Adventures in Real Estate, part 3

After discovering that someone had made a bold preemptive offer on one of the coolest condos in San Francisco we’d seen, our real estate agents’ advice was to wait and see. Occasionally people make impulsive decisions and back out once they’ve had a chance to think it through. Miraculously, they were right. We discovered a few days later that the preemptive offer had been withdrawn. The sellers were still accepting offers—and expecting them to be submitted less than a week after the open house.

On Friday, November 4th we learned that 5 offers had been made, including ours, and that the sellers were going to do a multiple counteroffer to all parties. We were still in this game! Though we tried not to get our hopes up, we eagerly awaited the counteroffer. The night passed with no counteroffer. The weekend passed, no counteroffer. The more time that passed, the more our idle minds couldn’t help but imagine making it our home.

By midday on Monday, the belated counter finally arrived. It was a single page document requesting the purchase price be raised over our initial offer. And since it was a multiple counteroffer, we had no idea what the other offers had been, or what their counteroffers looked like. And we had to respond by 9pm the same day. This put us in an interesting position as we’d already made an offer at the top of our price range (not to mention over list price). Our real estate agents advised that if we really loved the place, we should consider responding with an offer over their counteroffer—to separate ourselves from the pack.

It’s easy to start down the slippery slope of “what’s another 10k?”, but if the purchase price went up, so would our down payment (which effectively acted as the upper bound on what we could afford). So we decided to split the difference, and made a counter-counteroffer slightly higher than our original offer but lower than their counteroffer. It was a funny moment, I felt good about sticking to our budget and countering their counter, but also wistful, figuring that we were effectively throwing in the towel (surely someone else would pony up).

So you can imagine our surprise the next day when our real estate agents called and said “We have some potentially very good news for you.” This was not the call we were expecting. They basically said that if we were willing to adjust one of the non-financial terms of our counter-counteroffer, the place was ours. OMG!!! Yes, yes of course we’ll do that. That night, November 8th, we were officially “in contract” on the coolest condo we’d ever seen, a mere month after starting our search. We were agog at our good fortune. We were in a complete state of disbelief.

Spanish-Mediterranean facade of our Abbey St condo
Our condo will be the top unit of this cute two-unit building
Living room with bay window and wood-burning stove in our Abbey St condo
The living room has a bay window and a wood-burning stove
Completely renovated kitchen in our Abbey St condo
Without a doubt, this is the coolest kitchen I’ve ever seen
Dining Nook/sunroom in our Abbey Street condo
The dining nook/sunroom opens out to mini-deck

Continue reading Adventures in Real Estate, part 4



Congrats! I am so happy for you two – and can’t wait for the house welcoming party :)

Kim, thanks! I can’t wait also.

Wow, it looks amazing. Congratulations!


Congrats, I’m completely jealous!

Amazing! Does the fridge come with? Congratulations!!!

We are so coming to visit now! ;) But really congrats and enjoy.

Fucking awesome! Congratulations you two! Hope the inspection turns up naught…

Congratulations again! We are SOOO excited for you two!

Thanks all. Leona, yep, the fridge comes with, as does the custom white table in the dining nook. BrianR, now it will actually be possible for us to host guests as we’ll have a guestroom—though it may be a while before we have guestroom furniture. Nate, the inspections came back relatively clean. I held back on posting this until we were essentially greenlit. All the contingencies have been removed. Now we just sit back and wait to sign our lives away ;)

Congratulations! That kitchen looks awesome. We’ll be near neighbors, too, I’m in Noe Valley.


wooow…i am speakless..thats beautiful ! i love the blue walls .. perfect design – Love it ! Congrats ! Enjoy your new home.

I already wished Stephanie congrats on Facebook, but also wanted to chime in here. The place looks amazingly gorgeous with such a good vibe — the kitchen especially! Keep us posted on the new-home adventures!

Thanks! I’m glad everyone thinks the kitchen looks as awesome as we do. Considering all the other places we saw, we feel totally spoiled.

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