Yesterday morning I had the opportunity to visit briefly with a friend who recently moved from the home he had occupied for many years. The rationale for his move was justified. Because of some mobility issues with his wife, they really needed a single story home instead of a two story. Actually that had been the case for many years, but regardless of the inconvenience, there is no place like home. Consequently, for decades they simply chose not to make a move because after all it was home.
One of the HGTV programs that the General and I enjoy watching is “Love It Or List It”. Generally, either the husband or the wife is ready to relocate because the house just isn’t working for their family. Consequently, they pursue both having their current home remodeled and begin the process of looking for a different home at the same time. The dilemma then becomes whether to stay in the newly renovated home or to sale the remodeled home in lieu of moving on to the newer place.
The requirement that often surprises me is that few people are open to moving out of their current neighborhood. Oftentimes space is the issue and the location where they call home has gotten really pricey. Sometimes they look at a home 20 minutes outside their neighborhood where they can have twice the space and almost a perfect fit for what they’ve described as their needs, but they opt to stay in the newly remodeled old place because it lives better. It may live better, but it doesn’t provide them one square foot more space.
My friend’s need for moving had no relationship to the need to remodel. Their home was in an upscale neighborhood and their two-story home was very comfortable. He did acknowledge that it was a little dated. After all, not everyone in a thirty-plus-year old home has granite counter tops.
During the period their home was listed, they began looking at homes in their neighborhood. In some ways, the pursuit was a little discouraging. There wasn’t much on the market and some of what they looked at could also be described as both dated and pricey.
He said, “We walked in one home that had been remodeled and instinctively we both knew we were home. The house was absolutely perfect for us”. He then said, “Well maybe there was one exception. The flooring in the house was manufactured wood flooring and it was a very light color. I would never have chosen the Danish look, but we could make it work. Seriously, the home was amazing. The kitchen had been totally remodeled and it had the latest of everything. We were ready to move. We only had one problem. Our home had not yet sold. We couldn’t submit a contract because this house was destined to fall in the ‘bidding war’ category and it would be gone in a day or two”.
He was right. The house had multiple offers and it was off the market almost as quickly as it came on the market. The weeks turned into months and their home had not sold. One morning at breakfast he and his wife determined they’d take their home off the market the following week if it hadn’t sold. They also determined what price they realistically would accept for their home.
As it turned out, his neighbor was a home mortgage broker. One of the neighbor’s friends was in the process of purchasing a new home and he stopped by the mortgage broker’s home to visit and get some information. He noticed there was a “For Sale” sign in the yard next door. Asking about the house, the mortgage broker said, “The house is very nice. I’ve been inside many times.” The man in the process of purchasing the new home said: “Today is my 7th and last day of being in a position where I can opt-out of the contract to purchase that I have in place. Yet I find myself wanting to look at the house next to yours”.
You guessed it! The man wanted to purchase my friend’s home, but they had to accept his offer that day. He wanted a guarantee that the house was his before he opted out of the other purchase. Unknowingly, the price he offered was $3,000 more than the couple had decided was their bottom line. Consequently, their biggest hurdle was accomplished. Their home was now sold, but where to move?
He said: “We’d never been homeless before, but we were close. We looked and we looked, but we didn’t find that perfect home. We looked at homes that would work, but they all paled in contrast to the home we had seen earlier.
According to their realtor, the folks who were purchasing the home they previously wanted had requested a thorough home inspection. Would you believe the inspection report was over 100-pages? There was a small area of mold discovered under one of the kitchen cabinets. Of course, the seller was willing to do everything necessary to accommodate the purchaser’s request including replacing that cabinet and doing the remediation work.
As my friend’s time was running out to find a home, he received word that the house they previously wanted was back on the market. As it turned out, the seller had done everything to correct the previously identified problem. The problem that caused the new buyer to opt out was the home’s appraisal. During the bidding war, he had offered more than the bank was willing to loan for the house. Consequently, it was coming back on the market.
However, there was a problem. In the kitchen remediation, something went awry and water had gotten on the wooden flooring. Guess what? The wooden flooring all had to be replaced. The new owners – my friend and his wife – were free to select the flooring they wanted.
The lady selling the home said to my friend who is a minister, “Only God could work this out the way He did. I’m glad you have the house”.
All My Best!