This post is long but a lot has happened in the last few weeks. Read the previous post from earlier today, then this one and you will then be up to speed on all that has been happening. There’s exciting developments!
Per the post below, a week ago today we’re looking for alternatives to the house on Palo Verde Vista due to the attitude of the sellers. But there are no new listings, so I comb back through what’s on the market. The only option is a house I saw early on that is just down the road from Palo Verde Vista. I didn’t show it to Alex initially since it is in a gated neighborhood, with an HOA, and in foreclosure. But the neighborhood is low-key so the gate is no big deal, the Palo Verde house also has an HOA and so the foreclosure is the main issue.
On Sunday, Alex and I look at the house on Sunset Road together. I remember how much I love it and Alex really likes it too. It is a brand new custom-built house on 3.3 acres. A contractor and his wife built it for themselves then ran out of money and lost it to the bank.
But we are only 3 days away from having to make a final commitment on the earnest money on Palo Verde Vista. Do we dare cancel that deal to pursue this one? How long would it take the bank to respond to an offer? What if they won’t budge much on the price? What if something big turns up during the inspection that is a dealbreaker? And interest rates have risen sharply.
But we are excited about the house on Sunset Road. Palo Verde Vista is a great deal ($446k/$128 per sf), big (3480sf) and with dramatic views, but it was the result of a process of elimination against a logical checklist. And needs a lot of work (and money) to make it feel like us.
The asking price on Sunset Road is much higher ($528,500/$181 per sf); the house is much smaller (2919sf) and it has great but slightly less dramatic views. But it feels like us and is more a matter of love than logic for us.
When the sellers finally get back to us two days late, we ask to have until Friday to commit or cancel. We hire an inspector to inspect the property ASAP so we can have this info before making a final decision. When it reveals nothing big, we make an offer of $465k late Wednesday night. We think $485k is a good price but we’re willing to go higher if necessary. So we take the plunge and cancel the first deal even if it means it takes longer to get into our house.
Amazingly, one business day later on Friday at 8am, we receive a counter offer from the bank for $485k–exactly our target price! With a foreclosure, if a second offer comes in before the house is under contract, the bank asks all parties to submit their highest offer which drives up the price. Since it was Friday and the bank had already come down to our target price, we decided not to risk another offer coming in over the weekend and accepted their offer!
So, we’re now under contract on a much nicer house on a much bigger lot in a neighborhood that we like even better than the first! And since our house in Fremont closed escrow on Friday (yeah!!!), we should be able to close escrow on Sunset Road by or before the end of April. It would have been mid-May with Palo Verde since it had to be painted and carpet replaced. Yes, we hated to give up the big game room at Palo Verde but we’re that’s a sacrifice we’re willing to make. And we’re getting our earnest money back tomorrow, so all is well.
So, check out our new house!! Click here to see photos. There will be a dedicated guest room so you’re welcome to check it out firsthand!
A little about the neighborhood: It is 16 large lots on two streets. There are 4 lots on our street but our house is at the end of the road and the only house on the street so far. There are 12 lots on the other street with 4 houses built so far. At 2919sf, ours will likely be the smallest house in the neighborhood since houses must be a minimum of 2900sf. The neighborhood was developed by 4 Raytheon engineers, each purchasing 4 lots–one for themselves and 3 more to resell. So far, we’ve got 3 engineers and a doctor on the other street with the 4th engineer about to build a 7000sf house. Thankfully we don’t feel the need to keep up with the neighbors and everyone we’ve met there seems really friendly. We can’t wait to move in!