So it finally happened, well, almost. We found what we had hoped would be our “forever home”! But I digress, let’s go back a little, for a refresher course.
Mr. K and I have been looking (and looking and looking and yes, even more looking) for a little place in the country to call our own, for more years than I can count. We made the decision a long time ago to trade the city life here in San Francisco for a little “slice of the pie” in the country.
We have spent countless hours, worked with various agents, scoured back roads, coastal towns, country lanes, ramshackle run down shacks, dilapidated barns, abandoned over priced fixer-uppers and everything in between. We got close before the height of the market back in the mid 2000’s and even closer, post the bubble burst in 2012. But this time, it was so close we could taste it. 5 acres and a small, but very habitable and perfect “blank slate”, (customizable to our eclectic vintage sensibility and taste), 1930’s farm house. We gave this one our all. We decided that we could go a little above our budget and even agreed to adopt and allow the three older male sheep who resided on the property, to “live out their days”, in order to cinch the deal and make it happen.
For those of you who haven’t ever gone through this process, the experience is all consuming, exhausting, emotionally charged and absolutely exhilarating. Actually one of the most intense 4 weeks either of us has ever experienced. We gave 110%, nothing less. Had dreams about it, talked about all of our options once we got it, spent many hours visiting, falling in love and hoping that the property would fall in love with us too. I am embarrassed to say I almost even bought some of those vintage large bulb Christmas lights because I had visions of how sweet the roof line of our house would look illuminated by them at night. It was magical, we were practically giddy and like I said, the closest we have ever come. But then, after a whirlwind of phone calls, emails wishes and dreams that seemed to go on forever, we got the call. They rejected our offer, took it off of the market and kept it in the family. GULP! (Sigh.)
So what went wrong? Well, that’s the good news, absolutely nothing on our end. We have spent years getting our ducks in a row, being responsible with our finances, paying off debt, lowering the balances on our student loans and making sure we have near perfect, top tier credit scores. We got an amazing broker recommended by a friend and found a great mortgage lender, also a referral. I even drafted and sent an introduction letter giving the owners a little background on us and why we wanted to call the house and property our own. Unfortunately, this was completely out of our hands and nothing that we could control. The older, yet totally independent owner of the home, passed away suddenly in his nineties, in early October, so it was to be a trust sale. His children put it on the market, we assume, before all of the siblings had a chance to consult and we put in our extremely competitive offer. We knew that there would be a risk of one of his children deciding to keep the home in the family, but because it was on the market and fit just about all of our prerequisites, we totally went for it and do not, even for a moment, regret that we did.
The lesson? Well, there are many. But coming out of this experience I think the biggest one to be learned is to keep up the pace, don’t look back and try even harder the next time. Our home is out there and we are ready to pin our dreams on a concrete REALITY very soon. And in the end, we both feel so much better that rather than being outbid by some crazy speculator or property “flipper”, (an all too common Bay Area thing these days) it was perhaps a sense of familial attachment and sentimental reasons that we lost out. Who can be upset with that? A couple of sentimental saps like us? No way!
Hello 2015, we can’t wait! Oh and if any of you come across something with our name on it, by all means send it our way!
Merry Christmas and may all of your wishes become realized, even if it takes (what feels like) forever.