It was after a heavy snow and several days of cancelled work and school that we saw our eventual non-dream home for the first time. We parked in front of the house, as the narrow driveway leading up to the garage was filled knee-deep with snow. And to the left of the driveway, we could scarcely make out another narrow but much longer driveway that ran alongside the house and disappeared into seemingly nowhere.
We thought not much of it, toured the house, got excited about it’s potential, and headed home to look at comparable sales to determine what our offer would be. Part of that research included mapping out nearby sales, which pulled up something like the image below, and reminded us of the mystery snow-filled driveway to nothing.
We were intrigued. We put an offer on the house we saw, but we also embarked on a mission to find out about the house we couldn’t see.
As a Real Estate agent, my husband was easily able to pull up the property history, learning when it was first built and how many times it had changed hands since then. The last note on the property was that it had been on the market as a short sale in 2012 and again in 2013, but never sold. After a quick call to the listing agent at the time, we learned that the seller had accepted an offer, but after a long waiting period, the bank denied the short sale contract in 2015. The property was going to foreclosure, and would eventually be sold by the bank.
This research is also what led us to our first virtual glimpse of the house. Even on a screen, it took our breath away. We were enamored.
From what we could tell, the house was far beyond our price range, so we moved forward with our offer on the other house, convincing ourselves that this discovery was not a realistic future for us.
When we found out another offer was accepted over ours, we were unruffled. I think in part due to the fact that this secret house up the hidden driveway had sparked a hope in our minds. I nonchalantly flagged the property using Redfin’s online search tool, and in all conscious ways, forgot about the house.
*photos courtesy of google.com and matrix.mris.com