If we’re friends over on Instagram, you may have already seen this hashtag. If I’m lucky, it’s on the witty side, and if not, at least it’s truthful. And then we bought a house. We didn’t really look for a house. I mean, sure, we had to have looked because clearly, we found one, but we sort of stumbled into this one. You know, the way you can stumble into a purchase that’s hundreds of thousands of dollars. Please enjoy a (slightly edited) version of an email I shared with Cari Faye that tells the story of this charming (or, soon-to-be-charming) pile of bricks.
We were sort of not looking but looking (ohhhhh that’s like when people say they’re not trying to have a kid but not NOT trying, which drives me crazy), which I think you know. Basically, we like where we are, but a couple of townhouses in our development have sold in one weekend, so we figured it would be worth looking into what’s on the market, assuming that we could unload our place fairly quickly.
We looked at one place in mid-June and ended up not putting in an offer because we didn’t want to go very far over asking, and we knew it already had offers with escalating clauses (Hi, we just found out it went for $60,000 over asking!!!!!). We also learned that when you’re trying to buy a house in this neighborhood, you have to bring in your inspector when you first look at it because everyone does that and then waives the inspection contingency in their offer, because everyone here is even more Type-A crazy than me, which is a lot. So we backed off that, didn’t end up putting in an offer, but learned stuff and started getting mortgage approval/paperwork together kind of thing. We had “the talk” to end all talks after seeing the house for a second time, in which I told my husband that if he got his promotion, I would work harder at learning to like DC. Spoiler alert: He got it.
Then he’s looking on his phone the other night and we see this place come up for like no money in the neighborhood where I work (no money; yeah right). There are only pictures of the front, but sometimes that happens with brand new listings, and then they do the interior pictures in the next day or two, so I didn’t think much of it. But my husband starts reading the description and it’s like, “owner is having trouble getting belongings moved out so no inside pictures…..when you see the house, owner may not be able to leave…..please keep the cat inside….” And I’m like, “OMG, IT’S A HOARDER HOUSE.”
So we emailed our realtor and we were like ummmmmmmm. But really we were like, if we got this, we could renovate right away and probably (knock wood) end up paying less than if we bought a more “finished” house in the same neighborhood. So she took us to see it yesterday. I was terrified, but my husband was up for anything.
It was exactly what I thought it would be.
We didn’t see any mice or mouse poop, but I also didn’t look that hard. Like, it was cluttered, but aside from the kitchen I wouldn’t say it was filthy, you know? My husband got totally overwhelmed, but he is actually super into the idea of this house….probably more than me. The inspector (GREAT guy–love him) said that the bones have been well-maintained. AC and water heater aren’t ancient, roof in good shape, etc.
And now here we are, submitting an offer tonight. If we do get it, it could really work out. We’d get our house on the market hopefully before school starts, and then move in with the in-laws, who have a full bedroom and bathroom to spare. They also might travel for a couple months again, so we could take care of things while they’re away. We’d do a HUGE renovation on the new place, the benefits being that we can finish things the way we want, and also since we’re coming into the neighborhood at a lower price point, our mortgage actually wouldn’t change too much from what it is now.
I’ll keep you posted.
So you already know how this ends. 13 offers later, ours was accepted. Which I remind my husband simply means we’re the only idiots who wanted this bad enough to get them to sell it to us. We are headed to my in-laws while our current house is on the market, and then we’ll both be working full time by day, and dreaming of tiles and paint colors, and where to put walls by night. When we can sleep at all. Wish us luck, dear readers.