-style home in Edgewater Estates (Lewes) we've been interested in. We call it the "water house" because it backs to a huge natural pond. It even has its own dock. On the back of the house is a room made up of 7 sets of sliding glass doors, to maximize the view of the water. This house is significantly less expensive than all of the above houses, although it is also the smallest of all the houses we're interested in. The house is very dated inside, but wouldn't take as much work or money to update as the Donahue house. The lot is big which would allow us to add on later if we wanted.

We have been following these 4 homes along with several others since we began house hunting in the Spring, and we've narrowed down our selection to these 4 and ranked them in the order above.

Last Tues when our VA realtor confirmed that our VA house had a renter, we made an appointment with our DE realtor for Sat. During that call our DE realtor informed us that she'd just gotten a call from another agent indicating his client was likely going to make an offer on the New Victorian. The rest of the week we waited to hear that the offer had come in. When we met up with her on Sat she said the offer had not yet come in, but that the agent confirmed the offer was coming on Sat.

We did not want to compete with the other buyer (which gives the seller the upper hand) nor did we want to move forward with our 2nd choice until we knew the disposition of the house, so we decided to keep on waiting. Mon we learned that the offer was received and that the seller countered it with a price less than the asking price but higher than the offer price. It sounded like it was going to be a 'done deal', so on Tues we wrote up 3 offers, at significantly lower prices, for the Donahue house, the Basement house, and the water house. Our realtor presented the offer to the Donahue house's agent on Tues, and today the agent presented the offer to the seller. We continued to wait.

Meanwhile, our DE realtor called me back to say that the deal on the New Victorian was not 'done' yet. Apparently the buyer is taking their time considering the counter offer, so it is not yet sold. However, it is now out of contention for us, since our offer would have been lower than the one now under debate.

Our DE realtor called again this afternoon to tell me that the owner of the Donahue house wants more time to consider our offer. She wants to talk to her children and consult her accountant. Our realtor said it would likely be Fri before we hear back on it. More waiting. But far from being daunted, Joe & I were excited that she is taking the time to give full consideration to our low offer!

Our offer was not a random one. We took into account the 'sold price' for the only two comparable, nearby houses that have sold in the last 7 months. We also factored in the amount of work and cost required to update the house, as well as our budget.

If Mrs. Donahue accepts our offer we will have truly gotten a 'deal', and we will do again what we have done before: live in a house that is a work-in-progress. But it will be worth it because we love the location, the vintage charm, and amount of space. But if Mrs. Donahue does not accept our offer, we won't be heartbroken. We'll simply move onto the Basement house which is move-in ready, and if necessary, the water house which could be a spectacular property due to its water access and view.

Although we don't yet know where we'll be living in 2 months, we're actually in a very good position because we have 3 houses in which we believe we can be happy living and on which we can get a good deal. Stay tuned...

Drag Queen name of the day: Eileen Over

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