Tuesday, February 28, 2012

OMG! We did have a bidding war!

And it wasn't even with one of the fence sitters! The first offer came from the couple who saw it on Saturday and the second offer was from a single guy who saw it on Sunday. He had called and asked a lot of "good" questions about the house earlier in the week before he saw it.Like what was under the carpet in the bedrooms upstairs, things that make it seem serious.

So while the couple initially offered $10K less than our asking price, they made and amendment and both sent in offers of $5k more! OMG! I can't believe it! I was so, so discouraged on Friday. I'm feeling shell shocked right now, like I shouldn't get too excited because it is too good to be true.

We decided to accept the couple's offer because they had more earnest money, more money down, will let us occupy for 7 days at no charge, shortening the inspection period to 7 days, and aren't asking for closing costs. She really loves the nursery, they are hoping to start a family soon.

The single guy asked for us to pay $7k of his closing costs, would charge us rent for the week after closing, is using his 401K for the down payment, and asked for an alternate inspection form rather than the standard professional inspection. (Our REA said that that form sometimes makes lenders question the motivation, like what is wrong with the house? So that was a flaw in her eyes.) I really liked his love letter to the house better though. He really, really likes my house! He loves the exact shade I stained the woodwork; he wants to get vintage appliances for the kitchen, which I would like but Mr. W isn't into. He's a kindred spirit! But I know it would be dumb to sell the house based on that alone.

We sent a minor addendum to the couple this morning just to clarify our exclusions (the Povey windows and the Irene Watts rose bush) and make sure we saw their letter from their bank with their higher offer price (the bank had already closed yesterday when they made the change to their offer). They are very excited and happy with those changes. Mr. W will be signing the revised papers shortly.

We also let the single guy know that we will send an addendum to have him be our first back up and he is very open to that. Our Realtor wants to get him closer to the first offer so will ask for no rent back and a higher sale price that includes his closing costs so it would be a wash for us. We will see what happens there, but hopefully for us it will be a non issue and things will go smoothly with our inspection.

Can I tell you how happy I am to have to cancel the viewings I had scheduled for today?! Everyone can resume their napping schedules! Hooray!

I'm still so in shock that things turned around for us! I just can't believe it.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Finally, an offer!

We received our first offer yesterday and are meeting with our Realtors tonight to review. The funny thing is they didn't even make an appointment to see our house on Saturday. For some odd reason we have more showings during the week and our weekends are light. We only had one viewing scheduled for Saturday, so we stopped briefly by our house afterwards to pick up a stroller before heading to the model train show. Mr. W said their was a couple there with their agent. He said he called, but I know that he didn't.

Anyway, good thing, because they submitted an offer on Sunday! And they are first time home buyers relocating from Hood River. That is good for us that they don't have a contingency because we need to close on this house by the end of April in order to close on the Mt. Tabor Victorian. And they are excited about our neighborhood and looking forward to being able to sell one of their cars. This just might work out!!!

Our realtor told us that we have 2-3 other people who have been sitting on the fence and want to know if we receive an offer on our house. Mr. W is really hoping we end up with a bidding war. I don't know about that! ;)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I never saw this coming...

I thought this would be our forever house so I hung a lot of wallpaper. We don't have off street parking. We never got around to putting new flooring in the kitchen and 1st floor bathroom. The exterior needs to be painted. These were all the things I felt would be potential problems when we put our house on the market after falling in love with the Mt. Tabor house.

Never in a million years did I think the biggest obstacle would be the ceiling height upstairs! Mr. W is 6' and he bought this house when he was a bachelor. He has never hit his head on a doorway. The ceiling is 6'6" and the doorways are only 5' 11 1/2". Apparently everyone who is coming to see our house is hitting their heads upstairs. This seems unbelievable to me, none of our friends or family who have stayed here are running into doorways? I guess I just don't understand tall people problems. Sigh!

From the feedback we are getting, people really, really love the house and the only thing holding them back from making an offer is the doorways.

I'm so discouraged! I feel like we'll never sell it now. We already lowered the price (that's when people stopped complaining about the lack of driveway.) I just never saw this problem coming.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sooo ready for this to be over!!!

I am so tired of having our house on the market. We are all sick, and it seems like everyone seems to schedule their viewings during nap time. It is really beginning to take a toll on us. It is next to impossible to get the children out of the house without destroying the tidiness first. My patience is running very, very thin.

Yesterday we had 6 viewings so we spent the day at my mom's house. That was actually nice, since it was a holiday and we could spend the day with her. Before we left, My Little Helper refused to go to the bathroom first. The cross town traffic wasn't as bad as I anticipated so we arrived home about 10 minutes early. I parked around the corner and let the boys crawl around in the car. Then he started yelling, "I have to go potty!" so I unloaded us all from the car and headed towards the house hoping they had left early. Nope, I could see people still inside while he was talking about how he was going to pee on the tree in front of the house. Ack! We just cannot have that!!! So I made him run back around the corner and let him pee on our car/in the gutter. Did I mention this was all happening in the rain?

Please, make it stop! Someone make us an offer. I'm becoming desperate!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

2 weeks on the market

Our house has been on the market for 2 weeks. After one week, Ms G, the wife of our Realtor team, suggested we drop the price, but the Mr. W, the husband, thought we could wait until two weeks. They said that our house has had a better turn out since they can't remember when. We had nearly 40 realtors/people go through in the first two weeks. However we had no showings Friday or Saturday, and only one on Sunday. I have two more viewings scheduled for today and tomorrow.

All the feedback we have gotten has been good. However there are two issues that keep coming up in the feedback:

  1. We don't have a driveway and we live in a popular urban neighborhood. (Although it should be obvious that we have no driveway before you schedule to come out to our house anyway, so why that is a complain after the fact perplexes me.)
  2. The ceiling height in the upstairs hallway is low, but the bedrooms all have higher, vaulted ceilings.
Those are the two things mentioned if they say we might be priced too high. So that makes me wonder, wouldn't people offer less if they liked the house but think we are too high? That's what we did when we put in our offer on the Mt. Tabor Victorian. Are we so hyper polite in Portland that people aren't comfortable offering less? I thought most people offered less, especially in a buyers market.

We are right in with other comps, but on the higher end because of all the restoration work we have done. We are not a flip, all the work done here was professional, no DIY half ass crap quality.

Our realtor keeps saying that price will cure everything, but I feel like if not having a driveway is a deal breaker for someone, then us lowering the price wouldn't fix it. We're not at all opposed to negotiating or accepting an offer at a lower price. But we feel like we're getting a lot of pressure to drop the price now. If we do it, we'd drop it enough to get down into the next bracket of house hunters' budgets.

I worry that if we drop now at 2 weeks that we will lose all our negotiating cushion. Since we have a contract to buy contingent upon the sale of our bungalow we want to be perceived as serious about selling, but not desperate.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Baby Boy's first hair cut

When Our Little Helper was a baby Mr. W wanted to wait until he was two to have his first haircut. A very old fashioned idea which I liked too. Several of his friends were also waiting to cut thier son's hair. The only problem was all these friends were curly haired as were their sons. Mr. W and I both have incredibly stick straight hair and so did our son. Our poor boy's bangs were getting so long that he was beginning to resemble a skater from the 80's. It was so long that when we would crawl along he'd have to tip his head back so he coudl see out from underneath his bangs. I began to put "boy-rettes" in his hair to pull the bangs out of his eyes. Still Mr. W would not budge. So I put together a somewhat official looking petition for cutting Our Little Helper's bangs. I carried it around on a clipboard in my diaper bag and so people could sign off. You know how you sometimes receive unwelcome advice from strangers? Well in this case I'd just whip out the petition and have them sign it. It took about a month, but eventually Mr. W conceded and our son had his first hair cut at 14 months.
This time things the build up to the first haircut was far less painful. I only had to use the boy-rettes a few times. Mr. W was completely willing to have Baby Boy's hair cut, it was just a matter of fitting it into our house selling schedule.
The boy's barber is Barber-Q which is in this tiny little Deco era store front.A before photo, the boy is in need of a haircut.
We have a photo like this of Our Little Helper's first haircut too.
Sitting on Daddy's lap for his haircut.He's not a big fan...Meanwhile, big brother is as calm as can be during his trim.A little shave on the back.All done! Now it's time to Frankenstein walk. We are having a little buyer's remorse though. He looks like a real boy now, no longer a baby. Mr. W laments that this haircut has aged him a whole year. Sigh! He's growing up.

Friday, February 3, 2012

A drive out to Milwaukie

When I drove out to Casa de Tamale for Candlemas, I brought along my camera to take a few photos of the awesome olf neon at Pietro's Pizza. I think this must have been the Linkoriginal location since it has such an awesome sign. In the 1980s there were many locations including the Pietro's Engine House Pizza Parlor where my family walked to dinner every Friday night in Irvington. I've never eaten at this location, but have long admired its neon.
Admittedly the photos would be better at dusk. The neon shifts so that he looks like his feet are moving very quickly. On the north side of the sign the neon was actually on, perhaps because this side faces the highway more?Next door there is a Mid Century bowling alley which has a neon sign of its own.That building has a pierced concrete block exterior screen. And a rather dull paint job.


We had Our Little Helper's parent teacher conference at preschool yesterday so my mom played hooky (she has about 100 sick days she has never used and since she'll be retiring in a coupe years she figures she ought to use them for occasional babysitting instead. So I took the boys to her house in the morning and we hung out there until I picked up Mr. W for the conference. This also worked out well to keep us out of the house while we had viewings scheduled.
We had a very good conference. There were some things that his teacher wanted to work on for him, like drawing and art projects since he isn't as interested in those fine motor skills. But she said after she had put her report together he participated in drawing time and drew a dragon complete with a mouth, arms, a tail and lots of scales. He also signed his name to it, a skill that they are NOT working on a t preschool, just something that he has picked up on his own. I beam with pride for my boy!
We also talked about school plans for next year. I had been considering trying to get him in at the public school near our new house which has the only half day kindergarten in the city. I intended to have him repeat kindergarten at another school. As I was trying to figure out the wisdom in that, a bumpie pointed out that if I think he is excited about kindergarten now, consider how hard it will be when they ramp up the children for 1st grade at the end of kindergarten. That spoke volumes to me!
The other thing that was swaying me in the plan to push for kindergarten this year was how not assertive he is. When I was able to observe him with his classmates at snack day last week I noticed that he is shy in a group. The child whose snack day it is gets to make all the announcements that day and he was so soft spoken, no one could hear him. I have noticed with his friends that he is not an Alpha kid. He is happy to follow along with what other children are playing, even if his friend is younger than him. I don't have any problem with my child not being and Alpha kid, but I realized the impact of him being the youngest in his class with this characteristic. Better to be bigger/older than the others and not assertive than smaller, shy, and a target for being picked on. His teacher expressed concern that he doesn't play with others. This was shocking to me since he always engages in active play with his friends. But in this larger class setting he doesn't. Later int he day though I wondered if it might be the result of his best friend in the class moving to North Dakota two months into the school year? Perhaps he doesn't want to have his little heart broken again? In any even we discussed with his teacher which classroom options for the fall would be close to a pre-kindergarten program since he is so eager to go.
After the conference I drove out to Milwaulkie to pick up tamales from Casa de Tamale.
I'm doing abridged celebrations this winter since they house is on the market. I was thinking about just eating out there for dinner, but Mr. W was afraid that might be too chaotic with the children. I only bought a dozen tamales this year since we weren't having guests (my mom already had other plans)
Back at my mom's house Grammy and Our Little Helper made candle shaped cookies to celebrate Candlemas. I considered making candles at my mom's, but couldn't locate the box with the candle kit which we recently moved into her basement. Moving is crazy! This was a much easier project to work on, and Our Little Helper really likes making cookies.
Adding ingredients.Cutting out the cookies.Adding the sprinkles.Candle shaped cookies! (This cookie cutter was among the stuff my MIL gave us when they moved)Chicken and green chili tamales. I bought these festive little melamine plates at Target.Baby Boy dining on rice cakes. Yes, it is one of those kinds of days that he's still in his jams from the morning!Pork and asparagus tamale with cotija cheese.Baby Boy walking, he carries this fridge toy around like it is his ghetto blaster.