The Quickening – Shadowbuyers in Escrow!

Thanks to

You miss 100% of the shots you don't take.

The Shadowbuyer family considered its rental home possibilities one evening a couple of weeks back, with the help of Westside Rentals.  It was truly depressing to see the available options in the single-family residence section in our price range.  Then, as determined as ever to get out of our current rental before Shadowbaby #2 makes his debut this summer, and accepting that a new rental was off the table, we broadened the list of neighborhoods in which we might buy.

That’s when it happened.  On a virtual flyover of the westside, from La Cienega to the sea, and from Mulholland to LAX, we spotted something interesting.  It was in a neighborhood that we both knew and liked, but hadn’t really considered previously.  It was an unspoiled example of an architectural style that at least one of us loves.  It checked almost all the boxes on our must list – bedrooms, bathrooms, parking, non-disgusting condition, sidewalks, largely single-level, kid-safe yard, caffeine proximity, and so on.

The following day, I gave it a drive by, fully expecting it NOT to live up to the online photos.  The door happened to be open, and a realtor waited inside.  I popped in for an unscheduled visit and was blown away.  In fact, I was almost sure that this was the kind of home that Dwell-subscribing, aspiring denizens of would tie up in a banker-bonus fueled bidding frenzy that would carry it well out of striking distance for the Shadowbuyer family.

Channeling the Gretzkyism that one misses 100% of the shots one doesn’t take, we instructed Shadowbroker to prepare an offer at a smidgen over asking price.  We figured that by being enthusiastic and quick, we might pull out to an early lead in the race to buy this home.

We were right in assuming that there would be a bidding war.  Before the first scheduled open house, there were four enthusiastic offers in place.  By the Tuesday caravan, we were already in a multiple counter situation.  After three rounds of overbidding, accompanied by a fair measure of “Dear Seller” letters (what is this, 2005?), we settled in to wait for a response from the sellers.  We fully expected to be outbid by yet another Angeleno with family money and an architectural hankering.

But then, late one evening, we got the call from Shadowbroker.  Congratulations – they’ve accepted your most recent offer.

Today, the Shadowbuyers are gnashing our way through a tough escrow.  It is unbelievably stressful and awful, but at no point have I thought, “forget it, this isn’t worth it.”  So, that makes me feel like we have actually found THE home for us.  By my next update we should know more about the deal status.  I’d hate to blog anything that screws it up.  One thing I know for sure – once we are done with this process, we will NOT be spending an hour each day scouring the web for houses to buy.

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8 Responses to “The Quickening – Shadowbuyers in Escrow!”

  1. Mrs. King Says:

    Congrats? At the risk of ‘jinxing’ the escrow….can you give us the neighborhood name? Always looking for the up and coming!

    Keeping fingers and toes crossed for you and the Shadowfamily…..

  2. shadowsm Says:

    Thanks for the support. It’s a stressful process, but we seem to be making good progress. Real update to follow when we are in the clear.

  3. shadowsm Says:

    Mini update – we are still in escrow. Keeping quiet until we get the keys, hopefully next week.

  4. soon to be expat Says:

    So, how did it go? Are you in? I have been so frustrated, I am taking the 3 kids and wife and moving them to Barcelona for a year. See where it’s all played out when we get back.

    • shadowsm Says:

      That sounds like a fantastic way to spend a year, assuming your kids are old enough to dress themselves, walk, etc. With our baby #2 due in 2 months, we have JUUUUUST gotten in under the wire on the home purchase. Escrow has closed. The house is an amazing mid-century architectural gem. Our lender made it a bit painful, but we prevailed.

      Now, we have three weeks of dirty cosmetic work to do (scraping ceilings, etc.) and then we’ll be in. Full blog post to follow. I’m not sure who’s got the better plan (Spain or new house), but since neither of us bought in 2007, I think we’ll both come through in pretty good shape. Toast me with some churros and chocolate when you get settled. ShadowBuyer.

  5. Just Call Me Maria Says:

    Congrats home owner! We pulled the trigger in Dec 2008 and purchased our $1.6m fixer in the Palisades. We walk everywhere and our kids walk to public school. Remodeling was tough, but we made our home perfect for us in very little time. We took the keys in January 2009, made it through permits and demolition by April 2009 and completed construction for move-in in August 2009. It CAN be done.

  6. j Says:

    any update?

    • shadowsm Says:

      Blog has been updated. We bought a mid-century masterpiece in Cheviot Hills, a neighborhood I hadn’t even considered previously! We love it, and couldn’t be happier in our new home.

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