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Buying a house!

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A month ago, I wrote that I was house-hunting.

Things have progressed quite a lot since then.

In that entry, I wrote: "the [house] that's back on the market was the clear standout." And indeed that continued to be true. So I decided I wanted to make an offer on that house, contingent on my selling my condo; then I could put my condo on the market at a low price to sell it fast. (Without selling my condo first, I thought I wouldn't be able to come up with the money for a down payment.)

But it turned out the sellers weren't interested in any contingent offer. (They had good reasons that I won't go into here.)

So I decided there was no way I could buy their house, and I reluctantly gave up on it, and resigned myself to not getting that house.

And then my brother came up with a clever suggestion for a way that it could work out. So I ran the idea by my mortgage broker. And he said it wouldn't work.

We repeated those last two paragraphs once or twice a day for about a week. It was a very rollercoastery week, what with all the giving up and resigning myself, and then (sometimes only minutes later) having new hope. We discussed many many clever ideas, for which I'm very grateful to Jay. But for complicated financial reasons (mostly involving the phrase "debt-to-income ratio"), my mortgage broker reluctantly shot each of the ideas down.

So I finally gave up, and my real estate guy and I decided to go ahead and put my place on the market and try to sell it. (Meanwhile, I went to a bunch of open houses to take my mind off the place I wanted, and discovered that none of them were nearly as nice, by my tastes, as the place I wanted.) I figured I would post first at work about my condo being for sale, since one of its main advantages is that it's very close to where I work. Possibly it's as close to there as it's possible to live.

And while I was looking for the right work-internal mailing list to post about it, I saw a posting from someone who was interested in renting a place near the office.

My broker and my realtor had previously suggested renting out my condo, but I had been unwilling to do that; it sounded too messy, and I hated the idea of interviewing random members of the public to decide whether to let them live in my condo.

But this was a co-worker, and that made a huge difference.

There were other factors that made a difference, too, but I'm not going to go into all the details here. The upshot was that the weekend I had intended to put my condo on the market, we instead (a) made an agreement to rent my condo to my co-worker, and (b) made an offer on the house I wanted.

And the sellers accepted my offer.

And, after a week and a half of my being on tenterhooks, the lender approved my loan.

And now I'm packing up my condo, because my renters are moving in in two weeks. (And I'll be in Madison and Chicago for a week in the middle of that period.)

We don't close escrow on the new house until early June, and the sellers are likely to need to stay in the house for a little while after we close, so I'm gonna stay with Kam for a couple weeks in June.

The whole deal happened very fast. I thought a couple of times about posting about it here, but I didn't want to jinx things, and anyway things were changing too fast for it to make sense to post about it.

There are still a few is to be dotted and ts to be crossed, but things are looking good.

So if all goes well, somewhere around three to six weeks from now I'll be moving into my new house.

It's very exciting. Oddly, I haven't been as tense about most of the process as I would have expected, possibly because it hasn't really sunk in. I'm having a hard time processing the idea that I will, if all goes well, never again live in this condo after a couple weeks from now.

I've moved lots of times in my life. But the past five and a half years have been the first time I've lived in a place that wasn't rented, and the past couple years have thus been the first time I've had major changes made to my residence: having participated in the design of the patio and yard (though all the work and much of the design was done by other people, mostly Twig and Donovan), it feels more like I'm leaving something significant behind than it usually does when I move. (Okay, sure, I've left family and housemates behind when I've moved before, but that's different.)

Anyway, enough rambling about all this; time to go do some more packing.

3 Comments

Woo! Happy house-having!


Wow, congrats!


Congrats Jed! I heard from Sarah that we're temporal neighbors! :)


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