I got a text from my realtor last night saying that the owners of the house we put in an offer for counter offered the exact same listing price--they wouldn't budge an inch. When I texted the realtor back and asked her if this means the house if off the table for us, she said that no, we can counter offer back. I have no faith in that whatsoever; we were already offering more than we had decided we would spend, and it seems that they're unwilling to consider any reduction in price whatsoever.
They bought this house in 2015 and our original offer was a tiny bit over what they paid for it. The house was appraised for what they paid only 3 years ago and they haven't made any improvements to the property. All the updates and renovations had been done by the owner before them, and they only lived there for two years when they put it on the market. No wonder it hasn't sold in almost a year...they're asking too much and seem to be unwilling to negotiate. With what they're asking and with closing costs we'd be looking at blowing our budget by $25,000 and we're determined not to do that. So unless they're just bluffing for as big an offer as possible but are secretly more motivated to sell than they appear, this house is not going to be the one. Damn it.
Our realtor told us that she's never worked with a couple like us. Most buyers, according to her, want as much as house as they can afford. She said she's constantly having to rein in buyers (especially younger first time buyers) by reminding them of the limits of what they can borrow. Gregg and I, on the other hand, are planning to borrow a good bit less than we were approved for. We want a modest house that we can afford to pay off quickly without a monthly mortgage payment that will cripple us. In order to accomplish that goal we've got to be determined not to get carried away when we see something we like.
This first experience has been so disappointing. It's our own fault. We spent hours yesterday (prior to getting the text about the counter offer) talking about the house. We looked at pictures and discussed where our furniture could go; we drove past the house a few times close to dark to see what the neighborhood was like on a Saturday night (nice and quiet, of course), we looked online for items we would want to buy for the house prior to moving in, like new rugs and things. I was already planning the beginning of a garden in the spring and casual summer parties on the screened in porch.
Stupid, stupid, stupid. We should have known better than to get that ahead of ourselves. We won't make that mistake again.