Tuesday, October 25, 2005

This Old House...is not for you

Now that I've had a chance to step away from the situation for a few days, I've decided to write about the house fiasco last week. Josh and I have been looking for a house for about 14 months now. It hasn't been easy. The abundance of school loans and credit card debt combined with small incomes has put a huge restraint on what we can afford. Unfortunately, it's not much. Now, if we wanted to live in a bad area or a really small home we could afford plenty—even 2 houses. That's not what we want though. We both grew up in a nice part of town and want to stay in a nice part of town. Since we are both artists—he's a musician, I'm a visul artist—we need enough space for a studio. Eventually we will start a family so we'll need a small bedroom for a nursery. I love to cook and entertain so we need space for that. And the list goes on.

Fast forward to a week and a half ago. We looked at a 3 bedroom house with a full basement, enclosed porch, 2 car garage, and a nice yard—in a nice neighborhood for a great price. When we viewed the house the first time, I didn't like it. Josh did. It needed some cosmetic work (no biggie) and the kitchen was small (no room for a table—a biggie for me). I turned my nose up at the house and told Josh I would need to think about it. I thought about it and decided that the only thing I didn't like was the kitchen, so we looked at it again.

We made an offer that night (last Monday). On Tuesday morning we had a counter-offer, which we accepted. Tuesday night we went to sign paperwork and it all fell apart. The seller and the selling agent both turned out to be a little crazy and by the time it was all said and done on Wednesday afternoon, we didn't get the house. Here's why:

The seller was actually a trustee on the house. She lives in California and the house had belonged to her father. Her father was a WWII vet and had lost his wife of 51 years in 1997. He was in a nursing home and wanted to go back to the house. Somebody took him home (not sure who or if they stayed in the car or what), he went into the house, got a gun from his room, walked out into the living room and shot himself in the head. Now, we had already figured most of this out before the information was disclosed to us. Josh and I wanted to know how long the house had been on the market and since it was an estate, we knew the owner had died. Thanks to the plethora of information available on the internet, we came across the coroners report which listed suicide as the cause of death. We figured he had shot himself in the living room because 1) he was a WWII vet, 2) he was an old male, and 3) it was the only room in the house where the carpet had been pulled up.

Even though we had a verbal contract, the selling agent entertained another offer on the house on Tuesday before we got to the office to sign papers. Fine, that's legal. What's not though is what came next. The seller had to "pray" to figure out "who should get the home". The selling agent said she wanted to know who we were, what our marital status was, and what our intentions on the house was. IT'S NONE OF HER BUSINESS! Plus, it's completely unethical with regards to real estate laws. When we left Tuesday night we still did not have the house (even though we signed paperwork). That night I slept horribly. I had a dream that I saw the guy in the living room of the house (complete with gun in hand and gunshot wound scar under his chin). I also saw all this blue liquid running through the living room (which in my mind was what they used to clean up the room).

The next day I had a 12 hour day at work which was peppered with phone calls all day between me, Josh, and our agent. The selling agent continued to be unethical and by 2:30 that afternoon we had found out that the seller decided to go with the family "whose kid needs a bone marrow transplant". GIVE ME A BREAK! Now, there is a chance that it's true, but somehow I doubt it. I could have made something up just as easy.

What an ordeal. Our agent was so sorry that all that had happened. He hugged me before we left on Tuesday night and on Wednesday told me that buying our first home should be a fun experience and not like this. I'm glad it's over with that house. It was obviously not meant to be.

Hopefully we will find something soon.


Jen said...

Gah! What a nasty mess! You don't want to buy a place and then have to spend your life living in it knowing that kind of history and sharing the space with icky memories! Ugh! I can't beleive you kept on as long as you did! I'd have walked away from it after finding out the stuff on the internet! I know how you feel, though- we're in the same boat financially, and wanting to buy a house. We haven't started actively looking yet, but I'm sure we'll have the same struggles.

Good luck! There seem to be alot of reasonable houses here in TX, though! You might have to move here!

❉ pixie ❉ said...

I hope you don't have the same struggles we had. Normally I wouldn't have hung on knowing he had killed himself. But, we were aware of it the second time we viewed it, which was during a full moon, and I didn't get a bad feeling about it. Someone really didn't want us to live there though. I'm secretly glad...