UPDATE – Nisi and Rip just celebrated their 4th Anniversary at their home. Keeps getting better.
In this blog series I have entitled “A Cinderella Story” – I plan on reminiscing on some tough transactions with some very happy endings.
Let’s go back a couple of years before CA Real Estate took the dive. My very first friend from college Nisi (we met in math class our first day) and her boyfriend Rip were ready to buy their first home. Armed with their pre-approval from Melanie Flynn, we headed out to the East Bay to find their future home. Flash forward through all the junky homes we checked out to “the one”. The one, I might add, they found at 2am the day it came on the market. At a more reasonable time in the morning my friends called me with excitement ready to go. With the help of the Listing Agents we got them in to see the home right away, since I’m pretty sure they were standing outside when they called me. But I know why. It was a beauty. A pristine and loved Art Deco Bungalow all fixed up for sale. It was their dream home! The moment they saw it, the moment we saw it – we all knew – it was the one. And The Caton Team was going to do everything we could to make this happen.
The rest has turned into a blur over the years so let’s jump ahead. Their offer was accepted. That night we all popped champagne even though it wasn’t theirs yet. Don’t worry – we didn’t jinx it – it’s the power of positive thinking. So, the next day the fun begins, the clock starts ticking for their loan and property condition contingencies. Thank goodness Nisi’s uncle was a home inspector who came at a moments notice and did an awesome job checking out the house. Rip even climbed under the house to check his own foundation. I will never do that – I am scared of small spaces and spiders!
The home had its issues for an 80-year-old place, but our friends and clients knew they could handle it. Next came the FHA appraisal. Let’s just say the FHA appraisers did as thorough a job as the home and pest inspectors. Everything was running smoothly, we had one day left on our contingencies and we waited on pins and needles for the banks ok.
Then the news story broke. Front page news, I still have the copy of the paper. Parts of the East Bay had depreciated enough in value that banks we no longer lending. It’s called red-lining – and they’re not supposed to do it – but they did. It was the beginning of what would be our Real Estate decline. ‘Cept nobody knew it yet. Suddenly their bank did not commit on the loan and our friends and clients were at stake. As I recall, it was a $25,000 difference in value from one day to the next, all over one news headline.
So we got on the phone and had a heart to heart. Weighed the pro’s and con’s and my friends and clients still wanted this house. We wanted them to have this house – it was meant to be theirs. So we came up with a plan. We wrote a letter on behalf of our clients explaining to the seller and their agents what had occurred with their home loan, my friends wrote a letter about how much they loved this house and how much love they wanted to put in it. We also asked to reduce our offer price by the difference, $25,000. It was a bold move for 2 four-eyed Realtors. (haha True Grit reference). To this day, our lender Melanie is still impressed we negotiated the price down after the offer was accepted. That doesn’t happen!
Turns out the sellers loved the buyers, the Listing Agents happen to be the next door neighbors and the $25,000 difference didn’t matter so much if they were going to truly love their home (a home the sellers had lived in for ages). It helped that The Caton Team are strong negotiators and we even sent a copy of that newspaper too. Either way, in the end my mother’s old adage still applies. What’s meant to be is meant to be. Doesn’t hurt if you put a little effort in it too.
Congratulations Rip & Nisi – many more happy years in your beautiful home!
This is a picture of the day we handed them they keys! It the favorite part of my job! Champagne is chilling – let me know when you are ready.
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