So my friend David has been renting for the last 14 years. After paying off all his consumer debt and saving some money, it was time to get off the pot. We weighed the pros and cons of waiting and it was obvious now is the time. Besides, what did he have to lose to just look. After getting a solid pre approval, we started our search last week. The first 5 houses were nothing to write home about. The next time out we weren't expecting much. He asked, how will I know when its the right house? Nothing is jumping out at me. To which I responded, don't worry, you will know. It's always hard for a 1st time buyer to know, but after seeing a number of so-so houses, when you see the one, you just know.
On Friday, we saw several houses. House #3, the first one he really liked that got 5 stars. Then house #4 was even better, plus $30K less than the last house and way below what he could afford. Then house #5...the neighborhood was a winner. As we talked about the Top 3, he knew which one was the one. House #4. It was in excellent condition and had awesome upgrades and would require ANY work after he moved in. He didn't want to look at any more. It was time to put it on paper. After crunching numbers, we made our offer about $4000 less than asking price in addition to closing costs. I woke up Saturday morning with an e-fax...the counteroffer. To mine and his surprise, the seller accepted all the big ticket items...including replacing the built in microwave. So I called David and he asked, am I missing something? They seemed to accept it a little too quickly. Hey, it's a buyer's market and seller know you have lots of choices. By 9am, we had a ratified contract. I am extremely excited for him as he got a fantastic deal and he got what looks to be a wonderful home with nothing that needs to be done. Sometimes, you just gotta ask. You never know what you may get. So don't be afraid to ask.