Friday, September 3, 2010

whole lotta ugly out there

(warning: this is a venting post about the unfun house-hunting we have been enduring.)

So, after well over a year of our house being on the market, it looks like the finish line is in site. We are supposed to close in one week on the sale of this house. Now we have lived here 16+ years, and have done many updates and improvements. Before we put the "For Sale" sign in the yard, we had our real estate agent walk through and make a list of recommended changes. Some were minor (de-clutter, paint touch-up), some major (update bathrooms), but in the interest of putting the best possible product into an already slow-moving and crowded market, we bit the bullet and did them. We cleaned, culled, painted, scraped, waxed, swept, dusted and donated. When they came back through, we received positive reviews. Neutral colors and hardwood floors throughout. Freshly painted moldings. New, updated bathrooms. I have been proud to allow strangers to walk through. Our closets are even organized!

When we started looking for a new home in our target area, I was slightly disappointed. I mean, we are moving from a small town to a larger Metro area, don't they have HGTV on their cable systems? And since, we have experienced a whole lot of ugly. I mean, bad. Black mildew in the dirty bathrooms bad. Strange, organic odors bad. Wallpaper from the 80s bad. One house (whose layout was good) had not been touched since it was built in the 70s! C'mon now, one weekend of "Sell This House" on A&E should tell the sellers to (at the very least) CLEAN!

I admit, I had the misguided notion that due the depressed housing market and record breaking foreclosures, we would find 2 or 3 good options. I can see past the paint colors, I even can live with carpet (temporarily), but I never expected to be 7 months into active looking and supremely disappointed. The new homes on the market are way too big (4+ bedrooms) and the older homes are way too in need of updating. And trying to buy a foreclosure was such a horrible experience (we made an offer that we later withdrew) that I just do not want to do it again. Okay Mortgage Bankers: do you want to keep these places on your books? Then why make it so painful and why treat potential buyers with such disdain? And pricing? Hah! Yes, I know we want to cling to what we perceive how much our house is worth. But the raw, naked fact is this: it is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. I know I wish we could have gotten more for ours; I know that the buyer is getting a ton of square footage and upgrades for an insane price per square foot, but after all the time on the market (and the other dramas in our lives) we are okay with what we will clear and the buyers are okay with what they are paying. 

We made a second offer and the seller rejected it outright. She didn't even counter. Don't get me wrong; I do not like the dicker-dance of house and car buying. But most people tender a counter-offer to be polite. After a week of her ignorance, I told my agent and our agent to withdraw the offer. It isn't my job to educate the seller on the realities of the housing market. And while we liked the house, I know there will be another. We just have to keep looking.

Now we are packing and preparing for living in limbo until we find a more permanent abode. We will keep looking. At least we will be sleeping in the same bed again!

And I did not want to have a Friday post totally devoid of pretty so here's my string quilt top I finally finished piecing:

 Hope we find a place soon so I can quilt it!


Sammy said...

I am so sorry to hear about the difficulties you are facing with buying a house.
Just hang on there , and I am sure things will get better.
On the bright side, your quilt to be is adorable.

take care,


-Samya :-)

Dobbygirl said...

Quilt is beautiful! Yeah, why do people not clean and tidy and just do basic things when they have their house for sale. I think they just don't think about what other people will see. Buyers want to see the house not personal stuff. And with the market the way it is you would think people would be that much more willing to put some effort into it. Hang in there!

Anonymous said...

I´ve been through the same problems in Brazil. It´s the same all over the world. We feel we´re are selling something good, clean and ready to move into for a low price and having to choose something that´s worth less than it costs. It´s a shame.

I feel like renting a place to live in order to allow us time to find something that suits us.

I truly wish you luck. Keep calm and go on searching!