[This is part of a series of posts on the home buying process I'm going thru. To see the full set, visit the house category archives.]

I haven't posted on this topic for a few days, 'cause I've been very busy. So here's the slightly shorter version...


This past Sunday, my realtor and I met to go look at places. The first place we saw was in Campbell. The townhouse was listed at about $465k which I quickly realized was over priced. It had been on the market a long time and many, many folks had looked at it (as evidenced by the stack of other realtor's cards in the kitchen). I'd have been glad to buy it at a 10-15% discount and put some of that "saved" money into upgrades for the kitchen.

On the way of that place, my realtor accidentally left her little realtor access device (an electronic thingy that opens the key box) inside. So we were done for the day. Rather than waste it, I drove off to the southern tip of San Jose, near 101 and 85 to scope out another place I wanted to see. While there, I checked out the area quite a bit. It was far from work but very nice. We planned to meet again on Monday morning.


We met Monday morning at the place in southern San Jose. This is a very new development (about 5 years old) and the place was very, very nice and less expensive. The only problem was that it had 2 bedrooms rather than 3. I really wanted 3. However, another unit 20 feet away was also for sale but not yet in MLS, so we checked it out too. It was a 3 bed, 2 bath unit listed at roughly $465k. The floor plan wasn't quite as good but I really liked it.

With that in mind, we headed back north into San Jose to visit two others. The first was we saw was the least expensive place on the list. At just under $400k, it was reasonably sized but old. It hadn't been upgraded at all in a long time and it was in an older neighborhood. The monthly HOA fees were unknown. I wasn't too impressed with it.

The final place we looked at was on Roy Ave in the Willow Glen area of San Jose. It was nearly 1700 square feet and listed at $485k. And it was already vacant--the owners had moved out last week. That place was quite spacious. It had a very large living room with a good size dining room and kitchen. The kitchen wasn't really new but wasn't exceptionally old either. I really liked the back patio (where I discovered the air conditioner) and detached garage. There's extra overhead and side storage in the garage. Upstairs, the master bedroom is quite large and the other two aren't bad either. I quickly decided that I wanted to put an offer on the unit.

The Offer

I met my realtor yesterday morning (Tuesday) to put the offer together. Having done it once before, it went a lot faster. We sent the offer in at 2pm with a "we need an answer by 6pm" clause. The sellers contacted us at 5pm to say they were waiting for a few others and needed to wait until 8pm. We agreed to let it go longer. But then they tried to push us back until this morning. That pissed off me and my realtor, so she made that clear to them. We had sent in a good solid offer and they knew it.

Well, my realtor called me at 7:30am today (yawn!) to let me know that she had a late voice mail last night from the sellers. I got the place!


Sorry, I have no pictures to post at this time, but that will change in a few weeks. I'll likely be replacing the carpet before I move in, since what's there know is quite ugly (to me). And I may have some repainting done too.

Next up: more documents, inspections, and other fun. Stay tuned for more (if you care).

Posted by jzawodn at January 28, 2004 08:08 AM

Reader Comments
# gabe said:

Well, congratulations!

on January 28, 2004 08:28 AM
# jim winstead said:


on January 28, 2004 08:33 AM
# Ryan Dooley said:


The first year or two after you buy is the best when it comes to getting money back from the Fed since more goes to interest than principal :-)

When my wife and I bought our house here that first tax refund was amazing.

Congrats and enjoy!

on January 28, 2004 08:48 AM
# Jonathan Disher said:

Sweeeeeet. Party at J's place!

on January 28, 2004 08:50 AM
# dws said:

Congrats. Friends in Willow Glen love the area. I hope you'll be within decent distance of a CO.

on January 28, 2004 09:02 AM
# BillSaysThis said:

Good luck--watch out for the family of ghosts that reputedly live in the house you bought.

on January 28, 2004 09:12 AM
# Mark said:

Congrats! It is a great feeling to be a home owner for the first time! I was in your position a couple of years ago.

on January 28, 2004 09:27 AM
# Barnaby James said:

Congrats! It's a really nice area -- I live fairly close by and downtown willow glen is the hangout for my wife and I. Remember ... read all the disclouses and HOA documents and get a home inspection!

on January 28, 2004 09:28 AM
# Asa Bour said:

Congratulations Jeremy! It sounds like you got a nice place. You will love your deattached garage and extra storage.

on January 28, 2004 09:36 AM
# Martin Streicher said:

JZ: Have a party BEFORE you change the carpets. I'll bring the bker chicks and the keg. Toga! Toga! Toga!

on January 28, 2004 09:48 AM
# Bill said:

Congrats - that makes Findlay housing sound positively cheap!

on January 28, 2004 09:50 AM
# Ferg said:

There's an interesting piece in today's Chronicle saying you need to earn about 125k to afford a house in the SF Bay Area. That estimate seems to be right on the money.

on January 28, 2004 10:03 AM
# Chris said:


Congratulations - you are now skint for 30 years like the rest of us :)

on January 28, 2004 10:38 AM
# Jim McMurry said:



Watch out for the little old ladys with their oxygen tanks from down the street (jk)

Starbucks is nearby !!!


on January 28, 2004 10:43 AM
# Scott Johnson said:

Congratulations! When is the housewarming party? ;-)

on January 28, 2004 11:44 AM
# Ed said:

So who'd you get to pretend to be your wife and kids?


on January 28, 2004 12:22 PM
# Matt said:

Congrats! :)

on January 28, 2004 02:57 PM
# Mike Hillyer said:

You know, a comment thread this big without Larry is somehow empty, so allow me to fill in:

If you had been a Postgres user they would have given you 20% off! (But required you to Vacuum the house 10-20 times a day) ;)


on January 28, 2004 03:10 PM
# Bobby said:

465K!? I can't comprehend... I guess I am thankful that I live in Austin, TX.

Enjoy the new crib and the new tax break.

on January 28, 2004 04:52 PM
# rayg said:


on January 28, 2004 05:26 PM
# Mark Denovich said:

You can't comprehend?!?

2200'^2, brick, 3BR, 1.5bath, attached garage, basement, brand new central heat/air, working fireplace, real oak flooring $75k (that's about $340/mo for mortgage.)


Pittsburgh isn't so shabby.

on January 28, 2004 05:26 PM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:


Holy shit!

on January 28, 2004 05:31 PM
# Donny said:

Congratulations! Both me and my wife laugh about the whole wife and kids thing about your previous try. But now the fun begins!

Make sure you get a home warranty! When we bought our house we used it 12 times the first year. Well worth the couple of hundred bucks.


on January 28, 2004 06:00 PM
# philip said:

this has been an interesting read.

on January 28, 2004 10:15 PM
# david said:

Jeremy Zawodny gets house. Interesting :)
I can imagine all the computers that are going to go into that place.

on January 28, 2004 10:40 PM
# Justin said:

Jeremy, I think I know where that nice place in San Jose is. Its where you have to drive over a hill right where 85 meets 101 right? I used to live in Blossom Hill and that is one of the places I go to to feast my eyes on :)

Glad to hear you finally found a place!

on January 29, 2004 12:14 AM
# B. Johannessen said:

Congrats on the new place Jeremy.

on January 29, 2004 12:18 AM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

> Jeremy, I think I know where that nice place in San Jose is. Its
> where you have to drive over a hill right where 85 meets 101 right?
> I used to live in Blossom Hill and that is one of the places I go to
> to feast my eyes on :)


> Glad to hear you finally found a place!

Thanks, me too!

on January 29, 2004 10:33 AM
# Larry said:

It terrifies me to even begin to think what a VB house would be like.

on January 29, 2004 03:02 PM
# Marc said:

Considering that you are spending nearly half of a million dollars, that was a rather cursory search of the regional housing market. Are you sure that in only a few days you got a really good look at all of the options (and tripfalls) available? I'd be curious as to the cost of earthquake and natural disaster insurance around San Jose - any nearby faults?

on January 30, 2004 01:51 PM
# Jed said:

Yeah, and make sure it's out of the flood plain if somebody like Zoran from "A View to a Kill" ever gets his way.

on January 30, 2004 03:38 PM
# Jason May said:

Welcome to the neighborhood! We live just a few blocks from there. It's a very convenient neighborhood: you have 3 Home Depots, Fry's, Whole Foods, Safeway, Costco, 2 Barnes & Nobles, innumerable Starbucks, etc etc - all within two or three miles.

Earthquake risk here is extremely low, and it isn't a flood plain. Don't buy the add-on insurance.

on February 1, 2004 08:16 PM
# Jacob said:

Congratulations :)

on February 2, 2004 01:45 AM
# Site Tutor said:

Congrats, Jeremy. So I guess you'll be with Yahoo! for a while :);)

on August 17, 2005 12:52 PM
# Real Oak said:

Interesting read!.Well done on getting your house.

on February 19, 2007 02:21 AM
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