Simultaneously buying and selling a house is the biggest single pain the ass I have ever endured. When you sell, you’re constantly pushed out of your house by people who it turns out look down on the abode you’ve loved for lo these many years. When you’re buying a house, you’re constantly pushing out of their homes people who have loved their homes for lo these many years. It’s a lose-lose situation until you have contracts at both ends of the deal, at which it’s still an utterly bittersweet proposition.
A couple of weeks ago, we got a contract on our house. We did two or three counters and finally agreed upon a deal that got us our minimum acceptable bid. The buyers’ inspection turned up a couple of things that should be within the budget I allotted, so provided they can get financing (on 100%!), the selling part of our pain the ass is over.
The buying part is a whole other story. When we bought our current house, we worked with a realtor who took us around to various houses and tried to convince us that each one was the house we were born to live in. The house we finally bought was one we happened to drive by on our own and think might be ok. It was for sale by owner. We got our realtor to contact the owner and get us in, and we fell madly in love with the house. We’re still madly in love with it. If there were enough yard and the covenants would allow it, we’d just add a room or two and stay here. We looked in some earnest at no fewer than four houses in our current subdivision in hopes that we could stay at least pretty close to where we currently live. But it wasn’t in the cards.
So we made our realtor — the wife of a former boss of mine — take us to probably 20 houses. We offered on one that we liked quite a bit, but it turned out to have a cracked foundation. A couple of weeks later, we found another we liked on a faux-lakefront property, and we offered on that one contingent upon approval for installing a fence, but it turned out that we couldn’t install a fence. We finally decided to really blow the hell out of our budget on a brand new house in a nice new subdivision, but as a last resort, we checked out the house pictured above, and it turned out to be totally decent and many thousands of dollars closer to our budget. We seem to have an accepted contract on the house, inspection and some repairs pending. In any case, we’re out on our butts on Nov. 28, so if this third offer doesn’t pan out and you know us, we may be knocking on your door with hat (and furniture and all other earthly possessions) in hand for lodging until we find something different