Lake house, Toledo house, lake house, Toledo house… it’s all we could think about. Which one did we love more? Did we want to put an offer on the Toledo house so that we didn’t lose it? What I really wanted to do was finish our trip, drive the 13 hours back home to Southern California and after getting some much needed down time, *then* make a decision. Unfortunately, the world doesn’t wait and we would have to make a split decision after we received a dreaded phone call. First, I must digress…
… The day after we had viewed the lake house, we got a call from our real estate agent. She told us that someone else was considering putting in an offer on the lake house. Our hearts sank. We couldn’t believe that we had just found the home of our dreams and it could be ripped out from under us. I asked her if they had put in the offer yet. She said no but that she thought they might that day. I asked her to please call me the moment an offer goes in. I got off the phone and Dennis and I were in panic mode. Should we get an offer in first? How much would the other offer be? Full price or less? We felt like we were in the dark and it seemed so impulsive to buy a house the day after we saw it without seeing the rest of the towns and homes on our list. We decided to move forward with our day after contemplating the situation for some time. If the other buyer put in an offer before us, we would cross that bridge when we came to it (PS. ask me about bridges some time, that’s a whole other story!). It worked out in our favor that we didn’t pounce on the lake house and put in the offer. The other buyer never did put in an offer on their end and the house was still available at the end of our trip. Now back to our story in Toledo…
The very evening after seeing the Toledo house, we receive a phone call from the agent that showed us the house. She tells us that another buyer has put in an offer on the house and asks if we are going to put one in too. She says they can hold off on submitting the offer to the homeowner until they have ours alongside the other. This time, our hearts still sink, but we don’t panic. Our thoughts go to the incredibly similar situation that happened with the lake house and the fact that an offer really never came in. Our instincts said that it might be a game that real estate agents play when a person seems very interested in a home. We made it no secret that we loved both the Toledo home and the lake house. We were desperately in love with both and needed time to weigh the pros and cons of each. The Toledo house was closer to town via a paved road and had more usable property. It didn’t have lake access but it did have a beautiful view of the Yaquina Bay. The lake house had much more storage and felt larger with its open floor plan. It had lake access but was on a gravel road that would take about 20 minutes to get to town. The lake house fit the bill of being remote, while the Toledo house felt a little more like what we were used to – being closer to town with access to convenience.
We called the agents financier and tried to get pre-qualified without the sale of our current home back in Southern California. We ran into a road block because we are both entrepreneurs and would be moving our businesses to Oregon and essentially starting over. They needed proof that we would be financially stable and since we weren’t moving to Oregon for a job, that was near impossible to prove. We wracked our brains for other ways to get financed or at least come up with the down payment they would need for us to be qualified (prior to having the cash from the sale of our current home). We were not having success. We called the agent and let her know that we were still working on ideas but that we could not put in an offer yet. She was super sweet and said that she’d hold the other offer until the next day in case we could find a way to do it. We moved on to see some other homes while Dennis spent the day on and off the phone with financiers to see if there was any way that we could put in an offer. It’s interesting how we were not only pressured into wanting to place an offer, but that we had given up on the idea of weighing the pros and cons of the two homes we loved. We just didn’t want to lose one of them before we got a chance to decide for ourselves. It was truly torturous!
Obviously, our hearts were not into seeing homes that next day. All we could think about were ways to put in an offer on the Toledo home. All I could think about was how much I still loved the lake house and didn’t want to lose that one either. We left the campground feeling confused and stuck between a rock and a hard place.
We saw a house in Newport near the bay that was not incredibly exciting. It was near a high school (we already lived near a high school and for two people without kids, it was a drag dealing with high school traffic, football games, the marching band, and drag racing down the street outside our neighborhood at night).
Then we drove out onto Highway 20 to see a house off of the river. It was an interesting house with a large piece of property and a really nice looking neighborhood. The river ran through the back yard, but it was down a cliff – steps would have to be installed for access. The house was foreclosed making it an incredible deal. It needed some interior work but the exterior seemed to be in good condition. I really loved the lone tree in the front lawn that stood tall and looked like the perfect Christmas tree. I could imagine decorating it each year. It went on the maybe list.
Meanwhile, we got the phone call we were really hoping wouldn’t come. The agent for the Toledo house called and said that they went ahead and submitted the offer from the other buyer to the homeowner and it was accepted. She said that we still had a chance of things falling apart and that it’s not uncommon for a house to fall out of escrow during the process. I decided that if it was meant to be, we’d have another opportunity to buy the home and that if we didn’t get the opportunity, it wasn’t meant to be. It doesn’t mean that we weren’t sad. At the same time, we were relieved to not torture ourselves any further over the decision. A new day and a fresh start the next day would be just what we needed! Click here for more homes and adventures coming up in Our Oregon Adventure Part 8!