The most recent news!!
As I alluded to in my last post, we had the FHA appraisal and, as the realtor feared, it appraised lower then the selling price- about $7000 lower! We weren't sure what to make of it at first. At first I wasn't worried because that appraised price was only $2000 less then our actual loan price- which is the selling price minus our 3.5% down payment. I thought maybe they could give a little and we could pay a little more and all would be good. I was shocked to find out that FHA will only give a loan for 96.5% of the appraised value (the appraised value minus the 3.5% down)- which meant we were $7000 off. We felt very discouraged- we certainly didn't have the $7000 to make up the difference or even 5% of the loan to do conventional versus the FHA loan. We hoped something would work out with the sellers because we also didn't want to start looking at other houses and then have to pay for another inspection, etc.
However, I found as I researched that we did have a basis to ask that the price of the house be changed to match the FHA appraisal. This is why-
--it would also be a huge hassle for them to find another buyer. Turns out this FHA appraisal sticks to the house for 6 months- they would not be able to sell it FHA to ANYONE unless at that price. Their only option would be a conventional loan which is harder to do in this economy to find someone who wants the house at that price with that much down. Doable maybe, but more of a risk of the house sitting on the market longer.
--I had heard of two other instances recently where the seller lowered the price to meet the FHA appraisal- evidence of it being a buyers market for sure (and further evidence we can NOT sell our house right now and that renting really is our best/only option since we don't have lots of $$ to pay it down...there is no way FHA would appraise for anywhere near what we owe on it....)
--they bought the house from their parents over 15 years ago at a very low price- and both work in professional jobs and are building their retirement home. They aren't hurting for money..... And they know Aaron's family in town and know we are part of that family.... I couldn't help but hope that would count for something too.
So, on Saturday, we submitted an addendum to our contract that the selling price be changed to match the FHA appraisal. We held our breath and waited to see if they would refuse completely and end the contract or (as we most suspected....) submit a counter offer. We started to seriously consider how much we were (and were NOT) willing to put down and repairs we might be willing to give up for negotiations.
Sunday, our realtor called and said simply that the sellers realtor contacted him to say the sellers had signed the papers but she would not be able to send to him until today. He didn't know what exactly she meant by "signed the papers..."- did that mean they were accepting the price reduction (which is actually 12K less then their original asking price) or that they were counter offering?! We were excited- at least we knew they weren't turning us away.
So the realtor calls this morning and said THEY ACCEPTED THE PRICE!!!! We are getting the house- with all repairs previously agreed to and even at $7K less than agreed on!!! We just can't believe it and are beyond thrilled. This will be a huge blessing in making it easier to manage this house as well since we can't sell it- makes it a little less scary and more doable.
As we started this process I prayed for guidance and that we would be led where we should go. Everything had happened so quickly and every hurdle that had the potential to break the deal has been quickly resolved to our benefit. This has gone so much better than I ever even thought I could ask for. Here is another interesting thing: We were so worried about this appraisal and I kept praying that it would appraise for the right amount and all would be fine. All week long, the thought "It will appraise for " this amount" and all will be fine." Of course- that was when I thought that amount was close to our loan value anyway- before I understood how FHA worked. Well, that number in my head is EXACTLY what it appraised at- and even though things seemed dismal for a day or so, it turns out that it not only worked out okay, but even BETTER! I firmly believe that was God answering my prayer and telling me what it would appraise at and that- even though it would seem scary at first- that it would be fine. We close on June 15th and will begin to move soon thereafter! (should make for an exciting 11th birthday for Kenny on the 16th!)
So, let me close with this testimony- that God hears our prayers and answers them and leads us. I know all too well that sometimes it isn't the answer we want (that was pretty much our entire 2011......) and that can be so hard but God knows what we need better than we do. But when the time is right and when it is what you are supposed to do, it is amazing how things fall into place. Even when prayers are not being answered as you had hoped, hang in there because God has plenty of blessings just waiting for the right time. There is no doubt in my mind that we have been blessed over and over again these last few weeks and our prayers have been answered.
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