Calm, confident and capable. These are three words anyone who knows me would tell you describe the me they know – in most situations. In the interest of full disclosure, I must confess that I am involved in the real estate industry.
When I began my hunt for a new home I was all three of those things I've described above. I was indeed calm and confident that I was fully capable of purchasing a new home sans all the distress and hoopla that can accompany such a process.
Being familiar with the Abraham Lincoln quote “He who represents himself has a fool for a client” I chose not to play the fool.
Also knowing the emotional factors that absolutely come into play during the course of a transaction, I contracted with a colleague whose reputation is impeccable, to represent me.
- I knew the general neighborhood I wanted to live in, give or take a few blocks radius
- I was fully pre-approved with letter in hand to testify to the same
- I was completely prepared to make an offer right away if I saw what I wanted and it was available, because I had researched the price points
- I had written out the precise criteria I was seeking
- I had looked at thousands of homes online first
I was good to go, right? You would have thought so. I know I certainly thought so!
One of the first new things I learned in buying my own home was that considering homes for someone else to consider buying, and considering a home for oneself do not add up to the same conclusions. Trust me on this.
We made appointments as soon as we possibly could to tour those homes that drew my attention for a second look (and were actually still on the market a day or two later!).
Funny how things look so very different in pictures than in person, isn’t it?
In spite of all the glossy well-lit pictures and virtual tours, actually walking through a house where I could open closet doors and peek into cabinets was a disparate experience.
Pictures versus seeing it with my own eyes. Just. Not. The. Same. (I know some people buy houses sight unseen. I think it isn’t for everyone, is it?)
Then we stumbled across an unplanned possibility.
This house, this glorious incredible house that didn’t quite fit the criteria so carefully written out, so it hadn't actually made it on to the “go see” list, but then a chance drive by and something caused it to stand out and arrest our attention. Compelled to stop and look “just out of curiosity” we found ourselves seized by a feeling that THIS IS THE ONE!
Okay, so the yard wasn’t what we said was wanted, but walking around it seems to be everything really needed that we didn't know was needed.
And while the interior layout isn’t at all what the criteria list described so passionately as being the absolute perfect one, still, this layout isn’t so bad, it might actually work even better!
In spite of our agent's reminders and gentle (not really so gentle) nudges, and with no reasonable explanation, we have a gut feeling that this is the one.
That’s when it hits, you know, when your heart starts beating faster, that funny tingly feeling comes over you, and you hold your breath while waiting to hear if it’s available? Will they accept the offer? Can the deal be closed and you’ll really move into this most perfect of all places you’ve seen? (so far!)
They say yes! …and then they say no!
You are left just wanting to scream! There were no other offers until your offer came in and now there are 2 or 3 other offers and all of them are better than yours for some reason, even though you offered full asking price.
Not willing to pay more than a house is actually worth, back out into the jungle we go to continue hunting. Only this time, a little more jaded, maybe a little more aggressive and definitely a little less starry-eyed.
Next house your heart beats fast for you determine you will make it yours!
The reality was very different from our fantasy. Truth was, that after two more hair raising, nail biting attempts (and being asked more than once by my esteemed colleague “are you sure you do this for a living?”) we finally, joyfully discovered the most truly perfect, “so glad I didn’t buy any of those other houses!” house of all houses.
It had exactly the yard we knew deep down all along was what we had really longed for and the interior layout that honestly, just worked best for us, better than any other ever would have and the price? Less than the budget – a nice bonus to make up for the frustrations suffered!