Sunday, June 06, 2010

My Parent's Real Estate Nightmare

My parents own a multi level house. It was a great place to raise 4 kids, and it gave us lots of space to be together while also providing room for private quiet time. Now that my parents are nearing retirement age, they knew it was time to move on. Carrying laundry up from the basement and up three flights of stairs isn't easy for my Mom anymore, and we knew it wasn't the place they could spend their retirement.

In February, they started hunting for their new house. My dad asked me to help, and I went to probably 25 different houses with them. During the whole thing, we learned one thing. My Mom loves ranches. She loves smaller but beautiful spaces, and doesn't want a lot to have to clean and take care of. My Dad is the polar opposite. He hates ranches and likes an upper floor, with lots of space and a big basement.

It was looking like these differences in opinion was going to make it impossible for them to agree on anything. But that changed on Holy Saturday, April 3rd. On a whim, they went through a 1 1/2 story. It was love at first sight for both of them. Main floor laundry and master suite for my Mom, and an upper floor with huge basement for my Dad. I loved it too, and even more so, I loved we had FINALLY found the house after 6 weeks of looking. It really was their dream house. They put an offer in that day, and put their house on the market the next week.

My Dad then spent 6 long weeks biting his nails and waiting for their current house to sell. The housing market in Omaha, like much of the country, is not good. It was a hard wait, and Mom and Dad began steeling themselves for the probability that the house wouldn't sell, and that they would be staying put.

Last Sunday, they finally got an offer on their house. My parents were ecstatic and spent the next three days making happy plans. On Tuesday afternoon everything took a turn for the worse when the sellers of the house they were buying backed out, despite a signed contract. It meant that my parents were going to loose about $7500 when you combine the money they spent on the inspection and appraisal, and the home tax credit they would now be loosing. After a day spent Wednesday trying to coerce the sellers into honoring their legal agreement, my Dad decided that they would sue the lady for damages, (his real estate agent is suing her for his loss of commission) and try to find a new house. The buyers of their house agreed to wait until Friday afternoon for a final answer from my parents, which left us with Thursday evening and Friday morning to find a new house.

I knew it would be hard because my Dad had been so in love with the first house. I knew it would be hard too, because of the time crunch and the low availability of houses on the market. Even harder? My Dad couldn't get the day off of work on Friday, which left my Mom and me to make a quick decision on our own.

We found a house that was pretty good Friday morning. It had some of the features my Mom liked, and some that my Dad liked. It was by far the best choice of the houses we had seen over the last two days. When we called my Dad to tell him about it though, I told him he would be okay with it, but he wouldn't love it. He told my Mom to go ahead and buy it. So we did.

It's new construction, so that's really nice. The problem is that it is a ranch, and it is smaller than my Dad wanted. I knew it would make my Mom super happy, and my Dad wouldn't be crazy about it, but we only had 5 hours to find a place to move, or loose their only offer on their house. A horrible decision to make.

After the paper signing, my Mom was happy. She likes the house and the location. When my Dad saw it that night, he was depressed. He doesn't like the location, and he doesn't like the layout.

Me? I haven't been able to sleep since. If there is anyone in my life that I need to have respect and approval from, it is my Dad. He is one of the most important people in my life, and I always want to be able to have his approval. It makes me sick that he might think I made a bad choice for him. Maybe he sent me to balance out my Mom, since I knew what he liked and didn't like. If we had had more time, I would not have picked this house for him, but under the circumstances, I didn't know what else to do.

Dad is out of town this week, so the worst part is I haven't even gotten to talk to him about it. Looks like I am not going to be sleeping for awhile.

1 comment:

John and Teresa said...

christy, this makes me so sad! i'm sure it's a beautiful home and that your dad will grow to love it and will feel at home eventually. and i'm sure he doesn't hold anything against you for it. i'm excited to see it!

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