Sunday, December 24, 2006

Beware of the Potential Homeowner

All of the sudden about 2 months ago, I decided that I might like to own a house. So I started looking into new construction and quickly realized that was not for me. Then I started looking at a variety of houses and narrowed down to the qualifications I wanted. The other night, my realtor and I went to see a house, and I fell in love. Literally, I got the feeling that this was my house.

The parents were kind enough to come up yesterday to take a look at it as well. I don't need their approval, of course, but I trust their judgment. My dad is the one to notice things such as location of air returns and whether the outlets are grounded. I'm more like, "ooh, pretty". To my astonishment, BOTH of my parents also liked the house. It happens to be in my price range, no homeowners' fees (a big plus) and low taxes. It's not perfect, but it's darn near close.

I bit the bullet and put in an offer.

Now, I hate bartering. I truly do. I'm an impatient person who impulse buys a lot. And I want things to finish quickly and resolve. Housebuying is not that simple.

The owner countered my offer. Except it wasn't really a counter since they reiterated what was already on the listing sheet. In other words, they countered agreeing to pay closing costs, but didn't lower the list price. I now have until the day after Christmas to accept or counter myself. I'm in a rough spot since I think the listing sheet isn't a bad price. If push came to shove, I'd probably pay it. But I also don't want to pay list price if you can get it cheaper. All signs point to a motivated seller. So I'll probably counter and split the difference between my first offer and his or her counter. Maybe we can meet in the middle. The problem is that I always fear that someone else will come along and bid full price while I'm still negotiating. And that would suck. Then again, I don't think they will be receiving other offers during the Christmas weekend. Mainly because no realtor will even be working. But the fear always lingers.

And so those will be my thoughts for the next couple of days. I hate waiting.