Gone Fishin'

HEY!

I'm not actively blogging here anymore. But if you got here because you were searching for something about bikes, you might want to check out my latest project, Vermont Goldsprints. In summer of 2014, I bought a used goldsprints racing setup and have made it a mission to get more bikes in more people's faces by putting on fun races in unexpected places. Come join me!

1.21.2009

The House-Buying Experience- Offers

Ok, so eventually, we found a house we liked, took a look, and decided to make an offer. This was the scary part, or at least it was the first part of the scary part. We got to go through this part twice, due an offer we made contingent on a good radon test. (The house didn't "pass," more on that later.) I'm glad we went through twice though, because I felt much better about the second time through. There's a whole flurry of activity that happened each time we told our Realtor we wanted to make an offer. Although we had a pre-approval letter from a mortgage broker stating that they were probably willing to loan us up to X amount of money, once you decide to make an offer, the broker generates another letter specific to that house and your offer amount, or thereabouts. The Realtor packs that in with the offer along with some language about contingencies and when the offer expires. Then the signing, scanning, sending, and re-sending begins. I imagine there was a time this was all done by fax or that Realtors spent a lot of their time driving around with papers for signature, but in our case Kate and I each had a scanner at hand, so Kate would print, sign and scan a document, which i would then print, sign and scan to send back to the Realtor. A couple of things we ran into with offers: Contingencies: We made our offers contingent on a satisfactory home inspection, among the other usual things related to obtaining financing etc. "Satisfactory" is a pretty broad term to have show up in an offer, and I was surprised that ur offer documents didn't have more specific metrics in them. Value to the seller: Since offers include information about who will pay for which closing costs and who might pay whom some cash back, it sure is nice to know how much money you are actually offering for the house! Seriously, there were times i looked at offer documents and wasn't sure how much we were offering to pay. Don't be afraid to ask. Expiration: We trusted our Realtor on this, but she didn't give either seller we dealt with much time to think about our offer, just 24 hours. I was a little surprised at that but it worked out just fine. Inspection Period: Our offers were contingent on getting a good inspection, including a satisfactory radon test. The thing is, they also included very tight timelines about when those inspections could occur, and radon tests take time (the little cartridge has to sit in the basement for about five days, if I remeber correctly). On the first house we looked at, we had a Home Inspector set the radon test on the day he came to do the inspection. We paid about 100 dollars for the radon test and 400 for the inspection. Things were looking good until the test came back higher than we wanted to deal with. On the house we ended up buying, we had the radon test done first, and only had the inspection done after the radon test came back clean. Had the house failed on radon, we would have still had our inspection money. I guess my recommendation here is to try to get somebody who will sequence things like this. Finally, the day you are waiting for the word to come in on your offer, don't expect to be able to concentrate on much else. It was exciting to get that call. I tried to keep a zen-like state of consciousness about the whole thing until all was said and done, but it is tough when you start thinking, after seeing so many dogs on the market, that you have found a house you want.