If you have been trying to purchase a home within the last 12 months, you can probably relate to my family’s experience. If you’re thinking of purchasing a home definitely, research the market, consider this article and talk to others who have purchased a home recently. Before we started the journey of becoming homeowners our little one was only a few months old and we were newlyweds.
How it Started
My husband and I are planners, so we make sure we have all our finances in order ahead of time. We started the conversation about buying a home 2 years prior to going through the actual process. In addition to looking at houses online, we attended an open house together while we were engaged. We thought it would be a good idea to learn more about what we wanted. We both were extremely excited because for us buying a home solidified having a place to grow our family, on top of a long-term investment that would pay for itself over time. Selling our current home was another factor in the mix.
The time came to start the process in the winter months. We sought out a realtor who had been in the business for a number of years. This person was knowledgeable and catered to our needs. After looking at a few homes, we learned that we have to move quickly and be ready to make decisions on whether or not to be in an offer within hours. For me, it feels like being on my favorite ride at an amusement park and then standing in line to experience a new roller coaster with unpredictable turns.
There was a long line like a grocery store at several of the open houses.
In the Middle of it All
As we are looking, we hear the same thing over and over. People writing offers well over asking and investors throwing money in the air like a strip club on New Year's Eve. We didn’t expect to look at over 10 houses and hear crickets after making offers. There was a long line like a grocery store at several of the open houses.
We blinked and Spring was happening around us and we still weren’t under contract. Although we remain hopeful, it was time for a change. So we choose another realtor thinking it would make a difference. Again, we are planners, so there was some time in between making changes. Little did we know the market is centered around impulse.
I found our second realtor after doing a little research online. This person has a good amount of experience and brings new strategies to the table.
The Summer months creep in on us like retail stores putting Christmas decor on display in the month of September. At this point, we were frustrated but still wanted to push forward. I put my desire of finding our dream home to the side and focused on finding something we are okay with. We put a slight pause on our hunt to see if inventory would increase. It increases some along with prices.
Now We’re Getting Somewhere
We finally came across a property we liked. A release happens every so often, we rushed there like everyone else to be under contract. The first time, I left an outdoor event with my little one. I quickly called my husband and we headed to the property to hear we were 5 minutes late. You would have thought people hid in the trees until it was time.
We travel out of town and as soon as we arrive a release happens. I burst into tears at that moment because it was the second time we had missed it. I couldn’t even tell my mother why I felt down during our stay.
We considered other builders in the meantime. My breaks and lunches at work consist of searching for resale homes and calling new builders checking availability. I might as well have called the same person because they all had the same message. There are houses being built everywhere including in our backyard.
My husband and I kept our housing experience to ourselves for some time. Can you imagine declining events because you didn’t know if a home release would happen that day? Even the sales offices of communities didn’t know right away.
We even considered renovating our current home at some point, but due to the economy, that avenue didn’t work out. We feel fortunate to have a roof over our head that we already own and a little one who keeps us busy. Buying a house is like winning a golden lottery ticket nowadays. Hopefully, our time to win is coming!
If I could do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing because we did what we could as buyers in an unusual market.