After putting our house up for sale with the 'For Sale By Owner' sign out front, we started occasionally setting up tours through houses on the market to get a feel for what features are available for what price, something essential for getting a good deal. The first house we looked at we fell in love with but unfortunately it was quite a bit over priced we thought. Subsequent tours of houses has shown this to be true but none of the reasonably priced houses that we looked at that day met all of our criteria. The Realtor told us the owner had been trying to sell the house for several years and just hadn't been very flexible on the price which also made us suspect that they weren't in the dealing mood. So we just decided to not make any offers at that time. It was still fall of 2011 and a year away from when my wife would start her job so we weren't in any hurry to have two mortgage payments anyway. A month later the house that we liked but was overpriced was taken off the market.
We continued looking at houses but nothing caught our fancy until a couple months ago when another place came on the market. It was outside of town and situated on about ten acres of land with a very large pond and a large shop with concrete floor. The outside of the house looked in good condition and the pictures of the inside of the house were decent but we have been fooled by them before in prior tours. (i.e. we had looked at houses with excellent pictures of the inside to learn that the house was chopped up, selectively photographed, etc.) We researched the property a bit but weren't in any hurry to deal with two mortgage payments since it seemed that selling our house privately was going to take longer than we hoped. But eventually we gave our house to a Realtor and houses were starting to sell with the arrival of spring and our mood started changing.
Last week, we scheduled a meeting with our bank to discuss loans and figure out what funds were needed should we decide to make an offer on another house before we got ours sold. While in the neighborhood, we called the Realtor of the acreage to arrange a tour. The acreage owner had just signed a contract that very morning. It is now sale pending. We were a little bummed since it had so many nice features, including several like the large pond and a shop that aren't on our list of must haves but it is what it is. We still went to the bank and were pre-approved for a loan so that the next time something comes up, we are able to move with more certainty. We also drove around looking at other possible houses on the market and drove by the first house we had looked at last fall that we were still smitten over. We talked about calling up the owner and seeing if the owner was still interested in selling it and offering to buy it privately to get the price reduced to a more reasonable level. More on that in another post.