You may be reading about our last couple days of closing on our new house, but didn’t even know we were looking. Well, we weren’t. We decided we should back up a step and explain how we got to this point.
Then we learned a bit more about our real estate agent. Her husband is a builder and together they seek out properties with older homes on them and have done a handful of beautiful remodels around Kirkland. We started looking at his work. Very impressive. This may be the way to go. Find one of these older homes that are sprinkled in between the palaces that are being built in Kirkland and remodel. It had possibilities. Now we just had to find one. We figured we were in for the long haul and that was fine with us. We love our current home and are very happy here, so no rush. And Bill kept saying “If we move, it has to be 100% perfect – at par or better than this place”. He was certainly not going to comprimise, and I agreed. We settled in and were prepared to look for 1-2 years before finding something that would work.
About 24 hours into “settling in” mode, our agent sent us a listing for a property on 1st street in Kirkland. A 1959 home that was being used as a rental for students from a local college. It was around the price we thought we could manage (as we would need to keep our current place while this one was being remodeled), and looked like it might have possibilites. But this place had something we did not know at the time, but we were about the find out. We were running some errands, so we decided to drive by. Our agent offered to meet us there, and brought her builder husband. We made it up to the top step of the front entrance and our agent said “turn around”. Bill and I turned around and at the same time said “holy $#@&!” An unbelieveable view of Lake Washington and the Olympic Mountains. WOW. The property was fine, but the price was all about the view. Then it just got better.
We walked into the back yard and saw the enormous lot. The builder explained that with some agreement from the neighbors , the lot was sub dividable. In other words, we could potentially sell the back lot to the builder and that sale could fund our remodel on the front property. Of course it means that there would be a house on the back lot quite close to us, but the financial side was awesome and that’s city living, right? The subdivision was maybe easier said than done, but it was a possibiity. Within 30 minutes we had made a full price offer.
It was Saturday and the seller was not going to entertain offers until Tuesday (can you say “bidding war”?), but the selling agent and our agent and her husband knew each other well. A few phone calls, a bit of a selling job by all parties later, and we had mutual agreement. About an hour later another couple came to look at it and wanted it, and the following day there was an open house on the property and two other couples wanted it as well as about 5 other builders. We realized we had aligned with the right people and snatched this property out from under everyone. Then the scramble for financing began. Not going to waste a lot of time on that, anyone who has been through it knows how painful it is, and this one was especially so. Ugly, but we got there, and now the real work begins.
Now you’re all up to speed… 🙂