I've heard of cases where the closing table is a nightmare. Just when folks think they have a buy (or sale, depending on your side of the table) locked down, it all falls apart when they're seated across from each other trying to close the deal. The finances or mortgage falls through or the property has a lien that isn't discovered till the last minute or there is some glitch in the paperwork. It's hard for me to believe sometimes, but we have never had this problem. Now, we have had to delay closings to complete lien searches or re-do paperwork or re-negotiate something, but we've been fortunate enough to close every time we've finally made it to the closing table. This is a true miracle because we close on properties sometimes twice a year. But I'll give credit where credit is certainly due, and that would not be credit to me. I add my two-cents' worth most times and even some times when it's not wanted(!), but the real credit goes to our team of realtors, attorneys, accountants, and counselors from all walks of life who are the best! Plus, the hubs is the master negotiator and a detail man. He earned the title of great negotiator years ago when he would secure us five-star vacation accommodations for three-star prices in our early years. I've actually had friends ask me before if he can negotiate a good deal for them! But his negotiating skills are not for sale, they are solely for the benefit of our family and business. You know why? Because it takes hours upon hours of searching, talking, haggling, and PATIENCE to be good at closing great deals. No one could afford him! Also, I trust him completely to think of all those little details that could be issues later...when all I can think of is just how beautiful I'm gonna make the place. He's a keeper.
Over the last couple of years, the housing market has changed remarkably. It went from a buyer's market back in 2007/08 to a seller's market now. It amazes us now to remember some of the houses there were available back in 2008 when the economy fell out...you could get a lot of house that needed a little work for amazingly little cash. Now that the housing market is on the rise and people are ready to buy again, the market has hit a rare "low-inventory" status, and we find people are engaging in bidding wars over the same house, with the houses selling beyond the original asking price to the highest bidder. But for the good of the economy, I'm happy to see contractors building again and people buying again. Until the inventory grows though, this scenario has made it that much harder for us to find those diamonds in the rough. But they are out there if you are willing to search, search, and search some more. Years ago before I ever even considered that renovating homes might be in our future, I remember seeing houses for sale that were practically being given away, if only you had the guts to take them on. I never, ever thought I'd have those guts, but here I am years later dreaming of all the tired, sad, lonely houses we might be able to save from an imminent tear-down. So, as in so many things that change, compromise has become our middle name. We sometimes get less house with a lot more repairs needed with a significantly higher price tag. But the upside is there may be -- just maybe -- a bonus attached that others may see as a deal-breaker or not worth the effort but we see as potential... like broken down outbuildings... acreage to upkeep... good bones as they say with layers of decades-old sloppy renovations covering them, but good bones nonetheless if you're willing to uncover them.
So today, after a grueling search (again, the hubs, not so much me), we closed on our next renovation property. Many of you have been following our journey and especially our last reno which, as you know, has been our biggest remodeling project to date. "To date" is the operative phrase here, because our new project is gonna be just as labor-intensive (if not more). As I said in my last post, it is one that I've had on my bucket list for awhile now, restoring an old house -- 125 years old to be exact. Or, who knows, maybe it's 125 years young, because they just don't build 'em now like they used to. I have a feeling when we finish with this project, this house may just live on into the next century or two. This little gem doesn't look like much on the outside but it has those good bones and a bounty of beautiful solid wood in it through and through. I simply cannot wait to have the walls torn out to the studs to reveal all that gorgeous timber and see where it takes us. Well, once again, it won't be me, but our great "team" of demolitioners (is that a word?!), aka the hubs, my wonderful son-in-law, and possibly a few other family members and friends who might be willing to take the plunge into those 125-year-old walls for a few good meals and a slap on the back! I will NOT be helping with the demolition process because, though I don't mind getting dirty, I'm not sure that my reflexes are quick enough from 15 feet above the floor if a mouse runs across my foot. Eeeek! I will, however, be nearby to give my two-cents' worth, of course.
Complete body suits and respirators, here we come...
"Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don't recognize them."
- Ann Landers
Posted by CC
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