The Time I Bought a Foreclosed House

June 17, 2013

Everything has a beginning. A period of intrigue, of possible indifference, of curiosity. For us, it happened gradually.

We saw this structure, home or duplex we couldn’t tell, in bad condition and wondered about it. We noticed it, since it is just a block from where we live. We questioned when there was no life in it. We called when a phone number went up on the door. We peered through the windows when we thought no one was looking.

We were intrigued, curious, yet indifferent. It meant nothing to us.

Our real estate agent emailed me on April 6 when I was on business in New York.

subject: I think this is the one you called about!

Hi Beck,
I think this is the property that you called me about.
It was just listed.
Let me know if you’d like to take a peek at it.

On April 8 my husband went inside for the first time; on April 9th, I did. On the 10th we put an offer in.

I won’t go through the details about how the sellers wrote a counter offer that was essentially the same as our offer, minus a few minor details the sellers agent mussed up. I also won’t go into details about how we countered the mussed-up counter offer, how the seller opened the bidding back up, how we re-offered and were re-counter offered to.

Really, all that is in the past. It’s just part of the dating game.

The real battles are with the insurance companies (uninsurable house), the contractors that will renovate our house, the work we’ll do to avoid the contractors, the sales shopping and family and friends who will offer to help and throw appliance contacts in our direction, the journey that we’re about to embark on: Our First Home.

So no matter how bad things look and smell, and believe me: they do look and smell like the worst trash in an alleyway with a hundred dogs and cats living in it, it will be ours.

Our closing date is the last day of spring, June 20th.

This is the story of our first home.

June 20, 2013

At 3:00 PM today we’re signing on to be the caretaker/maker of this large, forlorn house. And already at 4:00 PM we have a contractor coming to talk about our plumbing plans, which makes me smile: I haven’t had plumbing plans before.

About ten years ago, so the stories go, an addition was added to the house for a home business. One of our future contractors remembers bringing his kids to the hair salon. It’s an interesting space, and we are quite intrigued with the possibilities we see in the second side.

I am looking forward to curling up on the back patio in the morning with a cup of coffee and a book. I hope this will happen this summer yet.

Today I’m giving you the gift of a quick once-over, a few “as we see it” shots. Never mind our incredulous facial expressions, the looks that say I really can’t believe someone (and their dogs) lived here like this and I’m afraid if I breathe through my nose I’ll pass out.

After Photos

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