How to Buy a House in Florida, Part 3
It was a hot summer day and we were sitting at a table in the back of a local coffee shop.
“How do I get the money out of this house?”
I asked my wife.
I looked around and realized that most of us were still trying to figure out what to buy.
As a single parent, we’ve been trying to find the best possible deal to buy our house.
For years, we were able to buy a home in one of Florida’s most expensive neighborhoods.
But in the last few years, many of us are finding that even the best deals are difficult to come by.
And, like all of us, we’re trying to make our way to the next level.
“We’re not a bunch of millionaires, we just don’t have the money,” I told my wife, “so we need to sell the house.”
The first time I saw this ad, I thought, This is so exciting!
The house, at 5.6 million square feet, would be my new home.
It would be an amazing deal, even better than the one I had paid for.
We bought it at the top of the market in the city of Palm Beach, Florida.
“I’ve been looking at properties in the area for a few months, and this is the one that I’m interested in,” I said.
“This is a very nice, well-maintained house.”
It was one of the many houses I had seen advertised in the neighborhood.
But as I drove by, I noticed something strange: there were no listings for it.
There were no properties that were listed as for sale.
I stopped in the middle of the road to look around.
It was not a house for sale, but there were a lot of vacant lots around it.
I called my wife to see what was going on.
“Look, I have a question,” I asked her.
“Is this a real house?”
She looked at me in disbelief.
“Yes, it is,” I answered.
“Well, where are we going to live?”
I paused and stared at the empty lot.
“Do you have any plans?” she asked.
“No,” I replied.
“Why not?” she exclaimed.
“Because we don’t know what to do,” I explained.
“If we sell, the house will go into foreclosure.”
“We’ve been in this situation before,” she told me.
“There are lots of other houses on the market that we can’t afford.”
But we could buy this house, I said, and the house would be ours.
“That’s what the ad says,” she said.
I told her I thought the ad was ridiculous.
“You’re the biggest homebuyer I’ve ever seen,” she continued.
“But the house has no value.
We don’t even know if it’s worth $10 million or $20 million.”
“Well,” I continued, “I’m going to take your word for it that the house is worth $20 or $25 million.
I’m going with you on that.”
“Okay, let’s go,” I promised.
“Go on,” she agreed.
After about 15 minutes, she said, “This looks nice.
It’s a nice home.”
We drove by a lot, then pulled over and got out of the car.
We took our first steps into the house.
“So this is your new home,” I began.
I said that I had bought the house for $1 million, then gave my wife a rundown of the house: It was built in 1927, it was in a historic neighborhood, it had a beautiful garden, and it had an amazing view of the ocean.
“Wow, this is pretty,” she exclaimed, “but it’s so expensive.”
“I have to go and get it appraised,” I admitted.
“It’s going to cost me $2 million,” she protested.
“Oh, and you’ll be paying $3 million to the appraisal firm.”
“Yeah, we can do that,” I reassured her.
We started the house over.
I put the price on the front of the door.
“Are you ready to walk in?”
I told them.
“Alright, let me see,” they said, but they wouldn’t let me in.
“The house is just over there,” I pointed out.
“Yeah,” they agreed.
As soon as I walked into the room, I found a couple of guys from the appraisal office.
“Let’s go inside,” I instructed them.
The guys walked inside and began looking around.
“Here’s what they think of the home,” the appraisal agent said, explaining the house’s condition.
“Very nice,” I agreed.
They then started talking about how the house had been sold to a developer who wanted to make it a hotel.
“He wants to build a hotel right next to the house,” the appra