Our story began a couple years ago. Lynne called to share with me that their home (which they adored) had flooded numerous times, and the town, county, state, couldn’t do anything about it to solve the problem. So the town purchased their home to knock down and were given 12 months to find a new home.
The Home Search
We began our search to find a new home for this loving family of 5. The Watchung area location was their first choice, but they considered many other towns in order to find the right match based on their needs, wish list and budget.
The Tentens were open to different styles of homes. Yet we needed to find a home with space to accommodate their 3 young adult kids so they could have the space they needed until they were ready to be off on their own. Lynne wanted to be close to her parents and also her tennis club in Westfield. Mike needed space to park his trucks and a town that permitted it.
It wasn't easy to find a home that the whole family liked and agreed on. We continued searching for just the right fit! Time was ticking quickly and one year of searching was almost up.
And then....one day, I noticed on the Realtor hot sheets that a ranch on a great street in Watchung had just come on the market that day. We acted quickly and were the first to schedule a visit to see it. The home was loved and lived in by one family for many years, and it was very clearly well-cared for. However, it needed a lot of work and updates to be brought up to a modern day style, including the kitchen, baths. It had a walk out, unfinished basement that would be ideal to finish for one of the kids to live in. My favorite spot was the screened porch off the back of the home! What beautiful, peaceful, natural wooded views.
The Tentens had to have it! We knew it would be a desired house, even with the work that was needed. The list price was appealing. So I suggested that Lynne and MIchael write a letter to the owner, to share their story and their conviction that they had found their dream home after an extensively, lengthy search. They had hoped this would give the owner confidence and choose their contact.
The Tentens' Letter
Dear Mary Ann,
We met Friday afternoon when my husband and I saw your beautiful home, our children and my parents went to the Open House on Sunday to see what we had found.
Each one of us felt an immediate connection to your home; the style, the neighborhood, the craftsmanship and of course the wonderful furniture your husband made, all resonated with us as a family and out of all of the houses we have seen to date; we've been looking for well over a year, none have made us feel so at home as yours did. We were already imagining the wonderful times we were going to have there as a family, then we heard of the multiple offers you were receiving and wanted to reach out to you.
We have lived in our current home for 18 years and have poured much work and love into it. We also have a small creek running through our property and were hoping to live here forever. Unfortunately that won't come to pass as our home is being bought out as part of a state flood mitigation home buyout program. When there is a hurricane we get up to four feet of water from the creek as it backs up, which surrounds our home and enters into our basement. After the flood we are landlocked in our house and in order to go anywhere we must kayak to the nearest street and walk to our car. As much as we hate the idea of leaving, we know we won't be able to build the retaining wall that we need during every flood when we get older, which makes living here no longer an option. We have been looking for over a year to find a home that we all feel a connection to and that will make moving not seem so dreadful... and then we finally stumbled upon your home.
We fell in love with your place and would like you to consider our offer of $XXX,XXX.
Our very best,
Lynne, Michael, Nina, Emily and Zach Tenten
Home Sweet Home
The Tentons’ offer was accepted, and they were so excited! I shared the GREAT news with the whole family through a Snap on Snapchat:
Daughters Nina and Emily responded with a snap of their own…
...And for the record, son, Zach, is the easiest person to please that I have ever met! :-) What a great family. We had a ball!
A Note From Lynne
"My family's journey began over a year and half ago. We needed to find a new home as our current one was flooding with every hurricane causing it a hardship to maintain and live in. Thankfully the County was purchasing our home from us with a hard deadline of August 2016 but unfortunately with a very low offer. This drop in revenue made finding a home that came close to the size we were used to and in an area which we would be comfortable in extremely difficult.
"Judy and her team showed us home after home and never seemed put upon by our endless search for the "perfect" home. One house was on the market so long that we saw it 2 times and Judy didn't seem bothered at all by the unnecessary trip out.
"Finally in late July 2016 we found a house we were interested in and we knew we hit gold when there were multiple bidders; Judy held our hand through the bidding process and gave us some strategy tips for our best and final offer.
"When we heard the news our bid was accepted Judy was just as thrilled as we were. Her patience and knowledge were truly appreciated during our long journey and her honesty and "zen" attitude were just what we needed.
"We picked a great team to work with and would wholeheartedly recommend the Weiniger Group to anyone selling or purchasing a home."
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