A whole lot o' nothing. And then some….
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Posts from — June 2007

Happily Ever After

Location, location, location. The three magic words when it comes to Real Estate. Or are they? I know a couple of others: Just. Listed.

Yep, real estate fever hit me hard. So hard, in fact, I’ve been able to do nothing but speculate – on my house, my neighbours’ houses, your house. The online MLS listings are like porn for me. I need more, more, more. More info, more knowledge. Which sold when. And of course, for how much.

You see, we’ve just bought and sold houses. Out with the old, in with the new. And what a long, strange, trip it’s been.

As anyone who lives locally will tell you, these days it’s better to give than to receive. In other words, don’t even think of putting your place on the market until you’ve made damn sure you know where you’re going.

You’ve heard the stories – lost 6 bidding wars. Had to rent month to month. Got pressured into accpeting an offer they couldn’t refuse and now rent back their own house as they look for something comparable.

Tell someone from the – ahem – previous generation that you’re buying without selling and they’ll look at you like you’re nuts. Rest assured, you’re probably quite sane, but won’t be for long.

You see, we bought a new house after 6 months of looking. Not too bad, all things considered. We only lost out one bidding war – which was in itself a true blessing in disguise – we never could’ve afforded the bills, let alone a reno. Everything we saw didn’t really hold a candle to what we had. Until, of course that magical day when I went to see a home on a street I vowed I’d never live on, and fell in love. And after a bidding war of our own, we found our not-quite-dream-but-good-enough-for-us home.

All that was left, was the sale.

Selling our house? Ha! Pas de problem. Everyone knows the demand far outstrips the supply in our ‘hood. Who hasn’t heard about the crazy bidding wars? The knocks on the door, offers in hand? The private sales? And, hell, if I liked my house enough to buy it, why wouldn’t someone else? Cocky? Maybe. But as everyone knows, “it’s the market”.

So we primped. And cleaned. And tossed out. And cleaned. And vacuumed. And cleaned. And moved out. The whole gang. Kids, cat, dog. We went out, the sign went up and all was well with the world. We were excited. We priced low and were gonna sell high. We started fantasizing: $10K over means a new deck. $20K over, a new bathroom. $100K over, a whole new floor. And why wouldn’t we count our chickens? The dumpy house down the road went for $80K over and that was just land value! OK so we have an irregular lot. But it’s beautifully landscaped. And, sure, the basement is somewhat, erm, moist. But it’s bright. Our kitchen wasn’t renovated, not exactly. But the gleaming stainless steal applainces would surely make up for that. We even did a pre-inspection. But let’s not go there. After all, our house is a little older. Charming. So what would you expect?

We opened for business. And guess what? Someone else did too. The perfect, extra long, no dampness issue, fully inspected and well up to scratch house down the street. Talk about competition. And really, really, bad timing.

On offer night we sat with bated breath. And ordered in. And couldn’t eat. ‘Cuz we got nary an offer. Not a-one, nay, nay, nay. We were done for. Finished. Ruined. Our parents were right! Who the hell buys first, sells later? We could’ve moved in with them. Or friends. Or taken a sabbatical from, uh, life. But noooooo, we were the losers who’d have to re-sell our new house and never leave our old one. Ever.

Now of course things worked out. And, as we soon learned, this kind of thing was happening to lots of people. Friends of friends and actual friends. Mind you, it didn’t happen to the house down the road – it got multiple offers and went for$130K over asking. Looks like they’ll be getting a lot more than a new floor in their new place.

And us? Yeah, we sold. One day later. To a lovely couple who’d endured 2 years of seeking and 9 lost offers. Everyone was happy. Ish. They got their house, we got our price. In fact, we got just voer. Sure we priced it a little on the low side and the big overage is hardly a new deck (or bathroom). But wait ’til you see our new window boxes!

And what’s done is done. And now we can look forward to boxing and cleaning and packing and cleaning and moving and cleaning some more. And then settling in to mess it all up and make it our own.

And next time around? Guess it’ll all depend on the market. But I’ll be ready for it. ‘Cuz I’m still speculating. That house down the road form our new place? You’ll never guess what they’re asking….


Not Afraid to Use It said…

I have to stop watching House Hunters on TV because then we get the real estate itch, and it is dangerous!!! Great pos


June 27, 2007   No Comments