I wanted to wait until I had my laptop fixed to type this whole story up, because it’s going to be long and would’ve been a pain to type out on the iPad. Yes, I could’ve used my wireless keyboard, but we’ll ignore that little fact because I also simply kept forgetting. :)
Back in mid-November, we started to get showings on the house. Within the span of 1 week plus 1 day, we had 2 showings, and the 2nd showing resulted in an offer on our house. We were surprised that, after being on the market for about 5 months, we suddenly got some interest, and were thrilled at the offer. Negotiations lasted a little more than a week because of some delays with the man putting in the offer, but we got to a point where we knew we’d be signing the paperwork to go under contract, and scheduled showings to go look at properties so we could get under contract on a house to buy.
We found a house that we really liked, and it was in fantastic shape. The sellers were willing to be a bit fluid with closing dates, and we set closing for the date we knew we’d be closing on our current home, but they were aware that we might have to submit an addendum to bump up the closing date since our buyer really wanted to close as quickly as possible. Inspections were being lined up on the properties, and John and I thought we were crazy for trying to close on December 19th or December 30th since the holidays are notoriously a 3 ring circus around here.
Fast forward to Thanksgiving Eve, and our realtor gets a call from our buyer’s realtor saying that our buyer wanted to back out of the deal because of an “issue” he was having with his son (before you think I’m being totally callous, the issue is not related to special needs, but to some poor decisions, and as you’ll see later, makes me question the legitimacy of some of this anyway), and a supposed denial of funds from another source. Our realtor called me the Friday after Thanksgiving, while I was packing, to update me. Cue freak outs on my part and John’s part.
We were able to work things out, and since our house is USDA loan eligible, the buyer was able to change his mortgage type and get established with that particular loan type. That also meant closing would be bumped to mid-January, and the new closing date of January 16th was set. While John and I were hoping to move either right before or right after the holidays, this actually worked out for the better because of the government holiday on the 19th for Martin Luther King, Jr. day, which means John wouldn’t have to take additional PTO to help unpack.
Our realtor got the earnest money check, and after verifying funds, cashed it so we could keep the process moving. We thought we’d have to postpone the home inspection on the property we were buying, but after hearing things were good to go, we decided to go through with our home inspection since John already had the time off, and he wasn’t sure if he’d be able to take another day off before our inspection deadline. Our mortgage broker was getting the appraisal lined up, and things appeared to be back on track.
1 week later, the shit hit the fan and we get a phone call from our realtor, saying that the buyer’s realtor called him to let him know that the buyer “cancelled” the earnest money check, and she couldn’t track him down. Our realtor was on the phone with the buyer’s mortgage lender, seeing if they could track him down as well, and he also tried to contact this guy. No luck. John and I were crushed and pissed, because we knew that we now lost the property that we fell in love with and were going to purchase, but we were also out the costs of the home inspection that we just had done a few days prior.
As if things couldn’t get any more bizarre, a couple days later, our realtor called again with an update and it turns out that the buyer actually wrote a BAD CHECK. I instantly went from being upset, feeling very guilty about backing out of the deal with the other sellers even though our contract was specifically written with the contingency of sale on our current property, and slightly pissed about the whole situation to flat out raging! This guy was shadier than a tree in summer, and he knew exactly what he was doing, so it’s no surprise he hightailed it off the grid and made it so no one could contact him!
Because of the way the contract was broken, the deposit was supposed to be forfeited, which meant we would’ve recouped the money we paid for the home inspection on the other property. People at our realtor’s agency were also pissed, and they decided to go after the jerk for what he did. I know that they were going to place a judgment on him to try and get the money due, but when we’ll actually see that money (if at all) remains to be seen. At least we get our earnest money back from the other property, otherwise I really would’ve gone Hulk on the former buyer because that’s a huge chunk of change that we would’ve lost.
So we’re back on the market. We had an open house a week and a half ago. 1 person came, and it sounded like he’s at least marginally interested in the property, but no offer yet. The market is expectedly and understandably dead right now because of the holidays, but we’re hoping that the weather will hold after the new year and things will pick up in January or February. We’re not worried about selling, because it’s going to be a matter of when, and if we don’t get back under contract soon, we have the benefit of being on the market in the spring when things are the busiest.
We’re also not incredibly worried about finding a house to move into. We fully realize that the likelihood of the house we were going to buy being on the market once our house is under contract again is slim, but the sellers and their realtor said that if they’re still on once we’re under contract, they would be happy to accept our offer again.
I’m usually not a fan of this saying, but with everything that went down, we do feel like that maybe this was a sign that that particular house wasn’t “the one” for us, and “the one” is either on the market, waiting for us to go under contract, see it, and place an offer, or isn’t even on the market yet. We’re doing our best to view the positives in this whole situation. Trying to explain all of this to Judith, though, has been interesting, because she was getting excited to move and doesn't understand why all of the boxes went back into the basement and we had to re-stage everything.
So that’s what we’ve been up to. An already crazy time was made even more chaotic with the bullshit from the former buyer, and in a way I’m rather relieved that we don’t have to deal with his shenanigans anymore. I’m still a bit salty about the whole situation, and it kind of killed our holiday spirit, but we’re doing our best not to let it get to us too much and to just enjoy ourselves.