The highs and lows of parenting and real estate.

Buying a Short Sale and Our Walk to the Beach: A Vacation Metaphor

I’m still on vacation here in sunny California. It’s lovely and we haven’t sold the children to the gypsy surfers yet (though this was seriously discussed on day 4). Since we head home tomorrow, I thought I’d end this trip with a little comparison of buying a house that is listed as a short sale and the walk from our gorgeous, fabulous beach house to the actual beach.

Step One of The Walk To The Beach: Whew! We’re here!! We just drove 6.5 hours from Phoenix and stopped 11 times to let children take potty breaks and buy nuts and beef jerky at various roadside stands for the driver but now we’re here! We thought the car might tip over from the load we spent the last 3 days packing into it or that we might go crazy from the running loop of Go, Deigo, Go on the car DVD player, but nothing horrible happened and we made it. And look at that gorgeous view! We are so close to the water. Just a stone’s throw, really. Let’s take a quick walk down to feel the sand between our toes.

Step One of Buying a Short Sale: We found it!!! We’ve been searching for months and we’ve seen 76 hideous and awful houses with scorpion nests under the stairs, mold damage in the ceiling above the garage and swampy, abandoned former koi ponds in the back yards, but it’s all been worth it because THIS is the house. The Very Perfect House.

Step Two of The Walk To The Beach:
OK, so we’re only one street off the beach, so we should just be able to walk down here and find some stairs right ahead to go down, right? Oh wait, these are ‘private’ beach access? But if we ask they’ll let us use them, right? I mean it’s just stairs… You go knock and ask. They slammed the door in your face? OK, where’s the public beach access then?

Step Two of Buying a Short Sale: So now we need to just write an offer for the house, right? Can we write it a little under asking price? I mean it is a short sale, what do they care? And it’s supposed to be a whole hassle and whatnot, so most people won’t want to go through all of that and we should get it for a total steal. Isn’t that how it works? Oh, wait, this house has 3 offers on it? And they’re deciding which offer to accept tonight, so if we don’t write an offer that’s $10K over asking price right this very second then they won’t even submit our offer???

Step Three of The Walk To The Beach: Huh, so it’s down there at the end of the street. Well I guess that’s not that far. It’s only like 12 houses, right? Not a big deal. We do have the towels, chairs, sand toys, boogie boards, umbrellas and coolers to carry, but it’s really not that far.

Step Three of Buying a Short Sale: Whew! We got our offer done and in to the sellers on time! That other buyer snuck in at the last second and went $2K higher than us, but we upped our offer again and we have stronger financing, so it’s going to be OK. The sellers have accepted our offer and agreed to submit it to their lender.

Step Four of The Walk To The Beach: Finally we made it! Whew, that was quite a walk and my arms are totally tired from carrying all that stuff, but it was worth it. We are here!

Step Four of Buying a Short Sale: OK so now we just have to wait a little while until our offer is accepted by the bank, right? How long does that usually take, because I was thinking that if we can close escrow before school starts and get moved in then the kids can totally start the year at their new school…

Step Five of The Walk To The Beach: Oh crap, look at those stairs!!!

Step Five of Buying a Short Sale:
The short sale wait time is between 6 weeks and 9 MONTHS?!?!

Steps Six through Eleven of The Walk To The Beach:
Stairs, stairs, almost die of exhaustion, threaten to throw all of the gear over the side of the stairs into the ocean, think about how long it would take to just turn around and go home, and decide to just finish the MFing stairs.

Steps Six through Eleven of Buying a Short Sale: Wait, wait, decide this is BS and you’re walking, see 89 new properties before pulling out, decide that no, the house is really worth the wait, wait, wait again, hear you might get an answer soon, wait for awhile longer, FINALLY GET THE APPROVAL TO CLOSE.

But don’t worry, because it’s eventually all worth this:

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