Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Our house saga: The whole story, pt. 2

One of the best things about our agent--I'll call her Fendy Wurth--was her clear desire to be open to our suggestions. Or, no. My conversations with her would go something like this:
Me: Hi Fendy! I was looking on craigslist and saw this house listed. Can we take a look at it?
Fendy: You don't want that house.
Me: Huh?
Fendy: It's on a busy street/it's not a good neighborhood/it's got problems.
Me: Ok, but can we at least take a look at it?
Fendy: You don't want that house.
Me: Um, ok.
Annnnnnd, scene!
Now, it is eminently possible that Fendy was being honest about her assessments and judgments as to what was appropriate/good for us, but seeing as how we were first-time buyers, I was hoping she would cater to our inexperience--not by limiting our exposure to the wider world of real estate, but by showing us everything under the sun to let us in on what the full range of options looked like. Even after I would ask her to show us more than the 1 or 2 houses she would line up for us on our weekends (and it wasn't every weekend at that), she demurred. All of that would have been fine if she had been as adamant about the house we bought--which she didn't even find in the listings--and its drawbacks. A noisy street? Forget it--they could have been giving it away and it wouldn't make any difference to Fendy. But our house? Let me see . . .
1) Internal Wiring that was monumentally amateurish, and required thousands of dollars to fix?
No problem!
2) An electronic gate that was illegally wired and had to be disabled requiring $2K to replace or fix?
No problem!
3) Industrial/dentist office ceiling, ancient wood paneling (with no sheetrock or even insulation behind it!), weird and ugly built-ins, and glued-in recessed light fixtures in the main room?
No problem!
4) Plumbing not up to code in the kitchen and the master bathroom?
No problem!
5) The garage has a code-violating step down?
No problem!
6) No keys to any of the locks requiring hundreds of $ to secure the house?
No problem!
7) A kitchen that has only two electrical outlets, one of which is needed for the refrigerator and therefore inaccessible to use code-safe for anything else, and the other located on a wall above a 4-inch ledge that is clearly too shallow for any appliance larger than a toaster placed sideways?
No problem!
8) An alarm system for which we didn't have the code, forcing us to rip the master control panel off the wall so we wouldn't be forced to hear its incessant beeping and leaving an unsightly hole in the wall with wires hanging out?
No problem!
9) And the pièce de résistance, washer and dryer hookups built not inside the house (normal), and not in the detached garage (not optimal, but not unheard of), but on the outside of the house itself (wtf?)!
No problem!
To be fair, TBO and I knew we were buying a bank-owned fixer-upper, so it is eminently possible we would have pooh-poohed any negative comments from Fendy, but I do know that she wasn't even close to trying to dissuade us from this house as definitively as she had done for most of the others that she didn't like. In fact, what I do remember most saliently about our bid on this house was how Fendy told us that putting in an offer for anything less than the asking price--even a meager 10% discount due to some of the issues we knew about--would be "insulting", and she adamantly refused to do so.
Think about that for one second, and then pity us for being radically naïve. Who on earth would have been "insulted"? The bank owned this pile of crap, not some poor sap trying to get out from under through a short sale. Fendy told us there were other buyers, and that they were just as qualified as we were, and that to be sure we got this one we'd have to bid higher, blah blah blah. Let's face it, Fendy was looking to keep her paycheck as large as possible, and she snowed us, playing us for rubes (which we were.) On top of that, she was trying to get paid as soon as possible--we had always felt that she was giving us a bum's rush through the process at every point--so any corners that could be cut were cut. We bid the asking price, and to do so we had to borrow even more money from my family--who had been gracious and overly generous enough as it was to begin with--to make the loan feasible.
The next step? Inspection.

Labels: , ,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

why didnt you get another agent?

11:01 PM  
Blogger bryduck said...

A good question. When you start working with an agent, apparently it is standard practice to sign an exclusivity agreement with him/her for some period of time. True, or more of Fendy's BS? I don't know. In any case, we signed and could therefore do nothing for the 2 months after signing.

10:32 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home