When B and I first saw The House listed online months ago, it was described as having an adjacent back lot as an option to include in the purchase of the house. Then the sellers took it off the market for a couple of weeks (we heard something about a baby?), and then re-listed it for a higher price that automatically included the lot, but mentioned that one of the features of the property was the "ability to split off the back portion of the 13000+ sq. ft. lot, which is suitable for a single-family residence."
We considered our predicted finances, and decided that it might be wise to give up a portion of the huge back yard to save several tens of thousands of dollars. When we first looked at the house, our realtor admitted he wasn't sure where the property line would be, but there were some clear landmarks that seemed like a logical division. For some reason, B and I didn't really considering looking into it more. After all, my parents had clearly said that they wanted to swoop in and buy the lot. And what did we care where the property line really was if we were sharing it with my parents?
So two weeks ago, a day after the property had been re-listed, we made an offer on the house, detailing the exclusion of the back lot. As far as we understood it, my parents couldn't really take any action to make an offer on the lot until some of the legalities were worked out on our end. Our realtor said he would mention my parent's interest to the sellers, and we assumed they would be thrilled to have immediate interest in the lot, so why would they consider another buyer?
Hmph. Little did we realize there was some other buyer apparently waiting for such a thing to happen. How they got wind of it, I don't know. And what prices were agreed upon, I also don't know. But when we sat down with our realtor yesterday to discuss last week's house inspection, it sort of came up that oh yeah, my parents really wouldn't be able to buy the lot after all because there was already a deal set to close when we closed on the house.
No back yard for our kids to play in? I had a hard time keeping it together.
After further investigation, we discovered that the property line extended a whopping 20 feet beyond our bedroom and back door... just to the top of the gently slopping ugly terracing that I'd already made plans to re-landscape. Visions of small children locked inside all summer while strangers played in our backyard kept flashing through my head. I somehow avoided a complete breakdown right there in our realtor's office.
We met with our wonderful mortgage broker this afternoon, and discussed our approval for a slightly larger loan. No problemo, he said. And the only good news of this short week was: B's secret agent investigation and negotiation of his unpaid phone bill had actually paid off. His credit score had gone up 90 points, which dropped our mortgage rate a bit. That was at least slightly encouraging.
So after much consideration, tomorrow we will propose a new offer to buy the whole house-and-lot package. And if the sellers won't go for it, then I guess God is clearly shutting the door.