There I was, one Tuesday afternoon, going to yet another showing with my mom who is also my real estate agent. The first house we looked at needed a lot of work, and wasn’t priced to allow for the money I would have to put into it. But down the street, there was a house I loved (not for sale), and I asked my mom to drive down with me just so I could show her.
The owner just happened to be leaving as we drove by, and to my embarrassment, my mom rolled down her window and asked if he was thinking about selling anytime soon. Oddly enough, he said he might be, and offered to show us the house right then and there.
It was amazing inside. Even more beautiful than on the outside. It was like my pinterest board for “dream house” had manifested in real life. Apparently the owner is a carpenter who does home renovations for a living. In my area, usually houses of this quality are also gigantic and way above my price range, but this house was the perfect size for just me and my husband, so I thought just MAYBE I could afford it.
I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised when he quoted us a price $175k-250k above comps in the neighborhood. Most of the houses on that street have sold for somewhere in the $550-625k range in recent months. He wanted $800k. Granted his house is much nicer than the others, it still has similar square footage, acreage, bedrooms, bathrooms, and belongs to the same school system and neighborhood, so as much as I want it, I am worried about the appraisal. Even after we were able to talk him down to maybe selling for $750k, I’m still not sure it will appraise.
Here lies the risk. Since it’s not on the market, if I pay for an appraisal ($600), and it doesn’t appraise at a price I can afford (let’s say it appraises at $650k– that would be $100k out of pocket on top of the already steep $150k down payment– yikes), he has no reason to negotiate or meet me somewhere in the middle to avoid having to relist, because it was never listed to begin with, right?
Are there any other risks am I not thinking about? Has anyone else here purchased a house that wasn’t on the market?
EDIT: I should mention I live in Massachusetts. Suburbs of Boston = expensive.