Like any good story, this one begins with a “What the hell?” moment – the cosmic “just kidding” that might have been funny to the gods, but for us – not so much.
On a Friday morning in April, Neil and I made our 6th offer to purchase a house after a grueling nine month search that saw listing prices increase by over $200k in that time. Not only did listing prices go up, but an offer wouldn’t even be considered if it wasn’t at least $75k over asking – or cash with no contingencies. More than one place we bid on sold for $200k over list. And things moved FAST. Like within hours fast. It wasn’t a good time for someone who is frugal and needs a lot of time to make decisions. Neil definitely wears that crown.
So we didn’t have much hope for the run-down mobile home on 5 glorious acres of silent lush forest only 15 minutes from the freeway. We figured someone would offer high and tear it down to build their mega home. But there was something that spoke to us in a way other places hadn’t, despite the shabby mustiness. The layout was perfect. There was no road noise and no visible neighbors. There were birds and trees that were hundreds of years old. It even had signs of some animal testing out some serious claws on a tree next to the house. Fionn was in heaven with all the smells. It was perfect even with all that needed be done.
On the drive home, Neil said, “She needs us to fix her, to take care of her. She just needs love, that’s all.”
I couldn’t agree more.
We went home to sleep on how much to offer. We wanted to push the seller to make a decision before the weekend, knowing that with the asking price of $350k, there would be a lot of interest. Friday we wrote an offer for $420k that expired in 24 hours. Saturday morning the listing agent let us know they were looking at our offer and one other.
The day passed – no phone call. By the time we got home from work, we’d given up hope.
I was cooking dinner at 7:00pm when the phone finally rang.
There was a lot of talking on the other end of the line, more than it normally took to say, “Sorry, the seller chose another offer.”
I poked my head around the corner, heart starting to beat faster. Phone in hand, I got ready to send a text message to my parents.
Neil: “Oh, we did? That’s great.” Neil being Neil, this wasn’t said with what an outsider would consider a lot of enthusiasm. I held my breath.
More garbled talking on the other end of the line that I couldn’t quite make out.
Neil: “Well, I guess I am surprised. It was getting late and I figured you were working things out with the other interested party.”
There was a long silence. Lots more garbled talk.
I was jumping around the house; our 100lb dog got in on the fun, jumping around the house with me.
Neil was not jumping around the house.
Neil: “Oooh-kay. Well. Why don’t you give me a call back when you figure it out.” He hung up. definitely not jumping around. Not that he would. I carry that sort of enthusiasm for both of us.
Me: “Did we get it? We got it, didn’t we? Oh my god! I can’t believe it! We got the house! What did she say? Wait, what’s going on? Why do you look like that?”
Neil: “She thinks she called the wrong person. She is working with two Neils and thinks she might have screwed up and told the wrong one their offer was accepted. She’s got to sort it out.”
I dropped my phone.
Fast forward to two weeks later and we are both stuffed to the gills with celebration dinner.
Until we loaded 100 boxes of clearance LVP flooring into our garage yesterday, I didn’t feel like Forest House could possibly be ours. It was so unreal, and had happened so easily. I tell other people that when a thing is right, everything in the universe conspires to make it happen. And I’ve seen magic at work in my life – both times I had cancer it was found by “accident.” But this? This was so sprinkled in pixie dust it was covered like a blizzard had happened. Nothin’ but magic through and through.
Here we are two weeks later, and I’m already ordering internet hookup (omg it’s DSL!) and a 30cubic yard dumpster to be delivered to the site.
This shouldn’t have worked.
But it did.