Going into this, I had no idea how difficult it was going to be to simultaneously buy & sell property at the same time. I assumed there’d be a little bit of timing hassle, but since we’d never done it before I really had no freaking clue what to expect. Granted, San Diego’s real estate market is absolutely crazy right now — low inventory across the board, prices that have gone up 20%+ in the past two years. It’s basically a nightmare for both buyers and sellers to be honest. Let’s take a look at how things have gone.
Listing our house was straightforward. We spent a couple weeks preparing the home for listing, including getting a handyman to do some lingering projects (such as installing a new door, fixing some baseboard issues, caulking some things, fixing some windows) and we hired painters to come in and stain the deck and do touchup paint throughout the house. We staged it, rearranged things, and listed the house on the market on April 15th. Within a few days, we had four offers.
The first buyer (Buyer A) we picked was pretty atrocious. His agent was bullying ours into accepting the offer, saying “how much do we need to offer to put this thing into pending TODAY?”. We ended up choosing him because his offer was so much higher than the others, and honestly – an extra $10,000 in our pocket sounded really nice. In hindsight, we shouldn’t have done it. He was pretty non-communicative and his agent seemed pretty green in terms of experience. It was ugly. Even though they waived the appraisal contingency, he ended up walking when the appraisal came in way under his offer price. We didn’t fight it and gave him his earnest money back, mostly because we wanted to just move on. Then, we offered to our backup buyer – who ended up saying they were no longer interested.
So we had to relist the house, which was on May 13th. It rained like crazy for the first few days after we listed it, so we didn’t get many showings. Despite that, we had a couple offers and one was decent enough to counter it (Buyer B). Not nearly as high as the last offer, but they actually seemed like pleasant people to work with so we went with it. They had their home inspection and found out there were issues with the foundation. Not major ones, just a crack that probably has been there for years and years. Our inspector told us that it wouldn’t be a big deal unless we had a MAJOR earthquake, so we didn’t fix it. However, our buyer wanted it fixed. $18,000 later, and that’s been taken care of. Next, she had the plumbing scoped and found out there was some plumbing issues that we had to repair. So we had to pay for that out of pocket too ($2000). We’re now less than a week from closing and barring any horrible circumstances, I think we’re in the clear. We’ll be renting this place back for 30-40 days from Buyer B while we get things settled on our new place.
Here’s where the heartache happens. After we listed the house for the first time, we started to house hunt just to see what our money could buy us. We didn’t really intend to put offers on anything yet because our house wasn’t sold, but we wanted to see what the market looked like in our desired areas. I convinced Luke to go look at a house that wasn’t in our intended neighborhood but seemed pretty awesome. And it was. It blew our minds and it honestly felt like a house that we never dreamed we’d be able to buy. It had two levels, rooms for days, a beautiful great room with gorgeous beams, a phenomenal view, a full acre of landscaped yard, a comfy downstairs den, a dog area, a cute workshop, everything. It was our dream house. So I called my agent with caution and said “I know we’re not ready to buy yet, but we found a house that literally made me cry.” She agreed to put an offer in, but told us it was a longshot. She said that most people won’t accept an offer that’s contingent on the sale of a buyer’s home…and since ours wasn’t even pending yet – it was unlikely our offer would be chosen. We went in at full price, waited for DAYS to hear a response, and then found out we didn’t get it. I cried really hard, not going to lie. I’ve never cried over a home before, but I had let myself fall in love with the property and was imagining living there. So, that was painful.
Next, after accepting Buyer A on our house, we put an offer in on another house in a neighborhood we weren’t super excited about living in. The house itself was gorgeous though, and the neighborhood was super family friendly with a community pool right down the block. It was a one story, super upgraded and light & bright, it would have been a nice home for us. The yard was pretty small, but all in all we really thought we’d get this one because we offered above asking price. We didn’t end up getting that one either, because it was a multiple offer situation and they picked a buyer without a contingency. Of course.
Meanwhile, our Buyer A had fallen through and so it ended up being a good thing that we didn’t get this property as we would have had to walk anyway when our sale fell through. Next, we secured Buyer B and then found another house in a similar neighborhood to the first one we fell in love with. It had beams, it had a flat acre of land, a huge master bedroom, a beautiful large kitchen, 4 bedrooms….it was great. It was a flip but they picked materials that were really our style and we jived with it. We put in an offer and didn’t hear anything for days. 4 days later, the agent finally answered his email and said he never got the offer. So we re-sent it. Two days later, then they came back and said they already had a buyer but their sale fell through so we could step into place — they just had to close escrow. A week goes by, no word. Our agent calls them again and they picked up and said their first buyer’s home is now in escrow and so they have 10 days to remove their contingency. So at this point, we’re mad about this and we assume we’re not going to get the house.
We go and look at more houses and find one in our original desired neighborhood that’s above and beyond the rest. So we put in an offer and assume we’re in good position because we went in $15,000 above asking price. It had a big yard (.30 of an acre), a small above-ground pool, 4 bedrooms, an exposed beam room, and it was close to Luke’s work and to lots of ranches for me, and in a GREAT school district. Alas, they chose the other buyer and so we thought we didn’t get it. Meanwhile, we’re still waiting to hear back on the last house, the one on 1 acre of land. We get more bad news about how we’re probably not going to get the last one, and then a week later (which was two days ago) we hear that the buyer on the .30 of an acre house are backing out and now we can have it.
So that brings us to today. We’re opening escrow on a property that’s pretty awesome. It’s not the dream house, it’s not on a ton of acreage (which is fine), and the kitchen and bedrooms are small. But it’s in a desired neighborhood, we get plenty of room for our dogs, and chickens and maybe a goat. We’ll have a pool, four separate bedrooms, a den and separate living room, and things are upgraded nicely and don’t need any work. The inspection has been done and the home’s in good shape. So hopefully we’ll be having a July move-in date scheduled soon so we can get settled and relax and prepare for our little man to arrive in September! Phew.
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