Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Day 109 - 58 days to L.A.

4. We put an offer in on another house.

The next day (Thursday), we spent the morning collecting paperwork for their financial guy. When we had finally finished that, we needed to get out of the hotel. So piled into the Durango and started driving around the neighborhood we had wanted to buy in (but didn't find any suitable houses) and were happy to realize it wasn't as great in person as it was in Google Maps and the listings. It may be a hot neighborhood, but it didn't have the right charm or appeal. Just lots of really tiny Hollywood-hills style roads that were crazy.  It was like we were back in Seattle with a lot of rain.  That didn't help our mood (still on the plane as I type this, still hating the aisle seat) any, so we finally decided to head back into the center of town and hit up a restaurant we liked, one of the last places we ate at before we moved out of L.A. (Islands).

My favorite burger is no longer on the menu, but they made it for me anyhow. #offmenu #woot But on the way to the restaurant, our broker's automated system found a new match and sent it to us.

But - it wasn't just a match where the city and price matched, it was a house with a guest house. And it was well-appointed, having been refreshed by the owners who had already moved out. 

WHAT!?!?!?! We emailed our broker, he wrote back right away to say he'd contact the seller's agent. The seller said he was under instructions not to show the house before Sunday but our broker talked about how we'd be gone by then and the seller's agent said he'd make an exception. Our broker was tied up in meetings, so we met with the seller's agent to tour the house. Other than size (of course), it was perfect. Nice neighborhood full of nicely kept homes and this house looked really good inside.

Much of the mother-in-law apartment was clearly unpermitted, but still looked good. The price was also suspiciously low, so we point-blank called that out. He agreed that the sellers expected it to sell for more, but they also wanted a quick sale as they have already moved and were renting somewhere else (Burbank turned out to be too far for them to commute) and didn't want to keep paying for two places. So we said we were incredibly motivated to get it and he admitted that he hadn't told the sellers he was showing it to us.

We left, asked our broker what we'd need to pay to get it. He and the agent talked, got the price the sellers were hoping to get for it and we said "Ok, that's what we'll pay." It was far less than the other house and we wouldn't need to do a lot of work. (Soon we'd want to expand the master and add an en suite, but we'd make to in the short-term.)

The sun-dappled back yard.
It was raining the day we saw it,
can't wait to spend time in it
when it looks like this!
Since we'd been though the ringer with the first house on the financials, our broker was able to answer all the questions about our financials and satisfy everything.

They countered with with a few non-financial points - the length of the escrow, specifying the escrow and title companies, stuff like that. We accepted their counter, sent the wire instructions and 26 hours after the house was listed, we were escrow.

If that house had come up a few days earlier (usually homes list on Tuesday to show throughout the week before the Sunday open house) or a few days later, we would have missed it. But if that timing was a coincidence, a phrase one of my co-workers used to say often comes to mind: "Coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous."

The other house had countered with stuff and we still had until Monday to respond and they made it clear we weren't the only offers they were countering. We let them know on Friday that we wouldn't be responding to their counter.

Tomorrow: Ben goes swimming.
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