Since our first date, Daniel had talked about being ready to buy a house or a condo but never actually acted on it. About a year and a half after that fateful day, he had officially occupied two different Wauwatosa duplexes only 4 blocks apart, and he was confident Tosa was where he wanted to make his official residence indefinitely. At the time, I was working as an assistant to my now business partner, Chris, and started looking at houses that were on the market. In terms of the search, Daniel did not have many requirements in regards to the house other than it needed to fall within a 6 block radius from the duplex he was currently living in. Needless to say, he sure didn’t make my job easy but I was up for the challenge.
When it came to looking at houses, we didn’t physically walk through that many. Actually, the majority of our “first showings” happened online. (Note to homeowners thinking to sell: this is the norm! Please don’t use an agent that does not hire a professional photographer. Trust me on this, if the photos aren’t that great you significantly decrease the amount of people who will walk through your home. Not only will you have less showings, but you will likely decrease the purchase price of your home and prolong the amount of time your property sits on the market.)
The third house we walked through, we thought was the one. Until we had our second physical showing where my dad joined us and found a lot of issues, that as an experienced homeowner, he strongly advised against. So we waited for more properties to hit the market. And then, one fateful night, Daniel had taken Riesling outside to go to the bathroom before we headed to bed and he noticed a new listing sign in the front yard across the street and a few houses down.
The next morning I received an email from the listing agent detailing the specifications of the house and that it was hitting the market that afternoon but they were not allowing any showings until the next day. So I made sure to schedule a showing for around the time Daniel would be coming home from work. Conveniently, my dad was flying in from a business trip at the same time so he was able to drive directly from the airport to look at it with us.
Long story short, we loved it. And my dad didn’t note anything alarming. So we went back across the street and wrote the offer. Because of the neighborhood, we knew there would be quite a few showings the next day and multiple offers if we let it sit too long. So we wrote a full price offer and gave the sellers a short time frame to accept.
Not long after, we went to bed. In the middle of the night, Daniel woke up and checked my email to see if they had responded. He saw the email from the listing agent that stated the sellers wanted to know more about us so at 3 am, we sat down at my computer and wrote them a letter.
We told them how we had been across the street for about a year, how we loved the neighborhood because it was the perfect combination of young professionals and families, how this house would be the transition for us as well as our favorite features of the home.
After reading our letter they were less concerned with the terms of the offer and felt confident that after 23 years of ownership they were selling it to people who would love the home as much as they had. So they accepted our offer, after only about 24 hours of being on the market.
In a month it will be the 2 year anniversary of our closing date. I can’t believe its been 2 years already. Our first year of ownership we updated the first floor including all new flooring and paint. Within the last year we moved upstairs putting in new carpet and painting all the bedrooms and most importantly made the bonus room a walk in closet (being that our house was lacking in the closet department, I finally have enough space for all my clothes).
Upcoming house projects: outdoor landscaping, reducing the required maintenance; staining the handrail and banister, and maybe finally tackling the grey/blue toilet and tub in our full bath.
How did you go about buying your house? I’d love to hear your home buying story.