Sunday, March 17, 2013

Making an Offer... Again

So we were down to the Humboldt Park Duplex and the Logan Square house with a pretty exhaustive list of pros and cons in hand. The duplex was gorgeous but at the end of the day, the dream has always been to own a HOUSE in the city, so we went in and put in an offer on the house!

Based on comparables in the area, the house was over priced, so we knew we would be offering lower than asking and since we were negotiating with a developer, we asked for some work to be done to bring it up to the value that we offered:

Our Offer:
Price: 93% of Asking Price plus $6K for Closing Costs
Work to Be Done aka Punch List (my comments in italics weren't in the offer...): 

  1. Pulls for kitchen, bath, closets (because it's WEIRD that all the drawers and doors were naked)
  2. Built out closets (not asking for California closets, just a bar that we could hang hangers on)
  3. Battery back up on sump pump (So important for a place with a basement)
  4. Tile backsplash with a cap at $8 per sqft (Not a dealbreaker, but worth asking for)
  5. 1 year developer warranty which includes all appliances, mechanicals, roof, windows (Pretty standard when buying from a developer)
  6. Credit for bathroom mirrors (Why would you sell a house with 3.5 bathrooms and no mirrors?)
  7. Side by side front load washer dryer - or credit at closing (Not a deal breaker, but worth asking for since developers could get them cheaper)
  8. Build out a overhead front door awning (Without an awning, rain/snow water could get in under the door and warp the floors by the front door)
  9. Home security system installed or credit (In a "transitioning" neighborhood, with a brand new place, you really need a security system!)
  10. 6' Privacy fence on North to match South side (There was only chain link on the North side of the yard)
  11. New Garage Windows as stated by seller at second showing (Window had a crack)
  12. New Microwave door - current is dented (I mean, c'mon, the whole place is brand new, but the microwave is already dented?)
  13. Stair risers to be finished (Just needed to be painted since they were naked)
  14. Upgraded stove and refrigerator (The Baconator dreams of Viking and Wolf ranges every night)

Once that was submitted, we just had to wait and wait and wait...

After 36 hours of nail biting, they got back to us with:
Seller's Counter Offer:
Price: 98.8% of Asking Price and $3K credit for Closing Costs
Work to Be Done aka Punch List: 
     1.  Pulls for kitchen, bath, closets
     2.  Built out closets
     4.  Tile backsplash (cap at $8 per sqft)

     5.  1 year developer warranty which includes all appliances, mechanicals, roof, windows.
   11.  New Garage Windows as stated by seller at second showing
   13.  Stair risers to be finished

Hmm, at least they countered, right?  So we got on the horn with our realtor and had some #realtalk about what we were willing to do to get this house.  In the end we settled on:

Our Best and Final Offer:

Price: 99% of Asking Price and $6K credit for Closing Costs
Work to Be Done: 
Everything on the original Punch list, but instead of a new stove and fridge, we'd pay the difference for a nicer stove and fridge on top of the value for the base models already in the house.

Then it was radio silence. TWO whole days of silence before our realtor got this email in response:

"Talking to the partners, they need to net 97% asking, including any modifications.  That would mean the punch list items would be treated as extras with a corresponding adjustment to the price.  I know this is a ways off from what you had proposed below, but that is realistically over $20,000 off the listing price when you add up all the work requested.  I see no other homes with this level of new construction for under $(109% asking), and some of the items like the fence and washer/dryer were not included so that we could price it at the point we did." - The Developer

YIKES! It was time to sit down and be realistic. We didn't have an extra $20K just sitting around waiting to be spent on the work items we wanted, even at our Best Offer, we were already $35K over our budget and the house is located in a place that pretty much demands that we get a car, too. There was just no way that we could swing it and the house really needed things like an alarm system, and we would need mirrors and a washer/dryer as soon as we moved in.  

So what did we do? We walked... and offered on the Humboldt Park Duplex instead!

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