When Craig Bentley and Frank Polito's 500-square-foot New York City apartment started to feel like a shoebox, they decided it was time to upgrade. But instead of opting for a larger space in the City That Never Sleeps -- or, as it sometimes seems, gets cheaper -- the couple took their search 600 miles west to their hometown of Detroit.
They chose an unconventional way to search for their new home. Using Zillow's Make Me Move search feature, Frank and Craig were able to look at homes that were not on the market yet, but had owners seriously interested in moving out. The frustrating part for buyers going this route is that it's their job to convince the undecided seller, who has no professional guidance from a Realtor and often has an inflated idea of the home's worth, to sell at a decent price.
The couple eventually overcame that hurdle. Craig and Frank found a home they adored, with a tiled fireplace and gorgeous staircase, and soon settled on a price with the owner. The trouble came once they received the home's official value from the appraiser -- it was $10,000 less than their agreed upon purchase price. "That's a big issue, because the lender will only give you the amount for what it's appraised for," Craig said.
Fortunately, after a long period of negotiation, they struck a second deal just as the couple was about to move in. To see the full story, watch the video above.
More from the Bought series:
Auctioned Detroit House Becomes Dream Home
Shut Out By a Seller's Market? A Letter Goes a Long Way
Son Surprises Mom With a Gift She Could Live In
More on AOL Real Estate:
Find homes for rent.
Find out how to calculate mortgage payments.
Find homes for sale in your area.
Find foreclosures in your area.
Follow us on Twitter at @AOLRealEstate or connect with AOL Real Estate on Facebook.