Technically, we’ve bought a house in Arizona.
Realistically, there are a million things that could go wrong between now and July 22nd when we’re suppose to close.
This past weekend, I traveled to Phoenix to catch up with Mr.S&P who was arriving back in the States after a business trip in Mexico. I’ve known this whole time that we’d have to be very flexible with this move because there are so many moving parts and they have to all fall into place at the right time. This weekend was no exception. First off, Mr.S&P got a Ford Fusion as a rental car (Yeah!). It’s like our personal rental car joke because we had one when we visited California and actually really liked it. So the whole trip we kept making jokes about our Fusion. But then we went to BJ’s in Chandler for dinner because I wanted their nachos. We got them last time we we’re out there and they were the best nachos I’ve ever had… in my life. The whole 6 hour flight I just kept thinking about getting nachos. We get to BJ’s and they’re out of tortilla chips. OUT OF CHIPS! What kind of restaurant is this? The Rockmore? (Boo! Hiss!) We cut our losses and just got burgers.
Saturday morning we were up bright and early. Our realtor, Mike, had planned a tour-de-force house hunting schedule. We hit the road and throughout the day saw 10, yes TEN, houses. Some were lovely (always the most expensive) and some were very sad. With Arizona having a pretty wide-spread foreclosure market right now, some homes looked like squatters lived there. It’s very sad to see someone’s belongings strewn about and family photos on the walls when you know they’re about to lose their house. One home, which was very nice but in the short sale process, had a brand new BMW 7 series in the garage. Clink the link if you don’t know what they cost. If they sold the car they could probably save the house. Anyway, after a long and exhausting day, we had a lovely dinner at Cork Restaurant in Chandler and reflected on all we saw.
Two houses in Gilbert stuck out the most, but we had a couple more we wanted to see on Sunday. Mike showed us two more the next day, one in Queen Creek, one in Gilbert and then brought us back to the two that we really liked from Saturday. All four on Sunday were very nice and I could see us living in any of them. The two from Saturday continued to shine above the rest, so we started to debate. I’ll call them M Street and C Street to keep them straight.
Both had their pros and cons. M Street was in a very nice neighborhood with community parks and a community center. It needed very little work, but did not have granite counters and did have a smaller kitchen. It also had carpet in the master bathroom, which really mystified us. Who puts carpet in a bathroom? We saw this in a lot of homes, so I think lazy/cheap builders do.
C Street was bigger and had an amazing kitchen; upgraded cabinets and granite counters. I could really see myself living in this house. The development it was in did not have a community center area and it needed some serious landscape help and some new carpet in a couple of places. In both houses we need to buy refrigerators, washers and dryers.
Since M Street was a regular sale and C Street was a bank owned home, Mike informed us that we would get an answer right away on M Street, but would have to wait until after the holiday to hear about C Street. In Arizona you can pretty much back out of a deal at any time, so since we liked both equally, he recommended making an offer on M first and see what would happen, while also making an offer on C. That would give us the best chance to get at least one of the houses and we could always back out of M if C came back with something we liked.
So we made some offers Sunday night and headed up to Sedona on Monday to see the sights. While at lunch we heard back about M Street and they accepted our offer. Our scheduled close date would be July 22nd. (We still haven’t heard about C Street, so we’re focusing right now on M.) I flew back Tuesday evening and when I landed Mr.S&P gave me the news that the inspection was scheduled for Monday, but the mortgage company wouldn’t close on our Arizona loan until our Mass condo sold. Frankly, for cash flow reasons, I don’t really want to close until the condo sells either, but things are not looking positive for selling the condo.
We dropped the price by $10,000 before I left and there wasn’t any action on it all weekend. Right now we’re preparing for the worst case scenario that the relocation company will buy it from us after 90 days (this is a benefit of the relocation package). Ninety days would leave us somewhere around August 5th or later, after the intended closing date. After much negotiation and explanation of this crazy process, the bank said they will allow us to take the mortgage before the condo sells.
Ideally, the condo will sell in the next month and I will be able to head down to Arizona sooner rather than later, but we are preparing for the worst to happen at this point. I will have to stay here and keep working until the condo sells to make it work. We are not going to get as much from the sale as we were hoping. Everything will work itself out, as it always does, but it will not be quite as positive as we were hoping for. I can’t really get excited about all of this yet, because it’s frankly more frightful than fun right now. We have another open house this Sunday, the first since our price drop, so we continue to have high hopes for a sale. I am saving my excitement for then.