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A Day With the Gals: Sell Condo, Buy House

Posted by Johnine Larsen on May 15, 2014
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Brian and Kim played it close. But when you’re starting out, sometimes you don’t have a nice cushion in your bank account. Sometimes you need to play it close. Sometimes you need to take risks. But when those risks don’t pay off… that’s when you can find yourself in a rough spot.

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As with most of our clients, Brian and Kim heard about us through a friend. Both recent UW grads, the couple already owned a condo that they had bought as a pre-sale to build up equity. Now they wanted to sell it and get a house.

So Johnine led two searches: one search to find a buyer for the condo, the other to find a house for Kim and Brian. She showed the couple house after house until they fell in love with one.

“It was an adorable little house in Broadview,” Kim said.

Kim could see herself gardening there, and Brian could picture their puppy playing in the yard. They wanted it.

And meanwhile, Johnine had found a buyer for their condo. Everything was going well. It would be a tight “sell the condo, buy the house” thing, but it had to be that way, because Brian and Kim could not afford the house without first selling their condo; they would use the money from one transaction to fund the other. The timing was tricky, though. If any problems arose, Brian and Kim would be caught at the proverbial restaurant when the bill came, with their wallets left at home.

Kim and Brian decided to risk it. Push forward with both transactions and hope the timing worked out.

They packed up their belongings, cleaned the condo, and prepared to finish the two deals. But financial paperwork rarely goes smoothly, and suddenly, Kim and Brian were looking at a five-day gap between transactions. A five-day gap that stretched the wrong way.

They needed to take a short-term loan ASAP to go through with buying their house. Sometimes when you take risks, due to events completely out of your control, everything goes south.

That’s when friends come in.

“Johnine was so sweet,” Kim said. “She was confident about this whole thing and told us not to worry.”

“She floated us ten thousand dollars for five days until the condo sold,” Brian added. “Johnine knew us, but she didn’t know us. But she trusted us with ten thousand dollars anyway.”

We let them borrow the money until the condo sold. Then they paid us back and moved into the house they loved, and we’ve stayed friends ever since.

Sometimes, things don’t work out how you expect. Sometimes you cut it too close. But when you have friends on your side, that’s okay.