Armando’s news was good indeed.
“They are willing to accept your offer because they like you. And your tall friend.”
“Of course. Michael.”
“So they knocked $75,000 off the price just like that?” When would I learn to keep my mouth shut.
“Because they like you.”
This seemed like a spectacularly unlikely reason to forfeit seventy-five grand.
He couldn’t have missed the skepticism in my voice.
“They’re old,” he said. “They’ve tried to sell the house for a while. And frankly,” he concluded in his most confidential tone, “they don’t want to live with my brother anymore.”
This, finally, was something I could relate to. I had seen his brother’s apartment.
“Let me talk to Michael.”
We didn’t exactly hurry, but we didn’t dally either. We made a counter offer. They counter-countered
In exhaustion, we agreed.
A virtual blizzard of phone calls, faxes and emails followed. In rapid succession we learned a number of fascinating and puzzling facts about the house we had just decided to buy. These included:
- It had no official street address.
- The current owners, both retired seniors, were exempt from property tax and therefore the property had never been assessed by the local tax office.
- It was extremely challenging to find a good property manager, good general contractor, good you-name-it, on Vieques.
But we pushed on.
At the recommendation of someone from Michael’s gym who had recently bought a property on Vieques (more about that later), we applied for a loan through Scotia Bank.
It went through.
Also through Michael’s gym acquaintance, we located a property manager.
We set a closing date for the first Monday in December, and booked a flight to San Juan for the Saturday before.
There was no turning back.