We bid to win.
It took almost two years of Sundays at open houses for us to make an offer, but we needed to be good and ready. We needed to feel confident that if we actually won we would feel excited, and not freaked out.
Besides, the market finally seemed slightly softer, and the apartment in question, though small, was charming. It had three key things our rental does not: a real room for our daughter, a view, and a parking space. So we bid slightly beyond our comfort level. And we waited.
It didn't take long: our realtor had an answer for us less than eight hours after we submitted our offer. During those eight hours I took my daughter out for a stroll. We happened to head in the direction of our new Home. We stood on the sidewalk outside it and admired the facade since we didn't yet have the keys.
This got old pretty quickly, so we continued on our way and stopped in to the nearest grocery, to see how late it stayed open. 10pm -- excellent! Their cookie shelves did lack Stroopwafels, but this would be a minor inconvenience considering the view from the kitchen. I would bake my own stroopwafels while enjoying it! And if I lacked vanilla extract I could run down to the garage and take the car over to a bigger market without having to spend 30 minutes looking for a parking space upon my return.
As we walked back I rearranged our furniture to fit the new space. I made fast work of all the things we would no longer need using Goodwill and craigslist. I went shopping for a few new things, even though winning the condo would make buying anything discretionary virtually impossible. I chose paint colors (they danced in my head like sugar plums), and worked on a menu for our housewarming party.
Then the realtor called.
We didn't win. The bidder who won offered a nutso 15% above asking. So as it turns out, we were never even in the running.
My heart was sinking so I called on my head for help. My head told my heart to have no regrets. Joy would have turned to anxiety very quickly had we obliged ourselves to fork over such a ridiculous sum. And the flat was really small. My in-laws in the spacious Midwest would have been incredulous. And I would've had to bake my own stroopwafels! (I have no idea how to do that.) These thoughts made me feel better...but not entirely.
After all, Nutso does get to nest in the lovely flat and stare at the sunset over the ocean every evening, and we don't. Nutso gets to paint the walls whatever colors he chooses. We get to spend more Sundays at open houses.