This contract lasted less than 10 days. I think this is much better than being less than a week from closing, which is where we were with house number two. At least we didn’t pay for another appraisal and the inspector gave us a discount.

I know how lucky and blessed we are to have been taken in by my in-laws while we go through this. I believe what everyone is telling us, “all this means is that there’s another better home waiting.”

Onto house number four we go...

We’re learning so much about houses, neighborhoods, schools, inspections, appraisals and we’re not alone. Off the top of my head out of the houses we’ve seen since March I count four that went under contract and then went back on the market. This doesn’t count the two we’ve tried to buy. I don’t know what this says about current housing market, but it says we’re not alone.

The constant through the process has been our realtor. We interviewed a few realtors before deciding who we would work best with. This was the best move we made. We only made it after the first house fell though. Our first realtor worked with the mortgage lender office we were using. (By no means were we required to use him, but it was very convenient so we did. He was just as shocked by what happened to our loan as we were.)

We’re very determined buyers and our realtor has rearranged his schedule many times to fit us in and to negotiate with the sellers’ realtors on our behalf. This week he was on the phone well after 11pm with the seller’s realtor trying to find a place we could all continue with the contract. He was on the phone with us until midnight, when our inspection objection deadline passed.

We wanted time - a three-day extension to the inspection objection just so the seller and us had time to actually address big ticket items - roof and electrical - that the inspection showed. We didn’t think this time was going to be the deal breaker since the seller already needed to move the possession date by two weeks due to a tenant lease on the house

To get this time we offered to waive a large penalty fee the seller was going to owe for having to move the closing/possession date. We asked only the rate lock extension be paid for by the seller to move the closing/possession date and that we be given the time to find a place where the seller and us could come to a financial agreement on paying for the roof and electrical. We were even willing to put some of our own money toward the roof.

While to us this sounded like a reasonable offer, it didn’t work for the seller. We were told the seller had talked to an attorney about the penalty fee for moving the closing/possession date and was advised that the way out was for us to terminate the contract. We still held out hope that we would be granted time just to continue negotiating. Sadly, it didn’t work.

On our end it felt like the seller just wanted us out. We could have held the seller to the original contract and the penalty fee and still bought the house. But, that’s not how we operate. We would rather work together than to fight.

Of course this is only my opinion. There’s no way we can truly know what the seller was thinking, or that the seller was even told about our determination to make it work. Each of us - buyer and seller - has to do what we need to do to make the best deal, which includes protecting ourselves.

So onto house number four we go and more time spent with our realtor. By the time this is all done, I’ll probably be able to make a collage out of all the “Thank you” cards our realtor sends us! I’ll display the collage at our house warming party that we’ll throw.