That Old House in Tulsa, OK

That Old House in Tulsa, OK

Season 4 - Episode 5
Jan 30, 2024
Light Theme Light Dark Theme Dark


The Tulsa market wreaks havoc on Nicole’s confidence until REALTOR® Cindy reveals the beauty, and savings, of buying an older home. Now that they’re back on track, will it all fall apart when foundational cracks start to show during the home inspection?


Cindy (00:07):

On this episode, we're seeking a single family home in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Look at this kitchen.

Nicole (00:13):

It even has new cabinets. It has granite.

Cindy (00:16):

I'm realtors Cindy Morrison, a member of the National Association of Realtors. I would definitely not go below list. Nicole needs a home with room for her niece and sister.

Nicole (00:27):

I think Aaliyah and Kristen would love this,

Cindy (00:30):

But when offer after offer keeps getting rejected,

Nicole (00:33):

It's really discouraging to tell an 8-year-old it's not happening.

Cindy (00:37):

We adapt our strategy hoping to give Nicole and her family a new lease online.

Nicole (00:43):

I knew it.

Nicole (00:43):

I knew it. As soon as you pulled up, I knew it. Okay.

Cindy (00:55):

If I can change her mindset on that would be perfect. She can make the home her own. I'm Cindy Morrison and I've been a real estate agent in the Tulsa area for seven years. I can do it like you did it right? I did it. You can do it. I'm second generation in my family. My mom was a real estate professional. Oh, that's right. That's right. She really loved helping people and that definitely made an impression on me. I love Tulsa. It's just a great place to live and raise a family, but also the cost of living here makes buying a home affordable to just about everyone. When my first time home buyer, Nicole started working with me, she said she was single looking for a home. I imagined maybe two bedroom, two bathroom, but her needs are very different. She has her sister living with her. Her niece is often with her, so she was needing closer to four bedrooms and Nicole had a lot of heartbreak before we met. She was renting and had planned on buying that home. The market got hot and unfortunately the landlord decided to up the price a hundred thousand dollars.


Nicole (02:03):

My name is Nicole. I'm looking to buy my first home in Tulsa. My sister and my niece will both be staying with me, so it's a family affair.

Cindy (02:11):

Nicole is pre-approved for $250,000 and that is going to give her a lot of house in Tulsa.

Nicole (02:19):

I need at minimum, three bedrooms, two full bathrooms, and it'd be amazing if there was some small extra room that could be an art studio for Aaliyah. I don't even know what. The biggest reason I want to become a homeowner is because my niece, my brother and I work very different schedules, so she spends a lot of time at my house. I want to see the pencil marks on the wall as she gets older. We have looked at dozens of homes placed offers on 11 of them. None of them have worked

Cindy (02:46):

Out. Nicole is super frustrated. We have put in offer after offer only to be beaten out by cash offers and investors and we're running out of time. She's got about 30 days before her lease is up.

Nicole (02:59):

The worst part is telling my niece because she tore some with me and she picks a bedroom and it's really discouraging to tell an 8-year-old it's not happening. But Cindy, every time she says, Nicole, this could be the one, and if it's not, we're going to find another one. So in a season of life for me, that's kind of been tough to walk through. She's brought a lot of energy and hope

Cindy (03:24):

She wants a newer home. So I think this next home may be the one. So what do you think about the neighborhoods? It's

Nicole (03:30):

So nice, isn't it? Flight

Cindy (03:32):

Now, this is going to be a little farther south than you wanted to go, but it's only about 10 minutes from Aaliyah's school. I call this the house with the red shutters

Nicole (03:40):

Like it a lot, Cindy. It's nice. It's even taken care of. Will. I wouldn't have to landscape anything. How much is

Cindy (03:47):

It right under $250,000? It's 2000 square feet.

              L3: $249,000

              L3: 2,000 SQUARE FEET

Nicole (03:51):

Way more than I needed, but perfect.

Cindy (03:54):

In three bedrooms, there's a bedroom for everyone. So let's go in and take a look.

              L3: 3 BEDROOMS, 2 BATHROOMS

Nicole (03:58):

Okay, awesome. Oh my gosh, it has bolted ceilings.

Cindy (04:05):

I love this open floor plan.

Nicole (04:07):

I know, I love it. It's perfect. It's open. Look at this kitchen. It even has new cabinets. It has granite. The appliances are new. Do they come with the house? They

Cindy (04:16):

Do, yes.

Nicole (04:17):

I think Aaliyah and Kristen would love this. It looks too good to be true. Cindy,

Cindy (04:22):

Look at this giant living room. It's

Nicole (04:24):

Beautiful. I don't love the fixtures. Probably easy to replace,

Cindy (04:28):

Right? That's an easy fix. So let's go out back. I think you'll love it.

Nicole (04:32):

It even has a porch. I love the backyard. There's enough room where Aaliyah could play. We could have a dog, but I wouldn't have to mow for five hours.

Cindy (04:41):

I know the yard was a big deal to you. So now let's go take a look at the bedrooms, the primary bedroom.

Nicole (04:48):

Oh my gosh, it's big.

Cindy (04:50):

Very big. And the vaulted ceilings that you like and a lot of natural light and take a look at this bathroom.

Nicole (04:56):

This bathroom is huge. I think my bathroom right now is half the size and it has a standup and a bath, which is good. I like that there are double sinks. Aliyah follows me everywhere. We brush our teeth together sometimes, so this is

Cindy (05:08):

Perfect. Alright, let's go see the other two bedrooms.

Nicole (05:11):


Cindy (05:12):

So two bedrooms and a bathroom on this side of the house.

Nicole (05:17):

Well, I prefer Leah to be closer to me and these bedrooms are just smaller and I'm not taking a small bedroom, so there are so much that I love about the house. I love the open floor plan. My sister Kristen would love this home. I do think just these bedrooms being so far from the primary for me wanting to be close to Aaliyah, this house looks like a lot of the ones that I've placed offers on and I haven't got. So I'm really hoping this one works out. Do you think there's any hope?

Cindy (05:45):

Do you want to make an offer? We need to get it in quickly.

Nicole (05:48):

Should we just offer list or what?

Cindy (05:50):

I would definitely not go below list. So $250,000.

Nicole (05:55):

I think it's fair and I wouldn't have the expenses of having to renovate. Let's do it. Alright. Yay.

Cindy (06:04):

Okay. I'm going to go back to the office and write all this up.

Nicole (06:06):

Okay, awesome. Thank you, Cindy.

Cindy (06:08):

We've set a budget of $250,000, but we are saying that we're going to close in 30 days and $5,000 in earnest money, so hopefully that will entice them. Here's hoping.

              L3: NICOLE’S OFFER:  $250,000

Nicole (06:26):

Hi Cindy.


Cindy (06:27):

Hey Nicole. How are you doing?

Nicole (06:29):

Good. How are you

Cindy (06:30):

Doing? Good. But we just heard back on the offer that we put in

Nicole (06:36):

And someone else got the house. I'm so sorry.

Cindy (06:42):

Turns out they accepted an offer that was 20,000 over asking. I'm

Nicole (06:46):

Just frustrated and I think maybe right now we'll just take a break.

Cindy (06:50):

Why don't you just take a little bit of time off. I know we're in a


Time crunch here, but just clear your mind. Take some deep breaths.

Nicole (06:57):

We're going to take a break, but I just don't have a lot of hope from here.

Cindy (07:02):

I've got to come up with a new strategy. We specifically came up with a list of what she wanted and didn't want. Clearly that's not working, so I have a new strategy. Okay. Remember when we first met, we came up with your pros and cons, which you really wanted and didn't want. We've been looking at move-in ready newer homes. There are some older homes that maybe need a little TLC, but I think we can get them for a lower price and then you'll have the money to be able to put into them.

              L3: ONE WEEK LATER…

Nicole (07:35):

What do you mean by TLC though? Because I'm not that handy.

Cindy (07:38):

I've built up a whole stable of contractors who can help you and do a great job. It


Nicole (07:43):

Wasn't originally what I had in mind, but if there's anything I've learned through this home buying process is that sometimes you have to be flexible. I will just have to get Kristen and Aaliyah to come along because this was not what they had in mind.

Cindy (07:55):

We want to make sure everybody loves the house.

Nicole (08:00):

Cindy, I like the location. It's not too far from Aaliyah's school and it's also close to our work.

Cindy (08:05):

Yes ma'am. Alright,

Nicole (08:07):

Aliyah, are you ready? Yeah.

Cindy (08:08):

Okay. Alright. So older neighborhood, very established was built in 19 56, 2600 square feet, so bigger than the homes we've been looking for. There are four bedrooms, one full bath and two half baths. It's $235,000. You would have some money left over to do improvements. The roof, we're definitely going to look at that during the inspection. It hasn't been replaced in many years.

              L3: 2,600 SQUARE FEET
              L3: 4 BEDROOMS, 1 FULL BATHROOM

              L3: $235,000

Nicole (08:34):

It looks small from the front, but you said 2,600, so

Cindy (08:37):

I think you're going to be pleasantly surprised once we go in and walk around. Okay.

Nicole (08:43):

This was not what I expected from looking at the outside. It's open. I love the beams. I like the wood floors and I like the big windows over here. Lots of sunlight, but what are these cracks over here should be concerned. It

Cindy (08:56):

Could be just the house settling over the years, but that's where we want the inspector to make sure that it's not structural. Well, Leah, let's go take a look and see which bedroom you might be interested in.

Kristen (09:07):

This bedroom, I call it. I got it. I want it. I want it. Your

Nicole (09:09):

Bedroom. This could be her bedroom. It could be. Okay. I like this room. Two windows

Cindy (09:15):

And you've got the full bath here.

Nicole (09:17):

Oh wow, Kristen. It's nice. Yeah, I like that tile.

Cindy (09:21):

Here's another bedroom and it has a half bath. It's

Nicole (09:24):

So bright.

Cindy (09:25):

Love the natural light.

Nicole (09:27):

Okay. Definitely a half bathroom, no shower

Cindy (09:30):

And that shelving, you might be able to turn that into a shower. I can have one of my contractors look at it. I didn't

Nicole (09:35):

Even think of that.

Cindy (09:37):

Let's go look at the kitchen. As I told you, it was built in 1956, but those granite countertops have clearly been updated. Yeah,

Nicole (09:43):

Those are nice. I think the cabinets are definitely something that you want to have redone.

Cindy (09:48):

Here's another bedroom and it has its own separate entrance.

Nicole (09:51):

Oh, this could be a great fit for me then. Oh yeah, and it's on separate sides of the house so we can each have our own space.

Cindy (09:58):

Here's where your extra square footage is. It's

Nicole (10:01):

Huge. This is nice. Nicole. This is the biggest living room I've seen in any house we've looked at. I even love the beam. I was not expecting this. This just feels so different from the rest of the house.

Cindy (10:13):

That's because it was added on later by the owner. I am seeing a spark in Nicole's eyes.

Nicole (10:18):

My favorite part of the house is this gorgeous living room that my entire family could fit in and be comfortable.

Cindy (10:25):

I have a surprise for you. You ready? Come see your art room. Pretty

Nicole (10:32):


Cindy (10:32):


Nicole (10:33):

Oh my

Kristen (10:33):

Gosh. Wait, this is all for myself, right?

Cindy (10:35):

This is all for you, but wait, there's more. There is room for a dog.

Nicole (10:42):

Wow. This is a good size yard. The yard is big, but there's definitely some deferred maintenance.

Cindy (10:47):

Again, an easy fix. Definitely. We want the inspector to look at this covered porch and that it's structurally sound. I'm concerned about the age of the roof and if it's leaking, but those are only the things we can see. We need to get an inspector out here so we can find out about the things we can't see. Alright, so what are you thinking?

Nicole (11:08):

I love the house. This big room sold me on it. Another big pro is there are four bedrooms instead of three. The location being so close to Aaliyah's school, having a yard with a fence for a dog was also what we wanted. My biggest concern are those cracks in the wall and those things are scary to a first time home buyer like me, but it does worry me a little.

Cindy (11:30):

That's why the inspections are so important on house this

Nicole (11:33):

Age. Then if we do these inspections and find out it's even more than I thought,

Cindy (11:37):

Then we'll see what you feel comfortable with because we can ask the sellers for those repairs.

Nicole (11:42):

Having someone who hasn't just seen that before but who says, Hey, I know contractors. I know structural engineers. I'll help walk you through. This has really been the only way I'm considering this sort of house. Okay, then let's place an offer.

Cindy (11:55):

It's 2 35. What's a number that sounds good to you?

Nicole (11:58):

I think I'd be comfortable if we try to start at two 20 and then it would leave me 30,000 to work with for expensive remodels

Cindy (12:05):

And at $220,000 you are within the comps of the other homes that have sold in this area. I'm a big believer that when you put in an offer, it's at least the start of a conversation and a start of the negotiations.


Nicole (12:23):

Cindy called me, she said she's coming to my work right now, which she's never done.

              L3: ONE DAY LATER…

Cindy (12:28):

I had to come see you

Nicole (12:29):

In person. You so much. What's going on? Tell me the news.

Cindy (12:33):

I wanted to deliver this to you right here.

Nicole (12:36):


Cindy (12:37):

They have accepted

Nicole (12:38):

Our, I knew it as soon as you pulled up. I knew it. Okay, great. After trying so hard, it's finally worked out.

Nicole (12:48):


Nicole (12:48):

Sorry. I'm so sorry. I like it. It was like I can't wait to tell Aaliyah and Kristen that we're getting our first home. Thank you so much. I can't believe it. Aaliyah's going to freak out.

Cindy (13:06):

Today's inspection day. Today's the day. We're going to find out if there are major problems with this house, if Nicole should back out or stay in.

              L3: THREE DAYS LATER…

Alek (13:17):


Nicole (13:18):

Hi, how are you? Good. How are you?

Cindy (13:21):

Good to see you.

Alek (13:24):

This is your pie. I

Nicole (13:25):

Have always wanted a Parker inspections pie. Thank


Alek (13:28):

You. It is delicious. Do you have any main questions or concerns right off the bat? For me, I'm

Nicole (13:33):

A little nervous because there were a few things we saw when I was putting the offer on the house.

Cindy (13:37):

I'm worried about the roof. I want to make sure that the porch out back is structurally sound. For sure. There's some cracks in the walls. I think those are the main things,

Alek (13:47):

So at the very end, after I'm all done, I'll get together with you guys and we'll go over the verbal report and we'll go over everything that I found.

Nicole (13:53):

Okay. Thank


Alek (13:54):

You. Awesome. Thank you.


Cindy (13:57):

And he saw a lot of the things that we did, but we weren't able to go all the places he went and the crawl spaces, the attics. He really went in depth on this house.

Alek (14:06):

I'm all done. Hello? You guys want to go over the verb report? Yes. Okay. Okay. For the most part, a lot of stuff is handyman repairs, but there are definitely a couple items that I want to make sure that you're pretty aware of. Basically, right as you go into the crawlspace, right to the west side, there is a floor joist and basically that's just holding up part of your flooring right here and it has a crack in it.

              L3: TWO HOURS LATER…

Nicole (14:27):

Are you saying the floor's going to fall in?

Alek (14:30):

No. I mean, it's one floor joist, but we definitely want to make sure that it gets repaired sooner than later. I

Nicole (14:36):

Think the biggest surprise was finding that joist and my crawl space. That's scary.

Alek (14:41):

A house this age, it's coming to have some movement. You see these cracks like this and in the ceiling you're going to see some of this movement. I know it's overwhelming right now, but after you sit down, you're going to be able to look through it all and kind of be like, okay, this is not that major.

Cindy (14:56):

If for instance, they come back and say they don't want to make any repairs, it's still during that time where you can walk away and it actually becomes, again, a negotiation process of what the sellers are willing to pay for and what we are willing as the buyers to not have done. I was able to go back to the seller's agent. They didn't want to make any repairs, but they were willing to give us 5,000 extra dollars toward closing costs. Then Nicole can make all the repairs on her own. We have a deal. I am so proud of Nicole having watched her go through these ups and downs. She's made it through. She's been a trooper and she's getting the keys to her dream house along with Aaliyah and her whole family. I officially give you your

              L3: TWO DAYS LATER…

              L3: MOVING ON IN!

Nicole (15:49):


Cindy (15:50):

You. The house is now yours. Oh, you're crazy. You're going to make me cry.

Nicole (15:53):

I know. I thought this day would never come. We are so excited. Aaliyah has a room to paint in. My sister has her own space. I have my own space. It's amazing. It was absolutely worth every bit of this tough process.

Cindy (16:07):

You want to show me your art studio? I can't wait to see it,

Nicole (16:10):

But if it wasn't for Cindy Morrison, I would not be a homeowner right now. She stuck with me through a difficult process, so every time we walk in this house, I'll remember and thanks Cindy because she's who found it.

Cindy (16:23):

This is why I do what I do and why I love what I do. Making dreams come true.

All Seasons and Episodes

More Information for Homebuyers