We have rented the house we currently live in for two years. It really is a nice house, but not a “permanent” home for us. We used to think it could be and hoped that maybe the landlords would eventually sell it to us. They said they were not looking to sell. But there have been more and more issues with the house lately.
A few days ago, our landlord did ask us what our offer would be so he could consider it. He had recently been looking at repairing a huge problem on the house. So this made me think “Aha! That problem is quite costly and difficult to deal with and he may consider selling to not have to deal with it.” He didn’t say this, of course, but the timing was obvious. We looked at comparable houses in the neighborhood and in similar condition in terms to needs of repairing and more. We told him what we would offer. We figured he didn’t realize we knew the actual value of the home and was hoping we would be willing to offer more. He has yet to respond. That proved it to us. Since we didn’t offer more, he isn’t willing to deal with it.
Yeah. Sorry, buddy. We know what the neighborhood goes for on homes that don’t need repair. But that isn’t this house. We are way more than aware that foundation issues in a house ain’t cheap. We know about the issues with the deck that you still haven’t fixed despite it being a year since Hurricane Harvey. Remember? We were the ones living here during that. We know where the wall busted in and had a hole from outdoors to inside and caused us to get mold. We know where the ceiling has an issue. This house will be costly to fix.
Why do we know all this? Because we have been working with a realtor over the past month and are looking at homes to buy. Our landlord is not aware of this.
We had, actually, put an offer in on a home in the neighborhood. It was a good price and in good condition. It was accepted and we were so excited. Until the inspection happened. We thought it would go great. After all, the sellers were living in the house still. When we looked at it before we made our offer, their dog was there!
Let’s just say there were major problems.
- Previous foundation repairs that they denied
- Faulty wiring throughout
- Rotten wood in areas
- Breaker box issues
- The water pipes were completely rusted through in the back of the house and you could not get any water in the master bathroom
We countered with an addendum asking for certain repairs (note: not all) or price decrease. They countered back with the slightest decrease ever (we are talking $2000) and a snippy letter stating that “You have to understand that the house was not built in the last 10 years. We refuse to do any repairs on these items since they are non-essential.”
Oh. I hadn’t realized that water was non-essential. Silly me!
Turns out, the sellers weren’t actually living in the house anymore. They had just left some stuff to make it appear that they were. A facade to make naive buyers go “oh, well, if they were living without water in that bathroom, it can’t be that bad! We can fix it eventually.”
I have a toddler. She takes baths. We need water.
How do I know they weren’t actually living in the house anymore? Sleuthing, my dear Doctor Watson! While the inspection was going on and he was making all of his notes, I was walking around and planning where I would put all of our furniture. I couldn’t help but notice some odd things.
- 5 out of 6 dining room chairs were broken and couldn’t support more weight than a purse.
- The oven was so new that it had never been used. You could tell this by the signs inside from the manufacturer.
- In the master closet, there were weird clothing items. Like a bunch of shoes, but not all of them had matches. Winter coats and nothing else, which would make your outfits ridiculous in the 100 degree weather we constantly have.
- The dresser was completely empty, so they clearly were not getting dressed here.
- No towels, but they had half a bar of soap in the guest bath to make it look like someone was showering there.
- No TVs, computers, coffee machines, electronics of any kind.
- Canned goods in the pantry and soda in the fridge, but no perishable food. And no dishes, cups, pots, pans, utensils.
They must have been stopping by once a week to slightly tweak things to make it look “lived in” and brought their dog over right before any showing to give that same impression.
Incredibly sneaky in a clever, manipulative way.
We backed out of the house.
It still hasn’t sold.
I wonder why?
We had almost put an offer in on another house, but were told someone beat us to it. They said we could try to outbid them, if we wanted. We did not. Hence, we went for the “Facade House”.
But this other house was still showing up in our online portal as for sale. We contacted our realtor, who contacted the sellers’ agent. Apparently the buyers had backed out before the inspection for other reasons. They had received an offer that day, but had showings scheduled this weekend, so were going to wait to look at all offers until the start of next week.
We decided to put in an offer today.
Now let me just say, we have no intent of getting into a bidding war. We do not actually believe there was another offer. We think this might be a selling tactic to try to prevent us from submitting below asking price. “If they offered more, we won’t get the house!” Which is an actual thing that happens. But for it to happen literally the day we were shown the house (and told about it 20 minutes after we finished the showing) and then again the day we inquired as to its new status? It is perfectly possible it is true, but unlikely.
I guess we will find out?
I don’t want to get my hopes up too high, just in case. Lesson learned from the last one, I suppose. I was literally taking video in the rooms of the “Facade House” where I would pan the room and say what I thought could go where. And then the inspector talked to me. And all the air in my balloon of excited-soon-to-be-homeowner-ness seeped out. I really thought they might consider doing the few repairs we requested. You know, the water pipes? Because even if they decided they didn’t like us for finding out their rusted secret, they weren’t going to be able to sell this house at a “move in ready” price with that issue. Each new buyer was going to find out the same information and request a similar addendum.
I deleted the videos.
It was really rough for a bit, because I had been so excited about moving. We would have been near our closing date right now. Packing everything up. Gearing up to start the autumn off in our new home. Planning the holidays there.
I am trying to stay neutral.
But I really do hope they accept our offer.