We were focusing the search on existing houses when we noticed 4 contiguous lots come on the market in a rather affluent part of town for a not as affluent a price. Other sellers were asking twice as much or more but not able to sell, (like ol’ b.s. crazy). What’s more, these lots were in a good school district, large and wooded. It turned out these were part of Ruth Lilly’s estate. Ruth, as in the Eli Lilly family. Eli Lily, as in the major pharmaceutical and economic anchor of the city!
We waffled a little. We walked the lots. We walked the lots with our families. We talked it over. Read the covenants several times. They required more square footage than we thought we could afford, but we decided we could build unfinished space and grow into it over time. It was go time.
We found out another offer was down, so we made ours the highest amount we could. We waited impatiently for the counter offer. A counter never came, instead our offer was… declined! We found out another offer was for two of the other lots, but also declined. The winning offer scooped up all 4. I quickly called the buyer’s agent to see if it was an investment move, and learned that the buyer was indeed a developer who would build on the largest lot and sell the remaining 3… for twice as much, putting them back out of our reach.
Melissa and I are slow decision-makers. When we finally commit to something, it is very intentional and well planned. We were heartbroken and discouraged. It seemed the American dream required more capital.