Househunting – Could Be A Real Nightmare for the Buyers!

looking for a home

Househunting – Could Be A Real Nightmare for the Buyers!

Should you sell your home first and then look for a house or, should you look for a house and then put your home on the market? It’s that same question that keeps coming up – what came first, the chicken or the egg?

Well, let me tell you what happened with us. We put our house on the market and went into contract within a few days. That next weekend, we went out to search for our new home.

House #1:

We decided since both my husband’s business and my business are located in Long Beach, NY,  that Merrick would be the perfect place to live. It’s about 15 – 20 minutes away from Long Beach and it’s accessible to the Meadowbrook Parkway.

We found something we loved right away and put in a bid. The real estate person said, “that’s not high enough.”

My husband, who is a broker, asked, “what is the price to make it happen?”

The real estate sales person wouldn’t give us a hint. So, we made another offer. He called us up and said is that your final offer. We told him that it depends on what the offer he has at hand is, but since he refused to tell us, we said yes and ended up losing the house. It was frustrating since it was only a $10K difference and we would have gone up in price. But since the real estate person was so stubborn, we were in a no win situation.

House #2

We found another home on Seneca Drive South (the other house was on Seneca Drive North). We put in an offer. It was accepted. The house needed a total gut job. We planned on changing the top floor and the main floor and reconfiguring it. We brought in our engineer from The Home Inspection Group, Ltd. The inspector was incredible. He spent a long time going over every detail with us. There was a lot of work to be done with this house. The trees were too close to the house, electrical work needed to be done, it needed a new roof, bathrooms, kitchen and more. We were looking at spending a fortune to get this house livable. The deal breaker for us was when we went in the basement and the inspector said he thought the house may have asbestos. “You really should have this tested before moving in,” he suggested.

When we approached the homeowners, they told us that nothing gets tested and the house would be sold as is at the price we agreed upon.

We ended up walking away… (They ended up going to contract with someone else and I still wonder if those people know there are asbestos in their house?)

House #3:

We had originally seen a house on Oak Brook, at 10 Oak Brook in Merrick Woods. The house, like the Senaca Drive one, needed a lot of work. We planned to gut the whole main floor and reconfigure it. My husband drew out the plans and we hired the same home inspector to look at this house.

“You want to hear something funny,” the home inspector, Joe, said to us. “I was supposed to come to this house for another couple but the deal fell through. I guess you outbid them.”

Later, we found out that the other couple was my good friend’s son and daughter-in-law!

Joe, our home inspector, had a ton of suggestions and issues with the house but we decided to go forward. We knew the house needed a lot of work but we were willing to do it.

We signed the contract and gave the down payment. We had called an architect and were close to having everything done before getting in the house. I didn’t want to live through construction. So, we were hoping on closing fast to get a head start on the work.

After a week and then some, we got a call from our lawyer that the deal was off. “You’re not going to believe this,” he said, “but the people changed their minds.”

Are you kidding? I said to my husband. He was just as upset as I was. Here we spent money on a lawyer and a home inspector and these people just decided they were going to stay put. After doing some research, we realized (unfortunately after the fact) that this was their MO. They put the house on the market a year or so before and then took it off the market.

Amazing how people like to play around!

Did you ever have a situation like this? Share it in the comments below.