Mountain Shadows neighborhood, Boulder… The setting for today’s true story.
Everyone loves a story that ends happily ever after. I am no exception. This is one of faith, patience and the sort of love you read about in fairy tales.
In March I met Bob. Upon meeting, he told me his fiancee was in the Philippines awaiting a visa so they could marry, that he would be jumping the first plane to her when it came through and they had plans to honeymoon in Hawaii in the first week of August – entirely dependent on the visa timing of course. He conveyed all that they hoped to find in a home, smiled as he said how nice it would be to move into their first home together and beamed upon telling me he couldn’t wait to start a family with Rubilyn. Then he mentioned his property for sale in Illinois.
Somewhere in Illinois, another Realtor was hard at work to sell a townhouse that had been listed for quite a while. The market was not as hot there as in Mountain Shadows neighborhood, Boulder (one of Bob’s favorites) and this was the contingency sale that Bob and I wished we didn’t have.
I’ll admit at first glance, there did seem to be a whole of wishful thinking going on! All plans were contingent on the real estate market in Colorado and Illinois. Decisions and timelines were at the mercy of the US Immigration Department and the money from the (fingers crossed) sale of the existing property… well, that had to be spread between the flights, wedding, honeymoon, immigration fees and of course a new Boulder residence… Hopefully at Mountain Shadows, a cute and very convenient neighborhood in south Boulder. It was complicated, but I like a good challenge.
Besides, this couple seemed to be truly, madly, deeply in love and a little of that joy rubbed off on me every time we spoke.
…Now picture low inventory and frenzied buyers hovering over Boulder. Buyers that jumped on anything that came on the market and were driving prices up with their competing offers. Average days on market before going under contract was about two. Just enough time to iron out the details and get a counter proposal signed after hitting the MLS.
None-the-less, if it fitted the profile, the three of us went to see it. Yes, three.
Did I mention that Rubilyn would join us via Skype from the Philippines, regardless of the time difference? This was my first experience at “virtual showings”. It worked well in that Bob was able to use his cell phone as a hotspot and could walk the property with Rubilyn virtually in his arms. Ok, we occasionally lost her in basements when cell signal dropped, but all in all she got a feel for the light, layout and features in a first hand fashion. Bob would even crouch down and run his fingers through the carpet to demonstrate its plushness! Then they would log off and agree to meet back online in an hour or two, to discuss.
I was becoming very fond of both of them and could tell this mandatory long distance aspect of the relationship was the means to an end. Both were overjoyed with each little step in the process that got them closer to securing her the visa that would allow them to be together again.
In May, Bob and I set a showing at a townhouse at Mountain Shadows that was a For Sale By Owner (FSBO). The Seller received and rebuffed our low offer. It wasn’t that Bob couldn’t afford asking price, it was that we both felt the Seller had overvalued his Mountain Shadows home. Our contingency didn’t help and after a few weeks, negotiations were at a standstill.
Sometime between then and July, Bob’s Illinois townhouse sold. Then, like magic, the immigration queue that Rubilyn had been stuck in for over year, shook loose. She was speeding toward her medical and final interview in Manila and it was now a reality that they could marry near the end of July or early August. They were exactly on track for that honeymoon in the first week of August!
Bob sprang into action, booking his flights to the Philippines, arranging their Hawaiian wedding ceremony and honeymoon and preparing all that it takes to bring a new wife into your country and home. Meanwhile, Rubilyn dealt with immigration and arranged the Philippino wedding that didn’t count for US immigration, but certainly did for her family.
At this end, Bob was giddy with excitement and anticipation. All real estate shopping (including that nagging Mountain Shadows property) was put on hold and I was content to touch base with him regarding his travel plans instead. Then he was gone.
This time the platform for keeping in touch was Facebook… and it was I who was virtual, as Bob and Rubilyn posted photographs of their Hawaiian wedding and adventures.
Rubilyn had left her home, family and country to be with Bob in the USA and I was excited to meet her when she arrived in Colorado in mid August.
The house hunting resumed just as that very same Mountain Shadows FSBO from May, turned into an MLS-listed property. The price was now right, Rubilyn could see it for herself and there was no contingency sale. We made an offer and won the contract to buy, only later finding out that our offer was $7,000 lower than the highest bid. As it turns out, the Seller had a soft spot for Bob and even after our unsuccessful earlier negotiations, he felt Bob was a good fit for his Mountain Shadows home and some loyalty had been established.
The deal proceeded rather painlessly. The Seller was overseas during most of the time under contract and we were mindful to work with the deadlines and needs he had in order to save him time, money and energy when he returned for the last time to his Mountain Shadows Boulder townhouse for the closing.
Closing… Well, it was wonderful affair! The negotiation had been at times tough, but always respectful and friendly. In the four months it took from first showing to the closing table, bonds had been forged all around.
Although I knew that setting goals and focusing on them, visualizing them, was the way to make them a reality, I was an amateur compared to Bob and Rubilyn! Their unwavering faith, undying love and pure determination kept them optimistic, with an eye on the end goal at all times.
Oh… remember that one other thing that Bob said he couldn’t wait for?
Yep. Bob and Rubilyn are pregnant!
I’d be lying if I said it didn’t bring tears to my eyes the day Bob told me.
Every job has easier and more difficult days, but I would be surprised if anyone’s job feels as awesome as mine does when a client shares their ultrasound picture!