Buying a House in Atlanta Part 3
3037 Montclair Circle is tucked away in a little town called Smyrna. Smyrna is a small suburban town sitting directly next to it’s big brother Atlanta. Located just outside the perimeter, Smyrna is close enough to the city to still be considered part of the city yet just far enough away to loose most the traffic and craziness. It is close to the freeway, close to a little town square with shops and restaurants, and just close enough to my office. The neighborhood itself is a cookie cutter community that has about 35 homes that share about ten different styles. It’s not too bad, but they all definitely look similar. They are all brick. Some of them have basements, and some have fenced in yards. 3037 has neither, yet it is in the best spot in the neighborhood. Montclair Circle is one street that simply goes in a loop. At the end of that loop, it continues to a small community of blackstone styled townhomes. We both share the name Montclair. Overall, it is a great little neighborhood.
3037 Montclair Circle was built in 2003 and has three bedrooms, 2 and a half bathrooms, a kick ass kitchen with an island and a cool back splash, two story tall ceilings in the living room and a two car garage. The current owner had leased the property and the current tenant was making some renovations. They were putting in hardwoods in the living room and crown molding in the kitchen. The only problem was that they ran out of money before they could finish. Plus, the house was selling “As Is” so we would have to fix the floors before we move in.
It was originally bought in June of 2008 for $352,000 and the owner soon realized they could not afford it. It soon began to go into foreclosure. When we made our offer on the house it had two weeks before it was to be auctioned off to the highest bidder. We knew we had to act fast. The house was listed at $299,000 so we made an offer of $280,000 with a month of Due Diligence and two weeks of a Financial Contingency. This basically means we have a month to make inspections, get financing and commit. Mr Willard also added some small stipulations that will cover our asses from the seller and the bank. Overall the process of making an offer was way more complicated than I thought and involved signing a large contract with a lot of things I didn’t really understand. But we did it. It was our first official offer.
About a week went by before we heard anything. We found out that there were two other offers on the table but the seller was interested in ours none the less. They wanted to slice some of Mr Willard’s small stipulations off, cut our Due Diligence and Financial Contingency down a week and wanted to know if we could up our money offer. Before we came to settle on this house, we had seen 40 others that didn’t peak our interest. We were willing to negotiate. We let them have their cut stipulations and threw on another $10,000 to tell them we mean business. When we first starting looking, my top price was $300,000 so I was willing to give in alittle. We submitted our second offer. After talking with the listing agent Mr Willard told us that they were very interested and they were going to push to make it happen. The excitement started to build.
After a few days they came back with another offer. This time they wanted to slice the Due Diligence and Financial Contingency down to 15 days. This is where things got sticky. I really wanted to not have to play hard ball and take a stand because I really wanted this house. Priscilla thought the 15 days was just too short of a time to decide and I agreed. We turned down those stipulations and stuck to our guns. We took a stand and resubmitted our final offer.
We received the signed offer sheet from the seller three days later. They accepted. But this is not the end of the madness. In a “short sale” the owner and the seller have to agree on the terms. So now the seller needs to submit our offer to the bank. Mr Willard says that because it was about to be auctioned off, the bank should act fast and accept within a couple of days. Priscilla and I are trying not to get our hopes up, but we have our fingers crossed. If all things go as planned, we could soon be on to the next phase: inspections and financing.
to be continued…