Friday, October 15, 2010

A New House, A New Start......

How did house shopping go? Well, it went.

We started out the process looking at a couple of condos and houses that I had picked out. They were in the exact area that I wanted, but that's about all that they had going for them....

Katrina has left a misconception in the local housing market....let me elaborate.

We live on the North shore. If you aren't from LA its hard to understand, so let me give you a visual. New Orleans is on the South shore of Lake Ponchatrain. Its a large mass of cities and parishes (counties) shoved into a small area between the lake and the Gulf of Mexico.... A small area where all the rivers, tributaries, and swamps amass to finally fall and (those that need to) empty into the gulf, hence the flooding problems and the whole below sea level thing. Therefore the north shore is "higher ground".

After Katrina there was a rush to the North shore. They estimate that 10 years of growth in population was accomplished within months. It was a shock to our system :) Housing prices went through the roof.

Then recently the housing market collapsed, prices fell, however people still think they can sell their house for what they bought it for after Katrina. They kinda need to in order to break even.....yeah, that's just not happening.


Those of us who are trying to buy houses right now are left to sort out the "post Katrina" sellers from the regular sellers....its frustrating because there were houses that I liked, that I wanted, but just weren't worth the asking price.....the price per sq ft was outrageous and the sellers just weren't going to come off of the price, they couldn't and I wasn't stupid.

There is a happy ending to this mess, if I can make my way there.....

After looking and walking in doors only to turn and walk right back out, I finally pulled up in a driveway and felt comfortable. I walked into a door and wasn't immediately turned off. I could walk without hesitation through this one. I could breathe, it just felt was perfect.

I didn't want to make this decision alone. So after looking at one last house, I brought the girls to the one I picked out....they had the same reaction that I did. They immediately started running room to room staking their claim, running out of the door to check out the yard, their faces lit up. It really was the one.

My agent made a phone call.

There was already an offer in on the house.

She talked me through it and we made a plan. The other offer had just come in a couple of hours before so we sent in an offer and a contract, just in case the first one didn't work out. They had until 5pm Tuesday to respond.

At 4:36 pm on Tuesday I got a text from my agent....they had to work the first offer that they got in....they had countered.....the other buyers had until noon on Wednesday to accept or decline the counter offer.....

I was petrified. I started to cry. I just knew that this house was going to someone else and I was going to have to start over. I was crushed.

Luckily, I wasn't crushed for too long. About 12 minutes later I got a call from my agent. The other buyers declined the counter offer and my contract was accepted.


I was excited. I was relieved. I was overwhelmed.

I wasn't the only one though. Caitlin's eyes started to tear up. She was excited too. My little one was laughing and clapping in the back was a good moment. Something I will remember for life.

Now there is more waiting. Paperwork. Inspections. Appraisal.

Closing is set for November 19th.

Christmas may be slim this year. The girls will understand. Maybe not today, but one day. I will forgive myself, eventually, for not spending a fortune. And in the long run, what a glorious holiday season this will be.

I'm ready.


  1. What a great story. I am so happy for you. Remember a lot can go sideways between now and a close. Watch over it; get your inspection. Do you have to have mold inspections done in LA due to Katrina? I am so happy for you and know that you and the girls will have the best X-mas in your new home. As long as the three of you are together, all will work out. Hearts to all of you.

  2. Hey UC! Haven't checked on the whole mold issue, the neighborhood I bought into had little damage, didn't thingk about it....will call my agent today. Inspection is set for tomorrow. *fingers crossed* Thanks for the good thoughts. much love always ~j