Jay and I just got back from the Bristol County Registry of Deeds, where we closed on the 6 acres of land we made on offer on back in June. We now have the means to move forward with our journey and build the house of our dreams.
But back in June, when we discovered our property, things weren't as easy as they seemed. We made an offer on the land, come to find another couple, with an all-cash offer, was looking to make it theirs as well.
I asked my real estate agent if it would be worth writing a letter to the sellers, essentially explaining why they should choose us over this other couple, despite their advantage of having all cash. Letters are common when purchasing an actual house, but land seemed a bit more challenging.
Having nothing to lose, I wrote the letter through tears - pouring my heart, soul and visions of our future into this one Word document, fearing it would all be put on hold again for god knows how long until something else came along. Something that would never be this piece of land.
And it worked.
When we saw the sellers face to face for the first time this morning, a young couple with their 2 year old baby girl, the husband pointed to us and said it was the letter that sold him, and that we deserved this.
I want to share the letter with you in the hopes that if you find yourself in this position someday, where you're in a bidding war for the house of your dreams, you remember to write your own letter because I believe it truly makes a difference. Money talks, but sellers have families and dreams too.
Dear Owner of Record,
No words needed to be exchanged between my fiancé and I the minute we stepped out of the car and on to your land a few weeks ago – we just knew it was the one.
Two years ago, I (Kelsey) was a young graduate with $50,000 of student loan debt in my name and a job making barely more than minimum wage. I was the first to go to college in my family, and had no idea about the implications that came with having student loans. It dawned on me that all the things I envisioned for myself in life, like getting married, raising a family and most importantly, owning a home, were unrealistic goals while I was sitting on $50k worth of debt and a small income. Something had to change if I ever wanted that dream house, and change it did.
I started working three other side jobs in addition to my full-time job in which the entirety of their incomes went to my student loans. I picked up overnight pet sitting, started an Etsy shop for my nights and weekends, and in the very little amount of spare time I had left (like while pet sitting or on my lunch breaks), I freelanced web and graphic design work. Then, when I decided that wasn’t enough, I got a new full time job in March of 2014 that paid a little more. When that still wasn't enough, I took a chance in Boston and landed a job at the Boston Globe during the summer of 2015, doubling my salary and my progress on my student loans.
On March 24th 2016, I submitted my very last student loan payment.
In 19 months, I had paid off $50,000 of student loan debt making less than that per year for the majority of the time. In those 19 months I lost almost all of my friends, sacrificed a lot of time with Jay, barely slept, lived off pasta and rice, and missed out on some of the best years of my life all in the name of working towards my (now our) ultimate goal – building our first and only dream house.
A home to love and cherish, to tend to, to take care of. A home to bring our first and maybe our second baby back to, to watch take their first steps in and watch grow. A home on 6 wooded acres of land where our future children will chase fireflies, get muddy, and ride four wheelers through the power lines. A home where we can host family dinners, holidays and birthday parties. A home to grow old together in and eventually retire on our beautiful property.
A home that my future husband will be building with his bare hands along side his grandfather via the family business.
At 27 years old and just starting out, we may not have the all cash offer the other couple has (who have already had their first home), but we have the blueprints, the paint colors, the plans and the dreams for our first house on the land you have for sale today.
We're hoping you will strongly consider our offer and we promise to move forward quickly and in good faith. Additionally, if you have any questions, we’ve already directed our loan officer to disclose any information you require so that you can rest assured that we are not only serious about this purchase, but we are also very well qualified to proceed. Please let us know if there's anything we can do to bring us together. We look forward to working with you.
Kelsey and Jay