At best, we've been given lukewarm support for our seemingly out-of-the-blue bid on a house. So I thought it best, to reassure those who now think we're certifiable, to express what's been discussed in our household for not only the past few weeks, but in some instances, four years - and some since before we got married.
Why we want to move to Plymouth:
1. We can’t take Roman to the nearby park because of the druggies who get into fights in the parking lot and swear a lot.
2. Neighbors who tear up the street and take the corners fast that I fear for Roman crossing the street when he’s older.
3. The neighborhood we are in is clearly beginning to turn over; we have little in common with the newcomers from Redford, Detroit, etc.
4. To participate in a neighborhood-like activity I drive 25 minutes to Plymouth (band concerts, Santa, school events, eating ice cream on a park bench). These activities are what I grew up doing in a small town, and I want that small town experience for Roman.
5. Because Doug’s job is here (and more variety of future jobs will be here) and I also love my job at my school, not to mention our fabulous church, staying in this area of Michigan has begun to appeal to me. And we have agreed that if living in the Kalamazoo area, my first choice, is off the radar, then living in a “small town feel” area is what I want for my family.
6. I am connected to the Plymouth school community and want Roman to participate in it, especially since I already know the “ins and outs” of how the system works and who to contact with problems.
7. We want a neighborhood with kids in it; there are few children Roman’s age in our neighborhood.
8. If we stayed in this house when Roman began kindergarten, with me working in Plymouth, we would have to either switch him to a daycare which would bus him to school, or we would have to pay for before-and-after school care at the school. Not to mention whether he should do full or part-day kindergarten. None of these choices thrills me: switch him to a third “daycare” in 4 years, so I could drop him off at daycare and he could be bussed to school and bussed back to daycare, when I could pick him up? In the neighborhood we’re looking at, Roman could continue to attend his current preschool if he had to be bussed to kindergarten; or, I would only have a 5 minute commute to work if I was able to take him to school.
Why we want a bigger house:
1. Top amongst all the reasons: storage. We are tired of paying for a storage unit that is rapidly filling up with Roman’s baby things which we are not yet ready to sell or give away; that money could go to better use toward the mortgage on a larger house.
2. As we want a second child in the future, we do not feel our current house has the space to include our entire family. We understand that people all over do it – but we can afford more space with little impact on our budget.
3. The configuration of our current home does not allow for Roman to play outside without me being with him; thinking of the future, we would prefer a house with a backyard that can be seen from a kitchen/living area.
4. It would have a garage.
As for the housing and financial “climate”:
1. We are well aware that December-February is the worst time to sell a house. We did not initially plan to sell our house at this time; however, the price and situation of the house we bid on, we feel, is too fortunate to pass up.
2. We are also well aware, as others may not be, that in SE Michigan the houses that are not selling are the larger family homes priced approximately $200,000 and up. The smaller starter homes in “ring” cities such as Livonia have seen an increase to approximately 112 days on the market. There has been a stagnation in selling price of houses similar to ours; but it has not decreased. I work with a fellow who sold his starter home in Plymouth in 6 weeks, and closed 3 weeks ago.
3. We have discussed with our realtor his “tricks” for getting houses to move and feel confident that we will have traffic.
4. We understand that the company which holds the house we’re bidding on is anxious to get rid of it by Dec. 31. This “puts the ball in our court,” and gives us leverage for the next “counter counter” which we will be submitting Monday morning. (see the end of this post)
5. We have discussed the possible situation of two mortgages and know what we’re comfortable with and can afford, and the length of time we could afford it. We would never use a bridge loan.
6. We have researched how much it will cost us to move and have the money available.
7. We would not have qualified for this new mortgage, nor would our lender approve us for handling both mortgages temporarily if we didn’t have adequate personal finances. We planned in advance (for once) for this very scenario – being able to finance a house or a second child.
That all being expressed, and taking into consideration advice given by family, friends, and our realtor, we are going to attempt to negotiate for this house further. We will accept the company's counter-offer, including closing by Dec. 31, but add on that they pay for 6 months of our new mortgage payments (since they're not giving us time to sell our home first). That will still leave room for the company to counter with something I'm pretty sure we'd still be comfortable with. We talked about possible negotiations offered by the company... But we'll see. Boyd comes tonight at 6pm to do paperwork for getting our house on the market, and we'll also draw up the counter-offer.