Friday, August 20, 2010

My Life With Comic Books: Part # 143

The current cast of characters:
Paul Howley: age 44
Mal Howley: my wife
Adam Howley: my son, age 19
Cassy Howley: my daughter, age 15


We had been living in our new home in Gilford, New Hampshire for almost five months and I kept noticing that almost every time a guest commented on how much they liked our new home, Mal would tell them about the house that she really wanted. I loved our house because it was brand-new and was in perfect condition. Mal thought that it had no “character.” (By “no character,” I think she meant that it had no creaking floors or crooked walls)

The house Mal really wanted was located in Laconia, New Hampshire and was a reproduction of a 1700’s antique farmhouse. This home had five bedrooms, multiple fireplaces, and the barn was actually a garage. I also liked this house but there were several reasons why I thought we shouldn’t buy it. For one thing, it was built in a condominium community of primarily smaller homes and the monthly condo fees seemed expensive to me. I also thought that if we bought it, we would have a difficult time re-selling it when our time in New Hampshire was over because this home, being new, wouldn’t appeal to the true antique home enthusiasts and new home owners are more interested in houses with large family rooms and large kitchens. The majority of potential homebuyers also wanted large bathrooms with huge bathtubs. This home had none of these features. It also did not have a basement because one of the owners was afraid of basements so they decided not to build one in this house! It was very unusual for a home in New England not to have a basement. The sellers were also asking too much money for this home even though it was beautiful. When we first saw the house it was priced around $439,000 and it was way out of our price-range. It had also been for sale for almost a year.

Mal’s birthday was coming up and I thought that I would consider purchasing this other house for her. I know it sounds crazy, but I knew she’d really love that other house. I also felt confident that I could sell the home we had just recently bought and I’d probably make a small profit on it. I called a real estate agent and I found that the owners had dropped the price twice since we had originally seen the property. It was still out of my price-range but I knew the owners were very eager to sell it because of health issues. Mal and I went back to see the house and she loved it even more the second time. I noticed a few small things that I’d need to get repaired and some areas that would need some painting but overall it was quite nice. I’d have to think about this whole idea a bit more because I didn’t think we could comfortably afford such an expensive home, especially with our agreement to pay for half of Adam’s college expenses at The Boston Conservatory. With tuition and room and board around $30,000 each year, money could be very tight for us. Mal and I discussed this for the next couple of weeks until we decided we should really see the house again before we make any final decision.

Our real estate agent called the owners to schedule an appointment for us to inspect the property again. When we arrived, the owner explained that they had received a very low offer but they were seriously considering it because they urgently needed to sell the house. We told them that we really wanted to buy their house but we couldn’t afford to pay as much as they were asking. We offered them $310,000 and they accepted our offer. We were quite excited! The next morning we got a phone call from our real estate agent explaining that the other people who had made a lower offer on the house had believed that their offer had already been verbally accepted by the sellers and they threatened to sue them if they sold the house to us, even though our offer was higher. The owners were afraid and decided to give in to the threat and sold the house to the other couple. We were very disappointed but we didn’t want to cause any more stress for the elderly couple. We learned to enjoy the home we already had.

Next chapter: Cassy has a schoolmate who needs a place to live.

1 comment:

  1. Where is a lawyer when you need one... I would have told those people what to do with their theads.