Compulsive buyer snaps up new home

#4 in a series of true experiences in real estate
April 1993, Hills Newspapers

Hubby finally agrees new home a bargain

It wasn’t your usual situation. They are not your usual kind of people either. These longtime friends are more dramatic and impulsive than most.

They met through Bay Guardian ads (she answered his), he moved into her house, and they were married in the living room. One Sunday, feeling bored, she went looking at open houses and found the one she wanted.

It’s hard to say how unexpected it was. This woman is more likely to accidentally buy something than anyone else we know.

She raced home, got him, and dragged him back. He agreed it was wonderful but, more sane than she at the time, he pointed out that it was too much money, they’d have to sell their house, and he was leaving for Europe the next day.

She put him on the plane in the morning and bought the house. He returned two weeks later to find their old house sold, the loan on the new house perking along, and his wife engrossed in planning a more extensive garden.

What she had done was pretty extreme but it was exactly like her. So it was surprising that he reacted like he did. He just couldn’t believe it. He seemed stunned but able to talk.

An early salvo: “I wish you’d never seen that house. My life was just fine until two weeks ago. This is just another example of your impulse shopping. Only this time it’s a house instead of shoes. One day it’s shoes; the next, it’s a house. You never even wear the green jacket.”

She did try to soothe him. She pointed out all the good things about the new house while describing all of the failings of their present one. He wailed, “Why would you trade our sun-filled house for that tomb?”

And later, reason having left him entirely, “I’m not going to live in a house where I’m going to be blinded by light. I like dark houses.”

As these things were passed along to us (mostly she was laughing as she told them), we wanted to know if we should get the whole thing undone. “Oh, no, it’s Peter. He’ll be fine,” she said. But the comments went on.

“There’s so much traffic on that street, we won’t even be able to have a conversation.” But on another day, his discontent had changed to, “It is going to be so quiet there, I know I can’t sleep there.”

There was no direct cry for help. He didn’t ever say he wouldn’t move, so in spite of these and other, even stranger remarks, like the one about the potential sniper fire, we carried on and finally they did move. Quite suddenly, things were completely different.

Standing in line at the grocery store the first week, he turned to her and said, “We need to go home now or we’ll miss the sunset.”

And, sweet proof, “No wonder you put in an offer on this house the first day. We didn’t pay enough for this house. It was a bargain.”

You figure it. His wife says that Peter is a man who lives in the moment. As soon as he had a new moment, he lived that one. Maybe that’s right. None of us know how we are going to feel “sometime.” Certainly when you get involved in buying or selling houses, there is no such thing as typical anything, no feelings are predictable, no sale can be seen at the start as smooth and sure.

Smooth or not, it’s good to have a dependable, objective, friendly agent there to help. The time to think is first because the life you save may be your own.

So don’t link up with the first available operator. Even if you are just toying with the idea of buying or selling, it’s smart to choose an agent you can tell your secrets to.

This entry was posted in Buyer Stories. Bookmark the permalink. Comments are closed, but you can leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

  • Sign up to receive our newspaper columns: