I am still on a family vacation, but I feel like I have neglected this blog and want to get back into some normal writing. Next week I will be back to posting a couple of times a week and I hope to post some year end updates of where we are financially and the like.
Anyway, one of the great things about the holiday season is that you get to visit family. And of course most of them haven’t seen Mrs. ROB and I for the past six months or so and during that time we have had some momentous changes. Financially, the primary one is that we bought a house in September.
I have already alluded to the fact that if you asked me at the start of 2014 if Mrs. ROB and I would have a house I would have said hell no. But I broke my own rule and bought a house . It is during the house hunt that my lovely wife saved our financial skins. So it was late May of 2014 and it was the summer real estate season and just for the heck of it I said we should just investigate looking for houses. I didn’t think anything would come of it, but I wanted to get an idea of what the market was like when we started to really look in 2015 or 2016. By that time most of my consumer debt would be gone and we would’ve been able to save more money for a down payment.
However, I also knew that my wife was tired of living in an apartment with a small kitchen, one bathroom, and in a community she didn’t like. Also, our lease was coming up for renewal and we weren’t the happiest with our rental situation. So what started as an initial foray into the housing market turned out to be really a full-blown house search.
Anyway, we were looking for about a month or so when we came across a house in a community that we liked, not far from downtown, we could afford it, and had been totally redone. The person who had re-done the house had totally did it himself, updated it, etc. He did a really nice job. So when we went to go see the house we liked it enough to put an offer in on the house.
So we put in an offer that was right around the lower part of the comps we had gotten from our realtor. The owner of the house countered our offer and Mrs. ROB and I decided to return with a larger counter. In essence, we increased our offer half-way from what our initial offer was. And then we waited. About 36 hours later our realtor informed us that the seller didn’t want to come down anymore. Only $5,000 separated our price and his price. However, we were told that he didn’t want to come down from his price because he did all the work himself, he didn’t want to sell the house for less than what he was asking, etc. Even though the comps for the area priced his house lower, he didn’t budge.
Now when we heard the news I thought Mrs. ROB might say ok let’s just accept his offer and buy the house. But, and this is one of the great things I love about my wife, she was the one who said let’s walk. He wouldn’t budge. She can’t stand people who won’t at least attempt to make some inclination for others, which was his right. But he was staying firm. If he would’ve just met us half-way or given us something on our counter we would’ve bought the house. But because he wouldn’t budge. We walked. We didn’t even put in an offer. It was the principle of the thing in the end for my wife and I.
I learned some important lessons that day. First, I love my wife’s negotiating style. Second, don’t be afraid to walk away. There is NO SUCH THING AS A PERFECT HOUSE! A house is just a house.
Now the reason I say Mrs. ROB saved us $50,000 is that because about three weeks later we found another house in a better location and it cost $50,000 less. Because of her wanting to walk from the deal we were able to get a house well withing our price range, get a 15 year fixed mortgage, and buy a house that suits our initial needs. Our new home isn’t quite as renovated as the last one, but it is perfect for me, Mrs. ROB, Spooner, and any additions we may have in the future.
So we saved $50,000, put ourselves in a better financial position, and got a house that we certainly enjoy.
P.S. The guy who was selling the house we found eventually had to lower his price by over $10,000 to sell it. Guess, we were right in the end.