After a day of wretched, racing-the-clock stress, we’ve put in our first offer on a house! This involved a lot of running around to (a) view the house a second time, in daylight, (b) draw up a contract, and (c) get preapproved for a loan by the bank that was selling the foreclosure. All in about five and a half hours. We wouldn’t have been able to do it at all if our agent hadn’t pulled some strings down at the bank and gotten a loan officer to see us on short notice. As it was, we skidded in under the wire fifteen minutes before the deadline.
I don’t like working under time pressure, but that seems to be how it goes with houses in our segment of the market. We are looking at the very low end of the market, which is homes for $400K or less. (Lest you think we are being extravagant, I’ll tell you that one of my coworkers gasped at the idea that you could buy a house for that price in the Bay Area. A few years ago, it would have been unthinkably cheap.)
Being at the low end of the market means most of the homes for sale are short sales or foreclosures, both of which are heavily patronized by investors. They pay cash. Banks like cash. So a nice fixer-upper usually has lots of cash offers, which puts us out of the running. It also means that a bank-owned property can be sold in just a day or two, which means no time to mull things over. If you want it, take a good look and put in an offer, fast.
The result combines all the joy of speed dating your way to a shotgun wedding while being investigated by the police (okay, okay, bank 🙂 ). Our first look at the house was by flashlight in total darkness (it being night and the utilities having been turned off). Our second look was a twenty-minute speed tour, followed immediately by drafting the offer. Definitely not for the faint of heart.
But we liked the place, the offer is in, and there are only two other offers, so we may just get it! We bid a bit over asking price, in hopes of beating out some cash offers by simply offering more. We’ll know more on Monday or Tuesday.
The place does have some nice amenities, most relevant of which is TWO rooms which might be suitable for a weaving studio! The garage is a fair-sized room and the sunroom (which used to be a covered patio, we think) is huge. I may wind up taking the sunroom since the ceiling is just a few inches over Mike’s head, making it less attractive to him. It’s a wonderful room with lots of light. I hope our offer gets accepted!
Autumn Splendor-wise, I’ve now finished understitching the facings and am preparing to put in the snaps. This will make it easier for me to try it on/see what it looks like on me, as opposed to a dress form. I’m also trying to get up the nerve to grade the facings. The trouble is that the way you’re “supposed” to do it, with the public side wider than the facing side, doesn’t seem as good to me as the reverse approach, at least on the sample. It produces a stiffer and thicker edge. Sharon said that (in her experience) it could work either way, but I’m so terrified of doing it wrong that I’m going to wait and ask her what she thinks when I see her this afternoon. The trouble is that cutting away the seam allowances is irreversible, so needs to be done right the first time.
I have not decided what to do about the front. I’m still letting it percolate; I’ll collect Sharon’s opinion this afternoon and add it to the mix. I am leaning towards the single pin, either the wire one that Kenni suggested or a polymer clay one, but it’s still a close call.
More pictures in a day or two, I promise!