I'm not entirely sure I believe that. The seller is using a family member as the listing agent, and I have strong suspicions that he hasn't been entirely forthcoming with them about our offers. Beyond that, I am starting to suspect the house has some serious hidden issues that they either are trying to keep hidden or just denying. To wit: they are one-hundred-percent adamant that the (nearly worn-out) roof will not be replaced prior to closing.
So we walked away. We've started hitting listings again. There are a few new places we're liking, and we'll be doing drive-by looks to check out neighborhoods and curb appeal before setting up showings.
We have accepted the fact that an HOA may just be unavoidable. We have some geographic restrictions (my job requires it unless I can get the golden-ticket waiver; highly unlikely), and beyond that are ... shall we say "social restrictions"? A lot of the city is not a place I want to live, let alone contemplate starting and raising a family. The trick now is to find an HOA that has tolerable restrictions.
I'm a firm believer that things happen for a reason. It's a tough row to hoe sometimes, and there have been some seriously stressful