Cleave & Nina's Green Dream Home

Our Net-Positive Home in Long Beach, California

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    Buying the House Next Door

    I came home from work in late May 2014 and Nina greeted me by saying the house next door to us was for sale. Over the previous six months, we were working with our realtor, Lorri Quiett, to find an empty lot or a tear-down house in our current neighborhood for the purpose of building our retirement house -- our green, dream home. We didn't have much luck. During those six months, we put an offer on a house that was probably better for a big remodel, rather than a tear-down, and we tried to find the owner or owners of a couple of empty lots without any success.

    Our neighbor's house wasn't officially on the market when Nina spotted the seller's agent erecting a for sale sign on the property. Nina spoke with her about the upcoming listing and got her business card. On that cool May evening, we called Lorri, who was leaving for a long girls' weekend back east, and asked her to contact the sellers' agent and place an offer.

    The sellers rejected our initial offer which was slightly under the their list price. Apparently, other potential buyers placed pre-listing offers that were higher than our offer. After some back and forth over the next few days, the sellers accepted our offer (which was a fair amount over the list price). Amazingly, all of this happened while our real estate agent was back east.

    After a fairly smooth escrow process, we took ownership in late June 2014, beginning our green, dream home journey.

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