Our Home Saga:
Purchase Contract

In the spring of 2003, Theresa and I started looking for houses again. We abandoned the idea of buying a place where we could keep the boat nearby, and this allowed me to expand my search to the eastern Bay. I stumbled across several nice listings, so I sent them to Theresa. She really liked one of the houses, so she suggested that we find out if the owner might be amenable to a delayed closing (so we wouldn't have to break our lease). I was skeptical that anyone would entertain such an offer in a hot housing market, but Theresa called the realtor anyway.

Theresa discovered that the house was vacant and two offers had already fallen through, so the owner certainly was amenable to a delayed closing if it came with a solid contract. We later discovered that this was because the owner had no clue what a "delayed closing" really entailed, but that's for later in the story...

I should mention at this point that the listing seemed almost too good to be true. The house was beautiful, sitting on 3/4 acre by a lake, nicely landscaped with numerous beautiful live oaks and palm trees. Moreover, the house had a large entryway, 4 bedrooms, a study, 3 full baths, a pool, and a 3-car garage -- all for a lot less money than any comparable properties I'd found. So... we kinda' knew there must be a catch.

On April 5th, we drove out to see the house and discovered part of the problem. The house was no longer white but yellow; it had a brand new wooden fence around the entire yard; the lawn was mostly dead, and nothing had been pruned for ages. (Picture) The house looked nothing like the pictures in the listing (above). The interior was nice enough, but it had dark green carpet throughout (even in the master bathroom!), and there were dead bugs everywhere. The place looked like someone had just moved out.

Nevertheless, we liked the house and the property (particulary the trees), so we made an offer. The seller proved unwilling to negotiate much, but we eventually reached an equitable deal with a closing in late August. Little did we know that this was just the beginning...

2003 Robert M. Freeland II. All rights reserved.
Changes last made on: Wed, Oct 8, 2003