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How we’re dumb

August 8th, 2004

We owned a townhome for a couple of hours yesterday.

See, we saw this townhome on Friday evening in the same subdivision we saw the other gorgeous model that went under contract as we were viewing it. It was very nice – built in ’96, 3 beds, 2.5 baths, laundry upstairs, large kitchen. We made a hasty decision and put a bid in on it. Since it was priced well, we put in a bid just under asking price. The owners were home, but their realtor couldn’t be contacted, so we had to leave and wait until he could be reached.

Friday night our agent said he spoke to the realtor and they’d have more info the next morning.

Saturday morning I was up at 5:30 am and my stomach was in knots. I kept tossing and turning, thinking about this place. Thinking about what a mistake it was to put a bid on it. I kept going back to the pictures we took of the living room area that was pretty tiny. Sure, the bedrooms, particularly for the kids, were large, but we don’t live in the bedrooms. And the kids aren’t over THAT much. We spend most of our time watching tv when we’re home and there wasn’t much room for a nice widescreen HDTV and sectional couch like we were planning on buying. In fact, the current owners had just a loveseat and smaller tv in the area and it looked full. The placement of other key pieces (as shown in this model I tried to create to scale) such as the corner fireplace, the patio door, and the staircase made it almost impossible to work with the space that was left for furniture.

I don’t know what we were thinking when we decided to put a bid on the place. I joked with Joe that I blame the kids (they were with us) because whenever they are around, we lose our minds. Maybe if you have kids you can relate – it’s like when we go to the store with them, I just can’t think straight. My mind goes blank. I can’t handle keeping an eye on them, trying to find what I need, and dealing with all the other people in the store. Too much stimulation! So between them getting underfoot and asking questions, us trying to look at the place, the dog in the crate getting fiesty, and Joe’s son worrying about the dog because he’s allergic, I temporarily lost my mind. Yea, that’s it. Seriously though, that’s no excuse. But it is what contributed to a poor decision.

When Joe woke up, I told him that I was really worried we’d get the place and was hoping we didn’t. He thought I was nuts. We discussed it more and apparently I (without trying) convinced him that he didn’t want the place anymore either. So we decided to call our agent to retract our bid. He wasn’t too happy at first, but understood after I explained how we were feeling. He said he’d contact the other agent and get back to us.

Later in the afternoon Joe called our agent to confirm since we hadn’t heard anything. He explained to him that before he could reach the agent, the sellers had accepted our offer and signed the contract! OMG! The one time we DON’T want things to go smoothly and it does. Unbelievable! Apparently they liked the price, the closing date, everything, and they signed it first thing in the morning and ran it over to the agent’s office.

Luckily, our agent said they agreed to tear up the contract and since he hadn’t given them our earnest money, we’re not up shit creek. He said he has to double check with an attorney tomorrow to make sure everything is ok, but that we’d just keep looking. He’s now under the impression, of course, that we don’t know what we want. It’s not that at all. It’s that we weren’t thinking clearly when we saw this place. We let our fear of losing another nice place get in the way of logic.

I feel awful about the whole thing. I didn’t mean to mess with the seller’s minds because they were a very nice couple. I also didn’t mean to waste our agent’s time. Unfortunately, due to past experience we made a hasty decision. Luckily we were able to get out of it. Had our earnest money been at stake, we would have taken the place and made do. Like I said before, it IS a very nice place. Just not the right space for our needs. We were blinded by how “pretty” the place was/is.

We went looking at some open houses on our own today but everything was either too small or too pricey. The last place we saw was 2100 sq feet not counting the full unfinished basement and was absolutely stunning. The kitchen was totally updated and the master bedroom was the biggest I’ve ever seen. The master bath had a huge jacuzzi tub plus a separate shower. It’s the kind of place I hope to own someday. But it was $50k over our max price, so it’s really not worth thinking about.

I just wonder when we’re going to find our home. At this rate, it could be awhile. The market is starting to slow down, so our choices are shrinking. If anything, though, this has a been a huge learning experience for us.

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