After nearly 7 years of suburban serenity (or at least it seems that way in retrospect), we are movin’ on.
Life in a bigger city, I have quickly rediscovered, has its challenges. Want a good pediatrician? You better know someone, because all the favorites, are booked up. Think you’re going to send your children to the nearby school where you rented your apartment? Not necessarily. Due to overcrowding, the school district is likely to boot your kids to the overflow school on the other side of town. If you want the best in a big city, you need to fight for it.
Buying a house has been no exception. After losing out on two homes to all-cash buyers, it was time to get serious. I found a new, kick-butt realtor, picked out the house I wanted, and prepared for battle.
The house is perfect! It sits on a quiet street full of children, has a stunning pool and hot tub in the backyard, is in walking distance to a great elementary school, and is just blocks away from all of our favorite shops and restaurants.
In San Diego, we would write up an offer letter and the deal would be done. In the Bay Area, people price their homes below market and then wait for the bidding war to begin. They purposely let the house sit for a week or two, hold a couple of open houses, and then pick a date and time they will accept offers. May the best buyer win.
Of course about seven other people jumped in the ring for my house. One couple was pregnant with their first child. Another had two children of their own, and they wanted to keep their kids in the same school district. Everyone had their reasons for needing that particular house. I didn’t think we stood a chance, but we were ready to give it our best. I wrote the owners a letter, delivered our purchase offer in person, and went way over asking. We wanted this house.
When our realtor called to give us the news…our entire family cheered in relief.
If all goes well, escrow will close in approximately 30 days. Then I get to find out if there is space for the boys are their new school. If there isn’t, a new battle begins. The Bay Area is making us work for it!