Life has been a little crazy around here for the last several months. We put our house on the market and then submitted to lots and lots of showings. We hadn’t ever done that before (all our previous houses sold FAST) and we didn’t realize what a pain it was. But after about 7 weeks our house sold and we packed up and moved.
Unfortunately we weren’t able to find a house to buy. So we put most of our stuff in storage and moved in with the kids who live across the street. They have a four bedroom one bath house for the two of them plus Ivy, 4, and Calvin, 2. We’re living in the large upstairs bedroom but the bathroom is on the main floor. It’s not too bad except for those middle of the night potty runs. We arranged our space so we had a desk, bed, two chairs and a tv. It’s working pretty well.
In the meantime, I search the real estate listings at least twice a day to find a house we like. Every time something new comes up, I read the description, look at the photos, check the crime map and search the neighborhood using google maps. If the house passes all those tests, we set up a time to look at it. But not many houses pass the test. We’ve only looked at about 20 houses so far.
Most of the houses we’ve been looking at are repos. I had NO idea what we were getting into when we started this process. I’ve learned:
1. You can’t be in a hurry. It’s a lengthy process.
2. It’s best not to get attached to a house or count on anything. No deal is a sure thing until you’re moving in.
3. You can’t believe the information reported on the MLS sheet. We found a house we liked, negotiated with the government agency, and signed the contract. Then we accidentally found out that an important piece of information was wrong and we cancelled the deal. The realtors and government agencies aren’t trying to be deceptive. They just don’t have all the information and don’t have time to check everything out. As a result, if you’re buying a repo, you better do your homework!
4. Don’t even try to rush the process. You can yell and scream and push and prod but it won’t do any good. It’s one of those things that takes as long as it takes and you just have to accept that.
5. Patience. Patience. And more patience.
6. Don’t let it consume you. You almost have to do your part and then forget about it until it’s time to do something else. Otherwise it can drive you crazy.
7. You can’t plan on a closing date until the title company calls you to schedule it. The original date given when your contract is accepted tends to be a random date because they have to put down something. We didn’t know that. We thought the date on the contract was real and actually started planning. Nope. It wasn’t. Bummer.
So in the meantime we’re continuing to look for a house and crossing our fingers that we won’t have to live with Danny and Ashley all winter. It’s not that we don’t want to live with them, but we really miss having our own house and our own stuff. And, oh yeah, a bathroom on the same floor as the bedroom. I really miss that!!!
We continue looking and learning and hopefully I’ll have good news to report in the near future. If not, there will be lots of interesting stories about life in the combined Gardner household.
Have you ever purchased a repo? What was your experience like?
NOTE: Our experience purchasing a repo may not be typical.