This chapter of our peripeteia also dates back (maybe Francis will blog about it in more details), exactly on April 2nd.
We had noticed a great house for sale on the Matrix database but when it showed up (along with a few others), the owner had already accepted a sales offer. I called my real estate agent and she discouraged me to make a counteroffer. Though, she assured me she would be noticed right away if the buyers would withdraw their offer, and thus tell us – which we would know that Saturday, after their inspection. I thought it was a weird way of doing, but I didn’t argue, curious to see how it would unfold. I did well 🙂 We were Saturday, April the 2nd, and we thought it would be weird to tell our families and friends, in the event we could have this fantastic house, that we hadn’t even seen the property before making an offer on it. We wandered in the city with Mia and at the end of the afternoon, before heading back home, we decided just to drive past the old house and check the alley. As we drove by, we saw 4-5 adults and a little girl right in front of that house, laughing and being in a very merry mood. It was them! Francis decided to stop the car and go chat with them. I was shy and decided to stay with Mia in the car, she was napping anyway.
He came back about 20 minutes later, with the professional card of the real estate agent and the name of the man buying the house: he’s a contractor and said he was very interested in our project! We felt like we had stumbled upon a treasure chest! We fired our previous agent and met with the new one 2 days later. She told us how she could have sold that house so quickly: she got the add of the house for sale on her Blackberry and immediately called her clients. They realized they knew the owner so they decided to make their offer without visiting first. The selling agent was astounded: it took about 5 minutes before the house was promised to their now very happy new owners! This is the agent we needed, as we had the same goals – buying something to throw down and build anew on top of it.
We met with the contractor a week later. He outlined for us the different options we had as entrepreneurs and how he could help us. From his own mouth, if there’s money &/or challenges &/or fun to be had, he’s interested. Our project won’t give him very much money, but for the rest, we’re covered! He came back this morning to show us preliminary budgets of the project, with interest rates and fees of all sorts we hadn’t foreseen. The numbers don’t add up right now, so we need to find solutions. At the same time, it’s very early to tell how much the triplex will cost and many things are still in the air (how much we will sell each floor for, how much we’ll buy the lot, the details of the plans, etc.). It’s very sobering but not discouraging.
Our architect gave us 2 other contractor references and we’ll be meeting them early next week. Then, I’ll sit down with our architect and discuss with her what we’re being offered. It’s very important for me that everyone on the team gets along and work well together. With her vast experience and pragmatism, I value her comments and warnings.