Week three (5.8.-5.13) – Our ranch

We, or more precisely, Slav, actually saw our ranch (😊) on the Saturday during our offer on the first house. Technically you can look other houses even after your offer is accepted, just not put new offers on other houses. At this point, our offers were not accepted (the seller passed out offer the first time), so we were completely free to tour other properties.

There were only one house we wanted to see that Saturday, and we did not have high hopes on it. We decided that I should stay home to give the dogs some much needed attention, and Slav could look at it himself with Kerry’s help. Within 5 minutes they could already tell that it was waaaay too much work and not a good fit for us. As they were leaving, an investor (people who buy houses with cash and flip them) came in, and they all started chatting about renovations. At some point, the investor guy asked, “what are you guys looking for?” And Slav told him. He said, “I’ve seen one you would like. It was an old ranch with two car garages, with a pretty big yard. The guy selling it asked waaaay too much, so it stuck on the market. It has been two months now – who knows – he might be willing to come down.”

Kerry immediately asked for the address and the contact information of the seller’s realtor, and scheduled the showing in half an hour! It is happened to be at our dream location – west of Denver, mature neighborhood, biking distance to Olde Town Arvada. We did not even look for houses there because of the high price tag. So the boys immediately headed there. Boy did Slav like it!  He was unsure if I would, because it was really dated. So he decided to “sleep on it”.

So that was Saturday. On Monday, we were bid out on our first offer, and needed to start searching again. Slav mentioned the ranch to me, and I became very curious. On Wednesday, when we decided to go to the city to tour more houses, I suggested to “add the ranch to the list” just so “I can take a look too”.

And that is it. The ranch is the first house we saw that day and I did not want to see more. It is messy and every bedroom is filled with books and clothes (they have 5 kids!) – but we felt weirdly comfortable in it, even a bit happy. Isn’t it magical? The previous house we got bid out did not make us feeling happy. And I think it means a lot.

The house is dated, but very solid. It checks everything on our list, the size, the layout, the yard, the garage, and the neighborhood. Kerry was pleased to learn that the seller was willing to drop the price from $350K to $315K, which put this house well within our comfort zone. The truth is, investors were offering $310K cash, and the seller turned them all down! We guess that he did not want to see it go to investors, but it gave us lots of confidence on what this house is worth.

We put down our offer that afternoon, $315K, as-is except for health and safety issues, and it was accepted a couple hours later. We are under contract!

Just like that, no competition, no bidding wars, just an over-confident seller and a solid house in a neighborhood we were priced out of. It is like we were not buying in Denver market at all. We got our diamond in the rough.

(To be continued…)


This is the 4th post in our “how we bought our ranch house” series. You can find the rest of the story here:

Week one – Got pre-qualified by a broker, aka “know what we could afford”

Week two – Finding a Realtor and Learning What We Want

Week two – Our First Offer and the Bidding War

Week four – Inspection and Negotiation

Week five and six – Convincing the Bank to Buy Our House