Sunday, August 9, 2015
Hunt is Over But More Work Needed
I fell into a pit of despair over the house hunt during the last of July and spent days in tears and sometimes outright sobbing. There just wasn’t a house that fit me in the area I wanted to live. Every time I left Bradford to go hunting, tears would come to my eyes as I felt I was leaving home.
I stopped talking about it except to a few people and for a week or so, I was a miserable wretch. Then one morning I woke up knowing that I had to make a decision on something no matter what. I would have to settle because I was dead set against renting until something I wanted came along. Who knew how long that would take and in the meantime, I’d be watching my bank account dwindle away. No, I needed to settle. I’d been visualizing my dream home for so long, the thought that I wouldn’t even be getting close was discouraging.
I made arrangements to look at a few homes in the Emerald Lake Village District (ELVD) of Hillsborough. I don’t want to move to Hillsborough, but the price of the homes would allow me to at least do some updates to “make it mine.”
Don, Carol, Nan, and Clare met me at the first house at 11 Ellen Brook. Of course, I found fault and Don pointed out a couple of issues I didn’t notice. I also looked at other homes in the area. There is always something to not like and one of my priorities is to have the space to build a garage.
Days went by and I searched the nneren.com website for home. I couldn’t find anything to fit me. But I couldn’t stop thinking about Ellen Brook. The brook kept calling me. I could hear the water babbling over the rocks and I went back for another look-see. I disliked driving there, but when I drove up in front of the house, I felt I was home. Nan, Clare, and another friend, Deb K., joined me.
We looked around with more of a fine-toothed comb. I dislike finding fault with everything, but I need to know what needs to be done. And of course, the moment you notice a little issue, you can’t help looking at it. There is much more to this place that needs to be fixed than I originally noticed. Still, if I could get it at a decent price, I could afford to renovate. (It’s the only way to make a place “mine.)
I discussed offers with Laura Hallahan of Tall Pines Realty and we agreed on a price. Of course, the owners came back only going down $4,000 from the asking price. The house isn’t worth that, not even close! It’s assessed far lower. I came up $5,000 from my offer and they came down a little more; still nowhere close to what I’d be willing to pay. I could not stop thinking about that house. It’s mine. I could feel it.
I needed a day off and Carol and I went to Concord on errands. We also went to Home Depot and looked at kitchens, appliances, bathrooms, and flooring. The only thing I totally fell in love with was an Autumn Gold Pecan laminate flooring.
The owner came back and said they wouldn’t go lower and I walked. I was disappointed, but not totally surprised. I began searching the website again. There is absolutely nothing I even wanted to waste my time looking at. Now what will I do?
A day later, Laura called to say the owner agreed to come down to my top price. I agreed and was so excited. I started messaging and calling people. Then Laura emailed to say the owner wanted to hold off, that her father wanted her to hold out for more money. I was devastated. How could she agree to my price then renege? I know, it was her right, nothing was signed at that point. I was crushed. This emotional roller coaster is killing me.
The next day Laura messaged to say I got the house. I was pleased, but didn’t allow myself to get totally excited this time. I went to the office and signed the new agreement. I wouldn’t feel totally confident that I got it until the owner signed the agreement and the following day she did. The house on Ellen Brook is mine and I finally felt confident to talk about it and posted pictures on Facebook.
Now comes additional stress. The home inspection is in one week and closing is in two weeks, Aug. 21. I have to be out of this house by Aug. 31 which gives me 10 days to fix up as much as I can. I am looking to replace the heating; it’s kerosene and I’ll probably go with LP and add a/c. The roof probably needs to be replaced. The ugly, industrial carpeting the owner installed so they could say the place was rehabbed has to go. The tiny master bathroom has a tub/shower and I need a walk-in shower. The kitchen needs redoing. And all this isn’t even counting the garage or painting the interior. There’s more, too.
I need to decide what needs to be done before moving in. I have the week between the signing of the papers and when I have to be totally out of this house to get as much done as I can. Contractors need to be scheduled, materials chosen, and addresses changed. Oh, my poor head! My lists to do grow longer.