House Buying // Part 5

Part 5: Are we going backwards?

In my last update, we started showings and were trying to decide what's worth making a fuss about and what is easy to "deal with" after buying a home. Well, after another weekend filled with showings, that question has yet to answer itself. Haha! As I say every time, a LOT has happened in the last couple weeks... this time more-so!

Here's what happened:

  • After our first weekend of showings and nothing too impressive, a house popped up on the market and we rushed to see it. Our showing was splendid and we loved the house (huge kitchen, screened-in porch, large fenced in yard, super well-maintained, and loads of character). That evening, we thought long and hard and talked about it for hours. The market here (and apparently everywhere, so it seems) is a fast one. There is no time to look at a house, decide you like it, and then compare it to another home a week later. A good house is listed, then gone by week-end. We put down an offer over Easter weekend... and so did someone else. They took the other offer and we were put back on the hunt. A good rule of thumb is to keep emotion out. Yes, you need to like it, but this is really just a major business transaction, so we're keeping that in mind. Makes the break less painful when your offer is denied... we were bummed, but there's always more. Also, take note that Tom and I are not looking for our "dream home," but instead something to start off with and grow out of.
  • Right away after that, we sent our Realtor nine listings and had her see which ones were still available (she had told us in the past that we should expect that out of a group of listings, half of them will probably be spoken for). We ended up with five lined up to see that weekend following our denied offer. We don't mess around, people. Haha. We were in the car for over two hours, driving from one house to the next. Overall, it was overwhelming and mostly disappointing. Here is how I described each home to our Realtor in an email afterwards:

    1. Loved the updates, hated the distance and neighborhood.
    2. Loved the backyard and neighborhood, didn't care for the space itself, the price, or distance.
    3. Hated hahaha.
    4. Loved the land, potential, and location, hated the underlying problems, poor maintenance and smells.
    5. Loved the potential, price, and well maintained space, hated the neighborhood, crime rates, and mismatched taste.

So here we are, still on the hunt and time dwindling down. Of course, in our disappointment we started wondering if we should raise our budget or settle and get a townhome instead. We really do like the interiors of townhomes, but it would mean giving up on a yard and continuing to share walls with neighbors... so many downsides (in our opinion). Our Realtor replied to my email, though, and offered encouraging words and confidence that we'll be able to find what we want in time... I so appreciate her saying that! We'll keep our chins up and continue scanning listings online (the bane of our existence).

This experience has been a great opportunity to learn. One thing in particular, I have learned in the overload of homes we've seen, is the need for a checklist. I made a rough one this last Saturday, so after each showing, we'd talk about the good and bad of each home in the car before reaching the next one.