In Escrow

I took this picture two months ago when I first saw the house. Before I took Hal to see it and the kids and then my parents. Before we discussed purchasing as an option. Before any of it. A man in a suit knocked on the door with a photocopy of local listings and this house was on it. I read the address and thought, "holy shit. Is this our house?"

The house has three bedrooms and an office, 2100 square feet and is very similar to the house we're currently renting. It's completely original (circa 1928) down to the built-in vanities in the bedrooms and hallway with high ceilings, stained glass and Morrocon light fixtures. It has boxes for a vegetable garden in a small but manageable backyard and a front patio with room for a great fountain, maybe a little table...

The buyer officially accepted our offer yesterday but because the property is a short listing we have a ways to go. We're trying to expedite the process and have already booked our three home inspections (house, fireplace, sewer) for the end of this week. I'm trying not to get too excited because I watch a lot of House Hunters/Property Virgins/Selling LA/Selling New York/Holmes Inspection and I know these next few months are going to be very... involved.

But from the beginning, every step down this road of potential purchasing has felt right. And although we looked at several houses, this was the only one in our price range with enough space for us to comfortably settle in the city we love in a neighborhood that has always felt like home. Every sign has pointed to this house, including Archer who years ago told us he wished we lived on the very street this house resides. THE VERY STREET!

I realize that with short sales, there is risk. That this is by no means a done deal. That a lot can happen in the next few months but I'm trying not to think about anything but the now. And in THIS moment, we're as close as we've ever come to owning a home, somewhere I never in a million years thought we'd be.
For that, for this, for everything this last year has brought us, we are humbled and so SO grateful. Beyond beyond beyond.



Anonymous | 9:12 AM

All of my real estate agents told me to stay away from short sales. They take months to do. Good luck, hope they give it to you.

Martha | 9:15 AM

This seems so definitely it! The house is gorgeous. Can't wait to see more, best of luck to you. I had to google a short sale, it sounds complicated but probably a way to get your dream house in your dream location, if you are willing to put up with the difficulty!

Alana | 9:17 AM

So excited for you! Of course it will work out... Archer said so!

Kris | 9:25 AM


Don't sweat the short sale stuff. If it's meant to be, you'll get it (and if not, I believe it will probably go to foreclosure; and you've already got an in with the listing agent). Just try to find an attorney you trust, just in case the inspections trigger anything big.

We bought a foreclosure last January; and yes, it was very nerve wracking. But it all worked out, just like it hopefully will for you, too.

Karianna | 9:33 AM

Best of luck during this process!

Isa | 9:34 AM

I understand you not wanting to be over excited but my G this is such a perfect house:Home! Archer is always right so fingers crossed from London to California!Isa

Annie | 9:34 AM

Trust in Archer-this house is probably part of his personal narrative !!


Thank you! I realize it's definitely a lengthy process but we're optimistic and willing to stick it out for as long as it takes. We super duper appreciate the luck and well wishes, so thanks for those! Super thanks!

April G. | 9:36 AM

It's beautiful! Sending lots of luck and positive vibes your way!

Haley | 9:41 AM

Congrats! Good Luck and believe in Archer...he hasn't steered you wrong yet :)

Bekah | 9:43 AM

Congrats! It is beautiful and sounds so right. (That Archer...he knows things). Short sales can definitely be scary and difficult, but they can also really pay off, and from what I know from reading your blog (and book), you aren't afraid of 'difficult'.

Lou Lou Belle | 9:45 AM

and good luck!
Esteban is HOT.

My Bottle's Up! | 9:45 AM

yes, yes, YES. this WILL work. this is meant to be. you deserve this to work out. sending you much good juju.

Grace Miller | 9:48 AM

We bought a house in a short-sale, and the whole process took 3 months--not bad! Pray through everything and God will find a way to make your dreams come true :-)I will be praying for you too!

stef | 9:49 AM

That is a very very handsome home. Or, handsome Esteban, I suppose.

Connie | 9:50 AM

Oh yay!!!

I've gotta tell you: my husband and I bought a short-sale home a couple years ago, and though things did take a little bit longer than I suppose the average home sale does, our sale and inspection went through fine, and we got SUCH a deal on it, because of the nature of the short sale.

Yes, there are of course horror stories out there (There always are). But speaking from someone whose short sale purchase TOTALLY wasn't, hang in there. It's worth it!

I've got my fingers crossed that the road ahead is paved with good news. :)

Arnebya | 9:52 AM

That Archer.

Just breathe. It'll work out.

Jos | 9:53 AM

yay!! it looks beautiful. wishing you so much luck that this works out!

Linden | 9:55 AM

The house sounds perfect for you guys! One note of caution: having just gone through the process of purchasing a new home, there is still going to be some negotiating about repairs, etc. as a result of the inspection phase. I'd be careful about writing too much about it online until that part is over. If the seller sees that you're set on this house, they may be less willing to give you concessions since you're not likely to walk away if they refuse...

Good luck, and I hope the short sale works to your favor! You can get a great deal, and just need to have the ability to be a little more patient with the timing...

T.O. Bec | 9:56 AM

I had to look up "short sale" too. I hope this works out for you!

Maternal Mirth | 9:56 AM

SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!!!! Also, LOVE older homes... here's to a swift & easy purchase!

Blendra | 10:01 AM

Our house was a short sale. We were told "if Bank of America has the loan on the house, good luck." And things like, "get out now, BofA is the worst bank for a short sale." Turned out BofA was the mortgage holder of the house, it took us a year of fighting with everyone, but we got our house. (:

I remember seeing the house and thinking, I think I like this one. My husband drove by and hated it. I told him we needed to just go inside, we fell in love with it. It was so hard to not fight for it.

6 month timeline:

Post after we finally closed:

Good luck to you, everything will work out, it just may take a couple (or 12) months! (:

Mama Smith | 10:04 AM

Yay! I'm so jealous that house looks beyond beautiful. I know you still have a ways to go but looking forward to seeing you style a new pad.

OneRadMother | 10:08 AM

We bought a short sale two years ago - the bank was in Germany! We put a bid in in JUNE and didn't close on the house until October 31st. It was a pain, but some conflicting acceptance offers allowed us to get the house at almost 10,000 below our offer. So, hang in there - it will happen!!

Clandestine Road | 10:10 AM

This is so exciting! I was hoping you'd get this call!

Steph(anie) | 10:13 AM

It's beautiful! Fingers crossed here.

Jen | 10:14 AM

So happy and nervous for you! I'm one to think fate plays its hand in much of our life. If the house is fated for your family, it will fall into your waiting hands. And it seems that Archer is in the know. Sending much hope and thoughts of home your way!

Angela | 10:22 AM

You probably have a lot of people telling tales of short sales and here's one more...we just sold our home as a short sale and from start to finish it took four months. It all worked out. Hope your process goes smoothly. My advice: Have a good realtor who is tough and knows short sales. Good luck and congrats!!!!

Johanna | 10:23 AM

Congratulations!!! This is so exciting for you guys. This is so funny...but we are considering a move from NoCal to SoCal and I actually have this house saved in my Trulia folder. When I first saw it I thought of you as it looks so much like your current rental -- I actually searched through your blog to try to find photos of your place. It's a great looking place -- great minds think alike! :-) Good luck, I hope everything works out for your family!

Unknown | 10:28 AM

Congrats! The house is beautiful and everything will go as it is meant to. It looks perfect!

Glenda | 10:28 AM

Can't wait to see more pictures. Looks beautiful!

Best of luck with the sale. So excited for all of you!

Rebecca | 10:32 AM

If Archer Sage called it, then you know it'll come true.

BUT, even if by some crazy chance you don't get it, maybe your house is still waiting for you on this street.

All will unfold as it should!

Julie | 10:55 AM

Congratulations! I purchased a short sale in LA, not far from you, about a year ago. The process after our offer was accepted was really smooth, so don't sweat it too much. I think we put in an offer in early December, the offer was accepted in late January, and we closed February 28.

I'm sure your agent is awesome, but if you need any advice please e-mail me (I think you should be able to see my e-mail address?). We have a termite guy (we had to do termite repairs before closing which was a little scary), a sewer guy, a contractor who will check things out for free, etc. It sounds like you're on top of all that stuff, but feel free to let this internet stranger know if you need anything :-)

Amanda | 10:55 AM

The house looks gorgeous! I hope everything works out for you.

Anonymous | 11:08 AM

People love to tell short sale/foreclosure horror stories. Plenty of lovely stories too-our short sale start to finish about 3 1/2 months- very little time for our FOREVER house. Best of luck to you- stay strong. Don't post too much- the seller may read this too. If they know how much you loooove it, less likely to agree to of course there will be home repairs. Yeah for Esteban!
Will this home be featured on your hgtv stuff when the time is right?

Rebecca | 11:11 AM

So exciting! Buying a house is nerve wracking no matter what! Hope everything works out the way it is meant to, I can't wait to see more photos. It looks like a beautiful home!

Anonymous | 11:33 AM

Although short sales are a pain, someone always gets it. I think it will be all y'all... As a recent LA homebuyer myself, just remember to go easy on yourself. We thought escrow was going to the easy part and it was pretty stressful. My husband and I were short with each other and always felt the deal was about to be off... just keep on telling yourself that lots of people buy houses all the time. And they all live through it. There are places for all of us to live.

Sizzle | 11:34 AM

Looks like an amazing find- how wonderful! Hope it all goes smoothly. We're about to start the house hunt in earnest and I feel your fears. Fingers crossed!

Melt Momma's Heart | 11:35 AM

We just bought a short sale last year. Our realtor told us to expect a counter-offer and said we'd be lucky to be in it by Christmas (it was September). The bank did not counter and we were in by Halloween! I hope the same for your sweet fam!

Tara | 11:44 AM

Fingers crossed!!

oh, and that Archer amazes me. Could you send him my way?....I need a little guidance! :)

Miya Goodrich-Phillips | 11:52 AM

Congrats Becca!!! Buying a home is soooo exciting!! Everything will work out, I know it!!! A piece of advice we were given recently is to avoid using our credit cards or making big purchases while trying for a house. I guess they check up on your financial situation often? Thought I'd share that with you, :)

Amanda | 12:00 PM

Wishing that it happens for you. All of you. And us, because let's be real, you make enviable spaces and spaces enviable.

findingmagnolia | 12:14 PM

It's absolutely beautiful. You had me at "built-in vanities." I hope it all works out perfectly.

Etosia (e-tasha) | 12:39 PM

Pre Rylin I worked for a foreclosure attorney processing foreclosures on both the sellers & buyers side (here in FL) my biggest piece of advise is if /when they ask for certain paperwork get it to them ASAP! Banks like to set rediculous time lines to move things along!

Jordan | 12:57 PM

I am SO SO SO excited for you! I have total faith it will happen and you all so deserve it... simply a GORGEOUS place... so so very happy for all of you because I never listen to specific advise and go on gut :)

Rachel @ Little Kitchen, Big Bites | 12:58 PM

awww congrats and good luck my friend!!!

Anonymous | 1:30 PM

In the middle of purchasing a short sale now. Such a pain in the ass but the bank has approved and now we're waiting not the sellers to sign one stinking piece of paper. I hope yours goes bett. I know it'll be worth it in then end!

Elise | 1:34 PM

The house is beautiful. Congratulations and good luck!

Staci @ My Friend Staci | 1:53 PM

CONGRATULATIONS on Escrow! I really, really, really help the short sale goes smoothly. The house we are renting from my in-laws was a short sale we took care of this summer... it was quite the process. As other commenters have chimed in, if it is meant to be, it is meant to be. I will be thinking of your family often! Can't wait to see you all moved in.

craftyashley | 1:54 PM

We are short selling our home. This is our second buyer, and it's been about a year. (but two different buyers) If the sellers are really motivated, they'll make it happen. We've bent over backwards to get ours this far. It is a tough process, but I'm hoping it will work out for you guys! (and we're hoping to officially close ours soon-ish)

Unknown | 1:57 PM

Sending you all of the positive house vibes I can muster. It looks like a dream come true! And yes, that Archer Sage knows of what he speaks.

Little Miss Moi | 2:10 PM

Yay! It's not 3am now, I'm not reading on my phone, so I can leave a comment. Congratulations! This is so exciting for you, but it will also be more stressful, and more nerve-wracking than you can possibly imagine.

(We bought a house before we moved overseas, thinking we were going to move into it and we haven't. We're now proud owners of an investment property about 4000kms away from where we live!)

The WHOLE process is stressful - the mortgage process with the banks, the sale process with the old owners, the real estate agents, the solicitors. I was in tears many a time during the process (we purchased in Queensland where they have four-week settlement periods).

BUT. And I tell you, lady, there is a BUT... Houses have a sense of ethereal about them. You know what I'm talking about. You walk into the house that you're going to rent, and you know immediately - "It's this one". And you walk into the house you're going to buy, and you know as well, "It's this one."

So despite one of the most stressful periods of my life, all the stars aligned and we got our place. I hope and pray and rain dance and stand on my head for your family, and know that you will get the house that belongs to you too.

Good luck! And YAY for not having to call a landlord if you want to paint a wall every again!

(I'm joining the "I just learnt something new" club - not sure we have short sales in Australia, thankyouverymuch Wikipedia).

Williamsburg Baby | 2:28 PM

Oh man, this is the kind of post that has me lusting for LA. 2100 square feet! I am lost in a reverie (no pun intended) thinking about avocado trees, rosemary bushes, and that gorgeous California light. Looks like a perfect nest for you guys, and makes me think, eek, why is Brooklyn so grey!

lonek8 | 3:08 PM

congratulations! I can't wait to follow the whole journey as it unfolds - the house is gorgeous!

Jadzia@Toddlerisms | 3:13 PM

This is BEAUTIFUL--it's my LA dream house! (Before we left LA because back in 2007 2100sf would have cost us our firstborn.) It's just oozing that classic Old Hollywood glamour. Aaaand now I'm missing LA. Good luck!

oh, jenny mae | 4:18 PM

oh, bec! it oozes you guys! fingers and toes crossed from a foreclosure in Phoenix that didn't take nearly as long as I thought it would. maybe 2 months.

Josephine | 4:58 PM

Another Australian reader who has no idea what a short sale is (and being 'in escrow' sounds mighty painful), but I'm keeping everything crossed that this sale goes smoothly in your favour!

I | 5:02 PM

If Archer said it, you know it's a done deal. Looks beautiful. Best of luck!

Steph | 5:32 PM

Congratulations! Hope it goes well and quickly!

Lauren Knight | 5:53 PM

Good luck, good luck, good luck!!!

hoppytoddle | 6:50 PM

I've been meaning to write you to tell you I am writing an update to where we are since I wrote that post for Faces of The Recession. We are in the exact same shoes as you. Waiting to hear back from the bank on a house we all love for an excellent price. MiniMe got into the absolute best arts magnet public school, which is a 5 minute walk from this house.

I'm right there with you, Sister!

SiacĂ­ | 8:32 PM

Said a short prayer and sent you all good energies. I don't know you, but I know very well what it is to be uneasy about having a roof over your head.


Thank you all SO so much for your words of encouragement, advice and solidarity. We SO appreciate it. Much love! More soon! (Hopefully!)

Anonymous | 12:23 AM

So excited for you! And, your child is a psychic. Really.

Infant Car Seat Cover | 12:30 AM

You're giving me intense house envy. I'm stuck in a 300sq ft studio apartment in Bangkok with busted air con and a tiny balcony that's been colonised by several angry lizards. I have a sneaking suspicion that the office in this house is larger than my entire home :P

Valerie | 4:57 AM

Best of luck to you with Esteban! I had an offer in on a short sale but backed out after 3 months of no response from the bank when I found another place I liked more. It sounds like this place would be a great fit for you, though, so hopefully you can be more patient than I was!

Karen | 8:11 AM

I hope it works out! Gorgeous from what I can see. I bought a short sale last year and it was nightmare-ish, but totally worth it. Best of luck.

Molly | 8:57 AM

Just to clarify, because I'm a forever-renter. What is a short sale? What does that involve that might mean you won't get it? Most importantly though, good luck!! I really hope you're able to get such a beautiful home in your ideal neighborhood!!!

Anonymous | 9:48 AM

good Luck, short sales are hard and long. Hope you get your house. Mary

Unknown | 9:57 AM

Oh PLEASE do not pay for inspections until AFTER the short sale is approved by the seller's bank! SO much can go wrong with a short sale, and you will be completely out the money for inspections should the sale fall through. I just bought a home and have a lot of experience dealing with short sales. But...I wish you luck!

Kathleen | 12:19 PM

Wow - how exciting and nerve-wracking! It looks beautiful - best of luck you guys!

Anonymous | 4:04 PM

This is my friend's house! It's so beautiful and they've been so happy renting it. They're such a loving family, so you'd be moving in to good vibes. Congratulations! P.S. we just bought a short sale, and it's sucked really bad, but wasn't as bad as everyone said. I'm sure you'll be fine. -Kate

Becca | 4:16 PM

I feel envy! we have been renting house for more than10 years.

Hope this year we'll get our dream house.*cross fingers

stephanie williams | 9:03 PM

Aww I kinda teared up a bit when I read this.We are a family of five and so badly want to purchase a home.It is so expensive here in Australia to buy and also I am fussy and want a house with character that I can make our 'home'.

I love those houses.There are none in Australia like that.We may be moving to the states in 2014 because of my husbands job (he's in the Airforce & omg I will be so clueless and lost,haha) and its exactly what we'd look to buy.

The house is beautiful Rebecca.I think that wise son of yours picked a good one.

Best of luck.Can't wait to see what you do with it.

Cathy | 10:10 AM

I'm starting to think that Archer is psychic! That house is absolutely gorgeous, good luck to you.

Desiree | 10:52 PM

Fingers crossed in your general direction! <3