Still Waiting

I rarely write a “part two” to my blog posts, but I have to make an exception this week. So many of you have asked about the status of the Brookhaven house we made an offer on, I feel I must oblige you with a follow-up report.

We didn’t get it. Our bid was not accepted.

I cannot believe that guy didn’t want me to be his neighbor! I’m truly dumbfounded. What did I do wrong? Was I too pushy? Too old? Not pretty enough? Too Jewish? Uch! Will I ever learn the answers? No. My dear husband has tried to convince me that it was competitive, only about price, and just a bad business decision on the owner’s part. He’s begged me to not be emotionally involved or take a real estate transaction personally. (After all, we aren’t homeless.) But I simply can’t accept his way of seeing things. I feel snubbed and rejected.

Now, for those of you who know me well, you know this can’t be the end of the story, right? Here’s an interesting turn of events…

*     *     *

Over a month ago, we stumbled upon a home for sale in Sandy Spring. Research on the property (conducted by my husband and son) revealed a colorful story about the architect/builder who created the work of art and lived in it for a few years; the wealthy investor (he was a “trust fund baby”) who purchased and lavishly decorated it next, but then lost it as a result of business transactions gone bad; the charitable trust that took ownership for a dollar and tried to retain the valuable asset; and the bank that subsequently won a legal battle to claim the house and try to offset its own financial losses. The bank foreclosed on it about two years ago and it has been sitting empty ever since…sad, neglected, and overgrown.

For some reason, I was drawn to it. I walked through the house and felt it crying out for an owner who could bring it back to life. Its structure, materials, features, and setting were unique. It begged to be restored. Despite being over ten years old, the creative design and quality of “fit and finish” could not be mistaken. I was convinced that it was an under-valued asset and any investment to fix it up would be worth it. My husband wasn’t convinced, but went along.

Our realtor submitted our offer and then learned that two other offers were made as well. An auction ensued in which all potential buyers were asked to submit our “best and final” on a specific day and time (exactly when I was scheduled to be on an airplane). I trusted my husband to “get it done.” I landed in Israel to start a weeklong business trip, only to learn that we lost to a cash bid.

*     *     *

While I moped about this first loss, I managed to convince myself that an enormously wealthy person with a briefcase full of cash was probably better suited to deal with a bank than we were. The second loss was inexplicable. A twist of fate, however, came the very same day.

It seems that cash deal fell through and the Sandy Springs house was available again. Our agent was contacted and asked if we were still interested and wanted to resubmit a bid.

Before responding, I had an epiphany, thanks to a Wall Street Journal article about the house that was forwarded by my son. I searched the internet and found the contact information for the guy who originally designed and built the house. I sent him an email, explained the situation, and stated that — if we end up able to buy the house — I wanted to work with him to restore it to his original vision. Flattered and willing, Mark met us at the house. As we walked from room to room he vacillated between reliving the past, sharing his thought-processes on each initial design decision, and suggesting upgrades and updates. It was an eye-opening, engaging, and fun two hours.We were hooked. Again.

We resubmitted our bid.

For the second time (technically the third time)… I await the verdict.

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