Buying a house is no joke, yo.
Especially when you are in a time crunch because your house sold itself in 20 minutes.
It's funny how some people just can't be happy for you when you do something you set out to do. I wanted to sell my house. My really nice house. In a great neighborhood. Everyone knew it would sell quickly. So when people ask you how it's going and you say that it's going great because the house was under contract a day or so after it was put up, they love to say "I guess you must have priced it too low, eh?". Or some variation of the sort. Then they tell you what a nightmare it was to sell their house but they ended up getting what they wanted.
It's similar to having a baby. Mothers love to tell pregnant ladies that they had a seven day labor and 65 stitches inside and out and a cerebral hemorrhage and they died twice on the delivery table and the baby was blue for six hours but everything turned out okay and now they hardly remember the pain and the baby is just fine.
We got what we wanted. A low-hassle sale for a whole lot more than what we bought it for.
We all thought the buyer was younger than she was. Her dad, who proved to be a royal pain in the ass, was heavily involved in the sale and she is fresh out of nursing school and she's single and moving in from a (rich) suburb and this is her first house. We all figured she was in her mid-twenties and hipstery. But she's not. She's nearly 40. And has her own set of things going on.
I do hope she likes it. I don't think she will. Not for long at least.
There are a good deal of repairs to be made.
That's a large reason for our move.
And the neighborhood caters to young adults.
The house is 100 years old, and so is just about everything in it.
She has her work cut out for her, probably more than she bargained for.
And I don't think the neighbors are going to take kindly to her.
Being a transplant and all.
The first house we bid on was nice. Three bedrooms, two full baths upstairs, finished basement with a half bath. PARKING SPOT. Front yard. It was way overpriced but we put in a fair offer and then never heard back until we were told that the sellers decided to take it off the market. Frustrating. Until I spoke with one of Nicholas' daycare providers who grew up a few doors away and said that the owners are batshiz crazy and they live two doors down and the house has been empty for years and they put it on the market and take it off on a regular basis. At one point they had it listed for nearly $1million. It's worth about $300k. On a good day. She said that we do not want to be in that house because no matter who owns it, it will always be theirs and they would not be above coming over and inviting themselves in. Like a bad set of inlaws or something.
The second house was a foreclosure. I loved this house. Loved. For nearly twenty years. I used to walk past and think that I'd live there. It wasn't rehabbed, and there would be some work to do, but the work seemed all doable and we could live there while it was getting done. The basement must have been a speakeasy back in the day when those things were popular and the basement had more square footage than the house we had sold. Or close, at least. There were rooms down there I'd probably just seal off. Some of it was Bedlam level creepy. A big back yard that could double as parking. Huge rooms, huge windows, huge kitchen, huge dining room, corner property. Mudrooms in the front and back. You need mudrooms when you have two boys. Hell, when you are me. We bid $15k over asking and got jerked around by a slimy selling agent and the property sold and then I cried for two days until I got a grip and reminded myself that when you don't get something you want, it's okay. Plus, a fourth bedroom is like an invite for your mother to come live with you. Even if you do turn it into a playroom/tv room first.
The third was IT. A block from the school, the subway, the daycare. Facing a huge park, no across the street neighbors. Parking in the back. Again with the mudrooms, but much bigger this time. Big enough to set up those cubby and bench spaces like you see in the Pottery Barn magazines. Reading nooks, whatever. Everything in the house was so dated, but it was in the exact right spot and at a price reasonable enough to re-do everything. There have only been three owners over the last hundred years and the last two were older couples, no kids so things were in decent shape. We bid and the bid was accepted. We brought contractors in for the estimates. Browsed Home Depot and Lowes and picked out flooring and fixtures and appliances. Then the Home Inspector shook his head. All wiring and plumbing was original to the house and would need to be replaced. Radon in the basement. The neighbors shared that after one house was totally remodeled a few years ago the foundations around it slipped and this house was part of that slide. Older neighbors said that ever since the subway was expanded in 1973, things haven't been the same in the houses. Another said she and others have had major problems after the 2011 earthquake. So, we took back our bid. And I cried.
The other day I took a cab home, and the driver shared that he lives not too far away from where we moved. He said that he used to live at 12th and Mifflin and moved about 6 or 7 years ago. I told him that we just moved from 12th and Mifflin and turns out that we were across the street neighbors for a year or so. Then he said that his brother just bought a house on 15th near the park and I asked him which one and it was the exact one that we pulled out of. He said that he is engaged to be married and he is a construction worker and the house is going to be a wedding present for his bride and they plan to have eleventy million babies and he can't wait to show it to her after they are married. I'm so happy that a family is moving in there and I hope he is able to get that radon problem cleared up. Because that's not good for children and other living things. It gives them radioactive superpowers like lung cancer.
Philadelphia is the smallest town in America, I swear.