Real Estate Woes

If you’re stopping by today for a dose of positivity and happy for your day…I provide you with….The Peek-A-Boo Kitten.

Okay yeah, I admit, that helped my disappointed/cranky a little bit.  I mean, who can watch that and not feel better about the world in general?

However, what follows is not cute and fluffy, so if you’re not up to commentary on how the world currently sucks, please exit the blog stage left.

Still here?  Oh you must actually love me.  Thanks for that.

So we have been trying to sell our house.  It has been on the market for approximately 10 weeks, which is a frustrating long time when our realtor initially predicted it would sell in 10 days.  We have decluttered.  We have staged.  We have inconvenienced ourselves to the max in order to keep it ready to show at the drop of a hat.  We have lost stuff.  We have landscaped.  We have dropped the price.  We have, in short, done every conceivable thing to sell our house, including renovating and updating the thing from top to bottom.  So far this has resulted in only one paltry offer that was for only 2k above what we paid for the house, completely unimproved 5 years ago.  We gave them the metaphorical finger.

The other day I had a chat with my realtor, who had, that morning, had a pow wow with all the other agents in her office to discuss what was up and why wasn’t our house selling.  I mean, I have watched approximately 8 million episodes of House Hunters and Designed To Sell and Sell This House.  We are not THOSE PEOPLE who are clueless and have something very obviously wrong.

The first thing to come up, which has not been mentioned before now, is the fact that the washer and dryer are in the storage room outside.  Well yeah.  The house was built in 1964.  Almost all houses of this era are the same and still have the big iron poles for clotheslines in the back yard.  They weren’t designed with a washer and dryer in mind.  So they were all like “You could get a stackable unit and put it in the bathroom closet!  Problem solved!”  Excuse me, what are you smoking?  There is no bathroom closet.  There is, in fact, no place to put a washer and dryer inside the house without giving up valuable storage, which is already at a premium.  Believe me, if there was a way, we’d have done it already. There’s no room for an indoor washer and dryer and there’s no room for adding a second bathroom.  Because it’s a freaking 1230 square foot house!

So the next thing that gets brought up is that they can’t pull into the carport because of the motorcycles (we have 3).  First off, I find this odd because I don’t try to pull my car into ANY of the garages at the houses we’ve looked at (because, GASP, people STILL LIVE THERE), nor do I expect to be able to on viewing.  It’s a garage.  You make the assumption that a car will fit.  Second, you can’t actually pull into our carport anyway because a dumbass designed the thing without taking into account the stairs to the door.  They prevent  you from being able to park anything but something akin to a Nissan Cube and still be able to open your doors.  Third, it’s not like there’s somewhere else we can PUT said motorcycles.  We’ve already cleared out the shed to make room for the lawnmower and started putting the garbage cans behind the house (which is a massive PITA) and pulled every OTHER thing out of the garage to make it appear that there is as much room as possible.

So we dropped the price again because it’s the only thing we can do.

Essentially, all the reasons we want to move are the reasons no one wants to buy our house.  Because no one is like we were.  No one is willing to put up with weird quirks like outside washers and dryers and single bathrooms because they are just grateful to have their own place that they aren’t renting.  No one appreciates the HOURS of sweat equity that we poured into this house to update it and bring it into the current century.  And those who MIGHT possibly fit that description can’t actually get financing due to the new stringent requirements on mortgages–they either don’t have adequate credit or can’t afford a 20% down payment because we live in a society of instant gratification that doesn’t grasp the concept of saving.

We’re getting rid of our piano, home gym, and my desk.  They don’t get used and they’re just taking up space (and God knows, after everything we went through to get that piano in the house, we don’t feel like moving it again).  That leaves hubby’s office mostly vacant except for guitars, photography gear, and my exercise bike.   I’ve been thinking about how to stage and repurpose it, and I think once the gym and piano are gone, I’ll turn it into the guest room and make my office more of a library when I bring down the wingback chairs I’m inheriting from my mom.  And I’ll continue my crusade to get rid of all the crap we’ve been holding on to that we don’t want, use, or need.  Make space where space can be made.

We are not in a position where we HAVE to move.  I’m not going to sell for a loss.  If we can’t at least break even, we’ll just have to wait, and we’ll have to find a way to deal with being suck here, find a way to make it work.  Can I tell you how much I do NOT want to be pregnant next year in a house with one bathroom?  The whole thing just makes me pissy.


19 thoughts on “Real Estate Woes

  1. i do feel for you. My parent’s never update from their two bedroom starter house. I and my three brother grew sharing the same bedroom and one bath for the six of us. I truly hope you do move before next year ,.

  2. You know, some people bid really low on purpose, to see how much you’re willing to negotiate. I’ve been told “If you aren’t embarrassed to make the offer, you’re offering too much.” Just a thought on that. 🙂

    It’s only been 10 weeks, and you’ve dropped the price twice? Why? You aren’t desperate and needing to sell. The right person just hasn’t seen your house yet. 🙂

    I hope you get a better offer soon!

    1. Because my mother, AKA the person who’s got ALL of the GOOD furniture we’ve been saving for when we finally had a house big enough for it, is moving at the end of July and we were trying to move before then.

  3. Yay for the peek-a-boo kitten!! Boo for the house-buyers. They’re just wrong. The perfect buyer is coming your way, I’m sure of it. They know how to save, they have excellent credit, and they are very ecologically conscious, therefore they don’t have kids or the desire to procreate and they don’t drive a car, preferring to ride bicycles or horses. They will also bring their own goat to keep the grass down and will install a large module at the back to expand the living area at the back in a totally ecologically-friendly way, which will include another bathroom. In short, your house is perfect. For them. They’re about to move from Scandinavia, it’s too cold there…

  4. Kait, you are not alone in this mess! I work in real estate as the office assistant to two of the most honest and trustworthy realtors I’ve ever met. I live in NE, so my market is a little different, but I’m hoping that I can at least make you feel better.

    First of all, let me tell you that you are going above and beyond what almost all sellers do in order to facilitate the sale of their home. The fact that you actually de-cluttered, staged, cleaned up the yard, etc is far more than most people are even willing to do right now. I know that the shows on HGTV and DIY act like this is something you MUST do in order to sell your home (and oh how I love me some HGTV), but it’s really not true. All these things help of course, but honestly if a home is priced right and visible to buyers, it will sell no matter what. “Priced right” is now being treated as a matter of opinion instead of a fact that can be researched. Buyers and sellers don’t agree on what the right price is, and the media telling everyone how the market has tanked is not helping at all lol.

    The biggest problem right now is that the number of buyers in the pool has dropped substantially, and the buyers that are left can’t afford much so they perceive the value of your home to be much less than you do. In the past 2 weeks, I’ve seen houses that had 300 viable buyer matches drop to 200 in one week! (Normally it fluctuates by 3 or 4 matches up or down each week, not 100!) We’re running into this same issue with a lot of our sellers right now, and in a case like yours where you don’t HAVE to sell and know what number makes it worth it, we would usually advise our sellers to wait – either leaving it on the market for the price they want or taking it off the market until the value perception has risen among the general buying pool.

    Something insane like 40 to 50% of home sales in each of the last several months have been short sales – that doesn’t count actual foreclosures – just people who are giving up their home for far less than it’s worth and actually getting nothing out of it except a credit stain of 2 years versus 10 if they are foreclosed on. That also doesn’t count the sellers that are bringing money to their closing to pay to sell their house. You’re doing ok, and it’s not your house!!! It’s just the timing.

    I could probably go on for so much longer on the state of things or things that would help, but I just realized this was really long lol. If you’d like to chat about it, just get in touch with me!!

  5. Sorry about your realty issues. I think the market is still slow. (feel free to slap me for that statement.)

    On a brighter note I believe the kitty in the video is named Baltazar. Love that name!

    Keep your chin up. I’m sending you some good home-buyer vibes.

    ~ Jenna

  6. I feel for you dear. I really do. We are also considering a move and thankfully real estate did not take quite as big of a hit in the north. But we would take a loss. Its a balancing act because as a buyer you can GET more, but it sucks selling for less after you work so hard. SUCKS.

    Have you had many open houses? Or thought of changing realtors? Our last house was on the market for 6 months, 4 with the first realtor, then we changed and it sold very fast. Just a thought…

    1. We’ve had 36 showings. Only one open house so far. It was a bust. We’re scheduling another around the next major sporting event to try to snag some people who want a getaway for football and basketball season.

  7. I know it’s hard! {{hugs}} Kait.
    However, speaking as someone who has been pregnant (and given birth at home) to two children in a one bath, two bedroom house that may have been 1100 with the unfinished basement, it’s not that hard except when everyone comes to visit, LOL

    1. At the risk of TMI, part of it is that I actually have a bladder condition–interstitial cystitis…essentially my bladder walls are hardening, so there’s really not much room for expansion and when I gotta go, I gotta go NOW.

      Apart from the bathroom issue, I do not want to try to sell a house with a kid. They have loads of STUFF (not to mention that they pull everything out as soon as you put it away) and there’s already nowhere to hide our EXISTING stuff for showings. I don’t know how anybody with children sells a house! One of my coworkers said every day when she loaded her daughter up for day care, she put all of her gear in the back of her SUV and drove it around all day! The Johnny Jumper, the high chair, the toys…

  8. Feel your pain Kait. Our (wife and I) hopes are with you. The housing market is such a confused arena right now. Television makes people believe they should expect the “perfect deal with no assembly required” when that is never the reality. Being patient is the key, hard advice to follow some days, but time is in your favor. If you aren’t finding success with one Realtor perhaps another would be better suited to move the property for you.

  9. Kait, I have no advice (mainly because you’re smarter than I am and have already thought of what I could tell you). I’ll put my good wishes in for you, though. We’re hoping to sell our house and move in 2014. I dread it. It’s so hard to know when you’re doing too much, and you’ll never get your money back out of it.

    Right now, people expect a lowball bottom-dollar deal. I agree that the right person just hasn’t seen your house. With June looming, though, you’re probably sick of waiting for the right person. I’m sure you’re stressed out. That doesn’t help your medical condition at all. I’ve had similar issues, and they’re not fun.

    One thought on your mom’s furniture, but it would cost you some $$$. Rent one of those portable on demand storage containers. They’ll bring it to your mom’s house, you load it up, and they’ll haul it away. When you’re ready, they’ll haul it to wherever you say to haul it. The company is called PODS. No guarantees, but it might be worth looking into.

  10. I love the kitten video. It has to make you feel a LITTLE better.

    I’m so sorry about the house issue. I really can’t add much except that I’ll keep you in my prayers. Maybe that will help a little.

    I didn’t realize you had IC. That’s rough. Pregnant and one bathroom? Not a good option.

  11. Suze Orman said that the real estate situation isn’t going anywhere so you might have to hold on to your house longer than you wanted. However, I believe that the person who’s supposed to buy your house isn’t ready yet but he/she would come sooner rather than later. Good luck!

  12. Kait, Love the video and feel your pain. The market and the economy suck eggs right now. Have you considered renting your house until the market recovers? If you have the downpayment, you might consider this.

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