It has been 5 months since The Wife and I decided to take the plunge and put our house on the market. Writing that makes me feel a whole hell of a lot better since it feels like infinity longer as The Wife is completely fed up with the process.
My Housing Situation
It wasn’t until three or so years after I started blogging that I first started talking about home and it wasn’t until a few months ago where I provided real details:
- The home has to be owned by a first time home buyer (follows the deed)
- Purchase price was $250,000 and for anyone that knows the north Nassau County housing market it is clear that this home was way undervalued (the 55+ Part of the community sold before the bubble burst at $500K+ and is probably around $450K currently).
- At the time of my purchase I had to make under a certain amount which I cleared by $200 and I wasn’t married yet.
- I got a fantastic rate of 5.875% which seems high today and we put down $17,500 (Nope no PMI under the program!). It was a 40 Year note as my debt to income ratio was out of whack since I wasn’t married so couldn’t count The Wife’s income towards the mortgage plus I had an auto note and student loans.
- Almost all of that down payment was made possible by The Wife’s grandparents who gave gifts over The Wife’s lifetime. They are/were the epitome of all that was right financially with their generation.
The house, while an awesome buy came with some restrictions:
- We had to make under a certain amount, which I did because I wasn’t married at the time.
- The sale price was tied to the median income of my town at the time of resale. I remember at the time thinking how much it sucked that the home wasn’t a free market home…and then the housing bubble burst and it looked like I just made the greatest economic decision for myself next to going to law school.
- I could not rent the property (if I could you’d be calling me landlord Evan today)
Over the next 5 years the home maximum sale price increased from $250,000 to a bit over $300,000 for a 4% gain per year during the worst housing market correction ever. I’ll take it!
While the first time home buyer restriction follows the home the income requirement does not…sort of. I only need to provide the controlling non-profit 60 days to sell it with the income requirement and since this post is being written 5 months after my original one you can guess they failed.
A Recap thus Far
Within 75 days we had four great leads on the home and had our choice of buyers. Think about that in this market, we were still in control! Those four buyers were:
- 27 Year Old couple both teachers in the city
- 41 year old couple – second marriage Wife owned a home before Husband’s name was on it
- 52 Year old divorced male
- Elderly Indian woman
We eventually went with the 41 year old couple as they seemed super excited and very stable. Turns out that the problem of one of them owning a home in the past caused more of a problem then first assumed as their debt to income ratio was completely out of control (the calculation counted all their debt but only one spouse’s income).
For what its worth:
- The Elderly Indian Woman couldn’t make a decision until her son got back from India, and then she was in the hospital for a bit and at this point we have lost touch
- The 52 Year old divorced male is still in the running (see below) although he was out for 3 or so months after he gave a TERRIBLE offer.
- I don’t remember the 27 year old teachers! Maybe The Wife can shed some light on it
After the 41 Year old Couple fell through we decided to hire a broker. Well looking at the date of the post it looks like that lasted all of 3 weeks. Very nice woman, but we tied her hands by giving her such a small percentage. She was unable to list the home on Multiple Listing Service with only 2% to split between her and a seller’s agent.
Where we Are Going and Our Next Decision
Since letting our Agent go, we found a really cool way to list our home on our own on MLSLI (Long Island MLS), Trulia, Zillow, etc. There are services that will let use borrow their real estate license to post on those sites.
Listing on MLS with No Seller’s Agent
All I did was Google “List on [my local MLS] without a broker” and I received all viable options on the first page of results. After researching my options I went with one where the total price was $200 plus if the person coming in with a realtor I have to pay the realtor 2% and if the person who I sell to doesn’t have a realtor I owe no broker commission!
There was a ton of paperwork, but I guess that is to be expected.
Our Current Possible Home buyers
We have a few “options” up in the air:
- 52 Year Old Divorce Man is back! I am negotiating with his mom and uncle (family money) which is just freaking weird. I have never received a firm offer yet. It has turned from Uncle purchasing the house for the individual with cash which would be nice, to him just giving the down payment.
- 25 Year old Man – He graduated from the same college as me and is just working his first job which is around the block from where I live. I’d love to sell it to him, but doubt it will happen. I have not received a firm offer but he has put in his application with the non-profit who still has to approve any buyer.
- 35 Year old Couple with a Son – They loved that my son’s room was already set up for a boy. They have not put their application in yet, but have made an offer. They will give me full price but want closing cost credits. I am not going to accept this offer. I think my response after hearing from some of the others on this list is to say $303,000 no closing cost credits or $306K with 3K in concessions.
- 23 Year Old Woman – The Wife showed the place to her parents twice. Dad is buying the home. No firm offer but their application is in. The problem is that they came with a broker and the others did not – so they are going to get 2% which brings my net down to $300K even if they pay full.
- 37 Year old State Trooper – No offer, no application but seems interested. Terrible with call backs so not sure his deal.
Phew! Long Update.