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Saturday, August 13, 2005

Home again, home again

I think I'm in a position to tell you what's been transpiring here lately. In other words, I hope the decision has been made and all this is behind us, but as I type, Jorge is on his way over to the real estate office, supposedly to deliver some fresh Florida lobsters to our new best friend and broker of the company I'm now working for, and quash the deal that's been haunting us for the past week or so. With a forty minute drive though, he'll have plenty of time to second guess the situation and possibly change his mind...

Broker Buddy is determined to move us on up to a better spot and find us a house, not that we need another one, but he's all for getting us out on Boca, the one place we decided was worth bypassing Australia for, as soon as possible. While I was up north, he tipped Jorge off to a property that was about to come on the market. Jorge liked it, was pretty sure I would, and on my way home from the airport I was taken to see it. Lifestyle-wise it's a perfect fit with plenty of room, an isolated, safe neighborhood, large lot, and in immaculate, move-in condition. He's even got a buyer lined up for the orange house. This new house plus our island property, could, theoretically, be swapped in a few years for a nice place on Boca. Finance-wise it's mostly a lateral move as either this house or the orange house will appreciate at about the same rate, but this house has much higher taxes and we lose the waterfront. And then there's all the scrambling and stress involved in shuffling money around in such a short period.

We made an offer based on the "magic number," the dollar amount we felt the sellers would actually sell for, and splitting title insurance cost as the sellers indicated they were willing to do.

They countered full price.

We offered a higher amount, with which offering to pay all of the title insurance, brought us very close to their full price, and prepared to fire sale a vacant lot we own in order to move quickly and secure the deal.

No response. Offer expired.

Meanwhile, the sellers are trying to put together their own complicated, time-is-of-the-essence deal and we had assumed they were willing to go ahead and put it on the market, in spite of our fair, expedient offer, figuring they might end up with more money in the long run. Whatever. We resign ourselves to moving forward with our orange house plan.

The next day sellers agree to work with us. New offer, put together by broker who is working for the transaction, contains a contingency that their complicated deal must close first. Whoa. So we give away our lot, dump the orange house to his eager buyer losing our valuable water connection to the island, sellers' deal doesn't close and we get the boot? I don't think so. Broker buddy's dominoes are all lined up, but there's a huge gap between our domino and the next one.

On paper it's simple: Keep what we got. Emotionally it's difficult: The best neighborhood in the area, loads of closet space, two-car garage, a laundry room, no renovations to do...

Update: Lobsters are delivered and Broker Buddy has sweetened the deal, suggesting he'll buy Orange House for his assistant as a company investment and lease it back to her, allowing us to keep our boat slip. Hmmmmm.

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