Friday, August 17, 2007

Mr. Kluges Shares the News

(c) 2007 Ms. Huis Herself at

Mr. Kluges shares the lowdown on the house... Comments in square brackets are mine. -MHH

The saga continues...

A week ago we had the inspection on the house and it found one or two things we missed. It also impressed upon us the potential severity of some of the issues we did know about. We looked at the report from the inspector and then went back to our realtor and provided her with a list of defects that we wanted the owner to address, either by reducing the price or by offering to fix. My thought was that in negotiating you always let the other party make the first offer, so we wanted to see how reasonable the current owner would be.

It didn't work. By Monday our agent was pushing us to come up with a concrete number because the seller wasn't going to make the first offer. So we flinched and came up with a formal amendment to our original offer. We reduced the offering price by another $7500 and had him throw in the appliances. (He wasn't including appliances in with the original house sale - who does that?) We also put in a 48 hour deadline. [See? We learned!-MHH] He and his agent have been less than stellar about getting back to us (in case you haven't been agonizing with us for the last FOUR weeks). We were resolved that this was it. We were offering as much as we thought the property was really worth (in this market) and we were tired of waiting for the knucklehead to get back to us. If we didn't hear anything by end of day Thursday, we were walking. There is a perfectly nice brick, American Four Square still available. [see previous post]

The owner is currently living in Sydney, Australia so due to the time difference, if we don't hear anything by 10:00 am, then it's unlikely that we will hear anything from the owner [yet that day], due to the 15 hour time difference. Yesterday, 10:00 came and went without so much as a beep, ring or buzz. The day passed and I went home at 3:00 pm, as I do every day, and started mentally adjusting to life in downtown, in the other brick four-square.

At 4:30 yesterday, our agent called us to say that the owner had signed our amendment. We were stunned. We thought for sure that he was not interested in our amendment. So we've moved another step forward (and this was another big one).

There are four things that need to happen for us to close on this house.

1) Get the seller to agree to sell us the house at an agreed upon price. - This is done, but it wasn't easy as we had to bump another offer with contingencies.

2) Pass the inspection. - This is done, but only from the standpoint that the seller has reduced his price. All the items that the inspection found still need to be addressed, but by us, after we've closed on the house.

3) Get insurance. - This is still up in the air. I've got feelers out to several agents and even 1 quote back, but almost everyone is balking at the knob and tube wiring (no surprise there).

4) Get some money. - This is still up in the air. No insurance means no loan. Furthermore, when the current owner filled out the standard disclosure sheet indicating the status of the property, he was a little too generous with his information. He included things like "the shower clogs up if the hair isn't taken out of the drain" or "water damage and mold may develop if the overspray from the shower isn't wiped up." To a lender just looking at the disclosure sheet, the boxes for "I'm aware of defects in the plumbing" and "I'm aware of mold problems in the structure" are ticked.

Realistically, the two items that are left should be less difficult than the first two, so at this point we are very comfortable that we will be closing on the house sometime in August.
Here's hoping...