house was just over a half-million,
and here, in southern Marin
county, a half-million was considered
I sent an email, "I can visit the property tomorrow; will you be there?"
The broker replied, "I am showing it mid-day. Can you be there at 12:30?" I agreed.
the property on a cold, drizzly
day and fell in love. My wife
and I had visited perhaps 40
properties over the prior couple
of years. We weren't seriously
shopping for a home, but we
did have a sense what you got
for half a million dollars.
Not that much. And we'd also
learned that if you bid the
asking, you did not get the
house. (We had bid on three
houses in three years, offered
the asking, and missed each
by an average of $60,000.)
This particular house had 40 steps to the lower level, 50 to upstairs, and buckets in the kitchen and bathroom, catching the rain water dripping through the ceiling. The house was fully furnished; the closets were full; there was even food in the freezer. Yet it had not been occupied in a year-and-a-half or so, except by rodents. The lot was the prize. Great location, nice garden and a killer view!
worked an hour away, and I wanted
to bid on this house before
it appeared on the MLS. That
night, when Terry got home from
work, I took her up to the place.
We needed to get a bid in before
Saturday morning. To Terry’s
credit, she agreed to be part
of this craziness without even
seeing the house in daylight.
The following evening we met
the broker outside of a closed
Starbucks, and put down a deposit.
It was a strange way to do business,
but the deposit check was written
to a Trust company so I didn't
really care. If this was legitimate,
we might have a house in 48
The next morning, Saturday, I took Terry back to the property. She had her doubts.
On Monday we received word that our bid had been accepted. We had beaten the house to the MLS and we were home owners in 94941.