On Friday, August 7, right in the middle of my workday, our agent (and Pamela’s uncle) Don called to tell us that one of the townhomes we really liked had an offer that the seller was going to look at that day, and that if we wanted to place a competing offer, we had to let him know within two hours. Naturally, I freaked out.
Although Pamela and I both liked this home and had been considering making an offer on it for some time, we were hoping to leisurely look at homes until we were really, REALLY sure that this was the best place for us. I called Pamela and asked her to come to Google that afternoon so that we could discuss whether we wanted to make an offer. I also called my parents, but my Dad told me that he would be fine with my decision either way and that I should decide for myself, and my Mom wasn’t home.
Pamela drove over, and we talked. We went over our finances to make sure we could afford it, then talked for as long as we could about whether this was the place we really wanted. We never really came to a conclusion — we both liked the place a lot, but neither of us could shake the lingering doubt that there might be an ever better, cheaper place somewhere out there. All too soon, our time was up. We called Don and told him that we wanted to place an offer, and worked out the logistics of getting all of the papers signed.
The seller’s agent was a nice lady named Trish, who we had talked to a few times when we visited the home. (We visited the home on three different days.) On Sunday, Trish let us know that our offer would probably win, and we negotiated the terms of the final offer. There was a lot of back-and-forth with emails. Basically, for each document that was part of the contract:
- Don or Trish would email out the document as a PDF
- Pamela and I would go through it with Don to make sure we understood it
- I would initial or sign every page, sometimes multiple times on a single page
- I would scan and email it back to myself (yay for fancy office printer/copier/scanner machines!)
- I would email it to everyone else.
- Repeat for each person whose name/signature needed to be on the contract.
Needless to say, it was quite a process.
At the same time, Pamela and I worked with Don and Trish to get some home inspectors into the house. We had to prod Don a few times to get things moving, but by Wednesday we had a general inspector and a hazardous materials inspector lined up for the next day. Basically, the general inspector has a huge checklist of things to look at in the interior and exterior of the house, and produces a report about what’s okay, what should be fixed, and what needs to be inspected by a specialist. We brought the hazardous materials inspector in to check for the presence of asbestos and lead paint, primarily so that if/when we remodel, we know what needs to be treated particularly carefully. We also considered having the inspector test for radon, but after doing some research, I found that it should be pretty easy to do this particular test ourselves.
We’re still waiting for the formal report from the general inspector, but his verbal comments that day indicated that he thought that there wasn’t anything we should be really worried about. (i.e. nothing that can’t be fixed or will require ripping apart the place to fix.) We should get the results for the asbestos and lead inspections by the middle of next week.
In the meantime, I need to get all of my money together and lock down a loan rate so that I know how much this place will actually be costing me…