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Home Buying Nightmare

Friends of ours wanted a holiday home. After years of slaving away they finally had the money. Everything was well planned. They looked on the internet and found about 12 houses in the area they wanted, contacted the agents and set up appointments for the Easter holidays.

When they returned they invited us for dinner immediately. They had found a wonderful, “perfect” house – and the price was right.
Apparently the price was low as it needed some work, but the couple thrived on DIY (doing it yourself), so this was not a chore.

They made an offer, and it was accepted the same day. Again perfect. It was all signed and delivered in record time. It was as if this was supposed to be theirs, or was there another reason?

The first weekend they got the keys we set off to see it. On the journey one of them said, “Look, there is a room. It looks funny. Apparently the person who sold it was an artist and furnished this room to inspire paintings. Be prepared.” What we were to be prepared for, we couldn’t guess, and therefore we certainly were not prepared.

The room was an annex built onto the house. It had no windows. There were rows of handcuffs cemented into the walls about 6 feet above the ground. It gave me the creeps, and although I am not easily put off, I would not have bought that house.

However, one of the first things they did was add a big window, remove the handcuffs and make this a store room.

The house is now finished and looks great – even the “artists lair”. I would love to know the artists name, but it was an anonymous sale, so even if I see the paintings that room inspired I won’t recognize them.

In the end, everyone is happy with how things turned out!

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First Home in Richmond, VA

Our first home

Our first home

My wife and I moved to Richmond, Virginia from Austin TX in the spring of 2002. Newly married, we were ready to search for our first new home. Neither of us had owned a home before we were married, so it was a big adventure for both of us.

The company that I was hired by was giving us some relocation assistance, including finding a local agent who would help us out. Well, our agent was almost 70 years old, and, as you can guess, was not really in tune with what we were looking for as a young couple in our very early 30s. After 2 meetings with her, we went out on our own and found a new agent, who was recommended by a friend.

Eventually, we found a home we loved and lived in for about 4 years before we again relocated, this time to be closer to my wife's family on the west coast. We've since purchased another home, and here's a few tips that I have after my 2 experiences:

1. Make a list of what is important to you in a home
2. Identify the items on the list that you can't live without
3. Understand that you are not going to get everything you want from that list. You will need to compromise on something!
4. Be patient. It will take a while, but you'll find something that you can live with.
5. Know that, even though you compromised, you'll end up loving your home.

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