Four months ago, Erik and I made an offer on a newly renovated two bedroom co-op in a nearby town and it was accepted. Last Friday, we walked away.
I have been waiting all summer to title a post “We’re Homeowners!” but sadly that plan is not going to come to fruition. Not right now, at least. We have spent weeks and weeks dealing with emails, phone calls and meetings between ourselves, our real estate agent, our attorney, our mortgage broker, the bank and the co-op’s management company. We knew going into the process that purchasing a co-op was quite lengthy and a bit ridiculous because of the financial information that is required from the co-op’s board.
You see, unlike a house or a condo, a co-op is supervised by a board. All residents must be approved by the board to move in. It’s a safety precaution against letting in people who are not financially suitable. But we never even had a chance to meet with the board, because last Monday we were notified that our bank was denying our loan on grounds that they didn’t not like the appraisal.
In order to go through with the process, we would have to find another bank and go through the process for a second time. Since we had a contingency in our contract that we could walk away from the contract if we couldn’t get a loan, we decided that was our best option. We didn’t want to face another four month wait only to be denied again.
To be honest, this is probably the best thing that could have happened. For awhile now, Erik and I have had an uneasy feeling about the management company. We also had more time to reflect on the kind of place we were moving into and realized more flaw about the place than we’d initially noticed. The second bedroom was smaller than ideal. There really wasn’t anywhere to put our dining table. Our bed’s headboard would be pushed up against a window. There wouldn’t be a parking space for our car and street parking is extremely tight. It’s not very close to a train station, which would make getting around harder.
It was overall in a nice area. Very close to a Trader Joe’s, Starbucks, my bank and some restaurants. It was a mile from two downtown village areas. It was also very affordable. Which was our initial preoccupation last spring when a long-term freelance gig came to an end. We didn’t know if we could afford our current beloved apartment anymore. Ironically, a mortgage (granted a very small mortgage) would be cheaper than our current rent. So while we adore our apartment and our neighbors, we didn’t think we could stay. Renting another place was an option, but we thought, what the heck? Let’s try to buy something since we’ll be here long-term!
Right now, we’re taking a break from the homebuying process. Over the course of the summer, I managed to secure a couple of new freelance gigs that pay well, plus I am working more hours and for more pay at the Running Store. Plus with our new-found conviction to be more financially savvy, we can stay in our current place comfortably for the next year. In the spring, we plan to reinvestigate our options for a new home.
I wish I could say we were homeowners, because we put so much time and effort into getting everything set up and sent over to The Powers That Be. But in the end, it just wasn’t meant to be. And I feel very much that this was a God thing. The co-op was not the right fit for us, and we were so blinded by our desperation to save money that we didn’t see the truth for what it was. But God not only protected us from a fatal mistake, He also provided for the very thing we were worried about: money!
God is good.