Full Circle, and then some…

It started on New Year’s Eve.

While chatting with a friend and dominating the conversation and trying to be really witty, I overheard my girlfriend Keri talking about the great new house she just bought in the Heights.

I quickly abandoned whoever I’d been talking to and scooted over next to Keri. “The Heights?” I chimed. “Tell me everything.”

Keri told me all about it, the upgrades, the options, the granite, the charm. I was sold. I dragged my husband over and made her repeat everything she’d just said. In three minutes flat, he was sold as well. Her new house was in a development of other houses which were still for sale.

We called a realtor and went to see the place two days later.

Turns out, the house was perfect for Keri, but not as perfect for us. Our 70 pound Labradoodle would’ve had to hold his bladder for the entire duration we were to live in the home due to the lack of yard, and we thought that might not be best for his health.

But it didn’t stop us from looking at other homes. In the past week my husband and I have spent probably twenty hours on HAR.com, combing through the listings of mansions, shacks, and everything in between. The conversations went from, “Hey, look at this one – it’s perfect!” to, “Well, what do you think about buying this empty lot next to the meat market and building a home?” We also had the ole Boss James working on getting us pre-approved for a loan. And we had a really smart realtor working for us and showing us homes.

I can’t stress enough how helpful the realtor was. A good realtor should not only be available to show you homes, but should know all the nuances of the area and builders. For instance, one home we found seemed perfect, but our realtor knew that the builder had a bad reputation and that the quality was lacking. And another home we found was great quality, but our realtor had inside knowledge on that particular street versus other streets. I’m tellin’ you, this is invaluable information. Without her, we’d be putting offers on money pits and thinking we were geniuses.

That said, what we found in general was that we could comfortably afford to move to the Heights if we compromised on some of our standards. That proved tricky since we already have a beautiful home only twelve miles from the Heights.

But then we found it. A short sale property, meaning the owners owed more on the house than the house was worth and were thus selling it for an extremely low price. It was a one minute walk to a running trail, a two-minute drive to our church, and walking distance to three different restaurants.

Did I mention the house had double balconies? Shut. Up.

James got busy fine-tuning our pre-approval, and our fab realtor got on the phone to find out more about our chances for getting this house.

Here is where things got a bit tricky. Because I am currently living in a house I love, I do not want to put it on the market unless I know of a fabulous deal. That means any offer I was to put on a house would have to be contingent upon my current house selling. Not many sellers accept offers like this, especially if my house wasn’t even on the market yet. It was worth a shot though.

Alas, several people had beaten us to the dream home, giving offers OVER the asking price and with no contingencies.

Thankfully, we weren’t let down and have decided to stay in our current home. But on a fun note, in going through the process, we found out how incredibly low interest rates are right now. You want to know how low rates are? Stupid low. That’s how low.

So not only have we come full circle and decided not to move, but we are in the process of refinancing! Our current interest rate is 5.375% (which is a really great rate). However, rates are so low right now that it actually makes sense for us to refinance again. Our monthly payment will be about $200 a month lower, and we plan to put that 200 bucks and then some right back into our mortgage each month.

If you’d like any advice on whether it’d make sense for you to buy or refinance or get that empty lot next to the meat market, contact me or my fab ole Bosses.

Finally, subscribe to my tales of mortgage whimsy on the right, and I’ll invite you over for dinner in my refinanced home.