We almost lost $5,000.

January 5, 2014 · 20 comments

Now that I’m back from Europe, and the holidays have passed, Girl Ninja and I are full steam ahead in making our 1930’s cottage more homey. On Saturday I spent a solid hour with an electrician getting quotes on everything from, running electricity out to our carport, repairing damaged outlets, and adding recessed lighting. I was surprised to learn electric work is nowhere near as expensive as I would have anticipated. Quartz countertops, however, are a different beast.

If you recall, back in October Girl Ninja and I sanded, primed, and painted our kitchen cabinets. Here are some pictures of the process…

 

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With the cabinets looking all purdy, it seemed only logical to explore the world of countertops. Full disclosure: There is nothing really wrong with our countertops. They are basic white tile and in pretty good shape for their age.

Although our current counters are okay, we really want Quartz countertops in our kitchen. Maybe something like this

 

or this

Yesterday we had an appointment with a counter guy.

We spent an hour or so discussing color, edging, amount of speckle, sink mounting, etc. He took measurements of our counter space and at the end of the appointment gave us a quote.$5,000 for our 50/sqft of counter space.

At this point I knew two things.

  1. I loved the thought of having quartz countertops.
  2. I hated the idea of spending $5,000 on quartz countertops.

Like the sucker that I am, I gave the green light. We signed some paperwork, gave a 50% deposit, and have our counters scheduled to be installed a month from now.

After the counter guy left, Girl Ninja and I spent some time talking things through. She asked me how I felt, I asked her how she felt.

Neither of us could really describe our feelings. 

Late last night we had an impromptu family meeting on our full-sized bed (any other couples still sleeping on a full?). We talked through the pros and cons of updating our counters.

As we made our lists we both came to the same conclusion; as nice as new counters would be, we don’t need them.  

Every other decision we’ve made on the house has been a no-brainer; new windows, new carpet, updating cabinetry, painting literally every wall and ceiling. For each of those projects we knew exactly what we wanted and never, not even for a second, wavered.

This counter situation was a different story. Neither of us could shake the uneasy feeling we had after signing the contract.

According to the document, we have to notify the company (by mail) within 72 hours if we want to cancel the contract and receive a full refund of our deposit.

Today I plan to do just that. 

We totally let ourselves get caught up in the sales pitch. Don’t get me wrong, quartz countertops are likely in our future, but for now the tile will have to do. At least until we know exactly what it is we want, and get a few more bids to make sure we are getting the best deal.

You ever had buyers remorse immediately after buying something or signing a contract? Did you stick with the purchase, or renege like us?

 

1 TPol

5K is a lot of money for a countertop but, I guess, if you had shopped around, compared prices, discussed this further and then placed an order, you may not have had buyer’s remorse. The feeling of being rushed does that to you.

This has happened to me once with a car purchase and once with a rental apartment in the past. After that, I always refused being rushed into a decision by the sales person.

2 Liz

Yeah I will have to say that I am somewhat an impulsive person.. if it “feels right” I just go with my gut and go for it. I wish I would slow down sometimes and consider my options and do my research.

3 StackingCash

Oh man. If you can remember, my wife and I signed a contract to buy a house. It was a tad bit out of our comfort level in terms of price, but we still could have “afforded” it. As the construction progressed, we started realizing many compromises we had to make in terms of how the house was not as perfect as it should have been considering the amount we were paying and the realization that the mortgage required two incomes. So long story short we backed out. The consequence was losing the loan appraisal fee of $450 and attorney’s fees to reclaim our earnest money deposit, which is still pending. All in all, we dodged a 30 year commitment to a house that we did not like. We are still very sad to be in our tiny house in a not so perfect neighborhood, but we will regroup and find another home in the near future.

4 Rebecca @ Stapler Confessions

Good for you! We cancelled a home purchase after going under contract. Best.Decision.Ever. The inspection was awful and I’m so glad we didn’t tie ourselves to that house for the foreseeable future.

Use that savings to get a queen or kind-sized bed instead ;)

5 FrugalTeacher

Whew, I definitely would have felt sick!

I had immediate buyer’s remorse after signing my most recent lease. I felt PHYSICALLY sick after signing a $919 / month lease. Literally, it took the entire day before I felt ok. It worked out ok and I’ve come to accept that I really was not going to find a better deal for the area and the amenities, but still it was such a gut punch and I immediately wanted to go back on it.

6 Mel @ brokeGIRLrich

Ahh. I know EXACTLY how you feel. :O/

7 M

Good Choice on backing out of the contract. I have experienced this myself except it was with new windows and we didn’t back out unfortunately. Still makes my stomach uneasy when I think about it! Honestly, I would hold off on any unnecessary expenditures seeing as 2014 holds many changes for your family. A new house, a new baby and going from two incomes to one income are all major life changes. Speaking from experience, I would save as much as possible right now to prepare. Babies can throw all sorts of financial curveballs that you can’t always fully anticipate. If the adjustment to all of these changes goes smoothly, then I would reevaluate the counter situation in 2015.

8 Jennifer

Yes, with a 137 lb. Blue Marlin that I caught in Hawaii. During the adrenalin rush of reeling him in, I said I wanted to get him mounted. If I had said I didn’t it would have been a catch, take a quick picture and release. I had huge buyers remorse when I got back to the resort. For one thing, it was $1000. For the other thing, what the heck was I going to do with a 7′ long mounted Marlin? I’m a girl and that really isn’t my thing. I called the captain of our boat and told him how I was feeling. He totally understood and said he’d go ahead and pay for it himself and sell it to a local restaurant as decor. I felt terrible that the fish died for no reason though. :(

9 Brian@ Debt Discipline

I did with some chimney repairs. I had my chimney cleaned and was told we had some damaged that needed to be corrected or it could cause a fire. Instead of taking a step back and get a 2nd or 3rd opinion on the chimney I went ahead with the $1200 worth of work. To this day I feel like I had a fast one pulled on me. I should have done my homework.

10 Teri

Good for you for following your gut. If you really want the high end look of quartz countertops, consider tiling them. My former husband and I found a great deal on 12×12 granite tiles and used them to tile our kitchen countertops in our house several years back. It looked awesome and was much cheaper!

11 Morgaine

We got quartz countertop for our new house, but in our case it was a need not a want (well, we could have gotten laminate but why go cheap) because there was mold all under the sink and surrounding countertops. We got the previous owners to take off $2500 off the price of the house to cover this. We spent about $3500 on the new counter (sorry, don’t have the square footage) including new sink and cabinent work under the sink. Totally worth it in our opinion, looks much nicer and you can’t put cut marks like laminate. Also, doesn’t require as much maintenance as granite or marble. But I think you guys made the right decision for you.

12 MelissaZ

After remodeling several houses, I know how easy it is to get caught in thinking that the house really “should have” something or something “should be” updated, and just how pricey it can be to fix up EVERYTHING. In retrospect, a lot of the “should haves” and “should be’s” didn’t really make a difference in how much we enjoyed the house/ how functional it was. If an update or improvement isn’t required, I think it’s a good idea to wait a year or so and see if it still bothers you.

13 Anthony Greer

When you do decide to get the countertops you’re going to love quartz. But absolutely, shop around a bit first. Nothing worse than buyers remorse.

You wouldn’t have lost 5k but you may have spent 1k more than you needed to. Good luck in your quest.

14 Samantha

I just wanted to say, I’m proud of you guys! That you are taking action to right your bad decision is amazing, most people would just say, “Oh well”! And you’ll love your new counters that much more when you KNOW you made the right decision for you.

15 spiffi

Nearly happened to me in a Honda dealership. The sales guy *really* spun me around and I ended up in the office with the loan officer, filling out paperwork on a car that I really wasn’t sure I wanted, for a loan term that I wasn’t happy about (I refuse to be in a 5 year loan on a car with a 3 year warranty)

Thankfully I managed to call a halt to the proceedings before anything was signed, and said I really needed to think about this. Things had proceeded so far, that it took 45 minutes to get my trade-in *back* to me so that I could drive home.

I didn’t end up buying that car after all – but the sales guy sent me cookies and a Christmas card – presumably he thought the deal was *done* and was surprised to not get that commission :)

16 Slackerjo

Why is this an all or nothing decision? If you want new counter tops, why not look at other alternatives?

That being said, you again reminded me why I rent :- )

17 David S.

Don’t you just love Title 16 CFR 429.1?

Anyway have you looked into getting concrete counter tops? You can make your own and make them look almost exactly like quartz, but they are heavy and do require sealing.

18 Mel @ brokeGIRLrich

I totally had buyers remorse when I signed the lease on my apartment. It’s been about a week now and I still haven’t decided if this was the best choice or not…. honestly, I’m leaning towards not the “best” choice, but a far cry from the worst.

19 Claire

There’s alternatives! So many alternatives. You can get quartz or granite veneers for a start (they stick a thin layer of the same stuff straight over the top of the existing countertops), resurfacing (www.gianigranite.com is just one of MANY examples)…. Get the look for less and when baby is older going for the real deal won’t be such a big deal.

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