I met Jeff and Jeanine four and a half years ago, when they were referred by one of my Realtor© partners. They were living in a small condo in the East Bay with their family of seven. Seven people, including an elderly aunt—all living harmoniously in a two bedroom townhome.
They called me recently to ask how much home they might qualify to buy. I have had the same conversation with them many times over the years, and always give them the most current information, even though I have not considered them clients.
Jeff and Jeanine had seen a large four bedroom home in their town that caught their imagination. I told them they would qualify for an FHA loan (3.5% down), even without selling their present home. They knew they would be competing with other offers, some of them cash. As it turned out, they were up against seven other offers.
As I observed in an earlier article, “It sucks to be a buyer today.” In that article, “Secrets of Successful Buyers,” I talk about the value of a heartfelt personal letter from the would-be buyer to the seller. Jeff and Jeanine followed that advice to the letter, and are in escrow today. Here’s what they wrote (published with their permission):
Jeff and Jeanine, with kids and friends
Dear [B…] Family:
We visited your home on Mother’s Day and have to say that it perfect for our family. The minute we walked in we felt at right at home. My kids were picking out their rooms and the additional master suite felt like a mini retreat to my husband and I. The home is just beautiful and you can tell that a lot of love and care has gone into this home to make it feel this way.
A little about our family: my husband and I are both natives of Newark. He grew up near Bunker School and I lived on Barnard St down and around the corner from your house. We have 4 children 17, 16, 13 and 7. While the 17 year old lives with her Mother, we also have our convalescent 82 year old Aunt living with us. I work and my husband is a stay home father who cares for the home, kids and Aunt. We currently live in a two-bedroom 1,100 sq/ft townhouse in the Joaquin Murieta area. We’ve lived there for 14 years. Our Aunt has her space in the family room, the three kids share one room and Jeff and I have the other room. We’re very cramped, but it’s home. We’re a close family and surround our home with love. Even though we’re a family of 7, we seem to always have a few of the kid’s friends hanging around (as seen in the picture above!).
Before we took over care for my Aunt, my mom lived with us while battling cancer. We lost her last year and, even though my kids and husband don’t complain about the space we live in, it would be wonderful to be able to give them a home where they can spread their wings. We’re looking for more space: room for the kids and Aunt, a family room and a big yard. Most of all a place where we can live life to the fullest … your home gives us this opportunity.
Today is my mom’s birthday and we’re over the moon right now: the very thought that this is even possible is a gift in and of itself from God. We see nothing but love in this home and would like to share that with our children and their children in the years to come.
Thank you for your consideration and may God Bless you as you prepare for the next chapter in your lives.
Jeff and Jeanine
Was this heartfelt letter over the top? The family selling this home certainly don’t think so; they selected Jeff and Jeanine’s offer over seven others—and it was not the “best” one. Buying—and selling—a home is an emotional experience for all involved. Jeff and Jeanine recognize that fact, and used it to their advantage.
Over the top? Jeff and Jeanine don’t think so.