House Hunting Blues

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Three months into the house hunting process, and two months into the house selling process, and I AM SO DONE WITH THIS SHIT.

I'm getting impatient. (Obviously.) We are having very little luck, and it is tremendously frustrating.

At the very beginning of this month, we put in an offer on a house we loved only to have it rejected because we were unwilling to remove our contingency. And, well, come to find out, that was a smart decision on our part, because have we sold our current place? No, we haven't.

In fact, we have not had a single showing in nearly three weeks. Not good. When we first put our place on the market, we were doing well for the first 5 weeks or so--at least one showing a week, and we had an open house as well. We received great feedback from people, but no one willing to put an actual offer on the table. Now, we're feeling a bit of pressure from our realtor to lower our asking price. Although we're not necessarily against that, we are disagreeing over how much. We'd like to lower it about 2.5%, and she would like to lower it about 4-5%. As a result of our disagreement, we haven't lowered it at all.

Honestly, we're not sure what to do. We are heading into April, and supposedly the market is supposed to pick up. Do we lower the price to make our listing appear "fresh" and to try to attract more buyers? Or do we hold tight, assuming that the right buyer will come along now that "the season" for real estate is upon us?

There's also part of us that doesn't even care if we can't sell our place right now because, well, it's not like we have a place to go. We don't have a new house to move into, so what's the rush? Of course, the other side of that argument is that if the right house for us does pop up onto the market, we would be in much better shape to make an "attractive" offer on it if we were already under contract on our current place.

This is such a balancing act and a waiting game. I hate it.

Last weekend, we looked at a house that we weren't expecting to like that much. It needed A LOT of work, and it was evident in the pictures. Even more evident as we walked through it. It was a house built in the 1960s, and I'm not kidding when I say that the sellers have lived in the house and HAVE NOT UPDATED A SINGLE THING. Kitchen? Needed to be gutted. Bathrooms? Needed to be gutted. All interior and exterior doors needed replacing. It needed new carpeting in the family room, stairs, and upstairs hallway. The entire house needed to be freshly painted. In other words, this was so totally the opposite of what we said we wanted when we set out on our house hunt.

But, you know, somehow, we fell in love with it. We fell in love with the idea of being able to choose everything according to our taste. Being able to make everything fresh and bright and brand new. Being able to buy more house for the money. We weren't CRAZY in love with the place, because we knew it was going to cost a lot of money to do all of these things. But we were seriously considering our options. We were researching costs for renovations and materials we would need. We figured if we could get the house for a good price (which, by our definition, was a good chunk below asking price), it would be worth buying. So, we had an appointment to return to the house with our parents to get their opinions.

And just 10 minutes before I was supposed to leave work to go to the appointment, our realtor called and said that the sellers of the house were dealing with an offer they had received earlier that afternoon. That the offer was reasonable and that the sellers were working with it.

We weren't willing to compete with someone else for the house. We had a price that we were willing to pay for it, and we knew that we would have to be willing to pay more. And we weren't.

So we let the house go.

And now we are back at square one. Again.

Unfortunately, there has not been a single new listing (meeting our criteria) that has popped up this week. Isn't the market supposed to be picking up? That's what everyone keeps telling us, but we have yet to see this big "boom" in listings.

Believe me, we are waiting.



A Rancher's Wife April 1, 2011 at 12:54 AM  

I'm so sorry.. Hang in there. Everything always works out in the end.

Erin April 1, 2011 at 9:34 AM  

If you can sell your house for a price you think is fair, sell it, and then figure out where to go. It is worth it to do that in this market.

We are upon the high season as most of the country seems to operate on a school schedule for some reason so people like to move over the summer and be settled for fall, the beginning of the school year. So if you are anxious to get an offer maybe lower the price? After the summer and as your house sits on the market for longer offers will probably lessen and may even be lower than what you think is fair. Wouldn't you put in a low ball offer on a house that had been sitting on the market for some time?

We sold our house around this time last year. We were shocked that it went under contract so soon and although we hadn't worked out the logistics of where to go (new job, new city, so we HAD to go anyway) we went ahead and made sure closing happened when the buyer wanted. And the next few months of packing, storage, short term leases, etc. was hectic and we had a toddler but we made it work and it was totally worth it in hindsight.

Good luck...once you get into your new house it will all be a distant memory!

Becky April 1, 2011 at 9:55 AM  

Buying a house is SO AWFUL! Luckily we didn't have to sell anything when we bought, but it was still painful! Hang in there.

Nicole-Lynn April 1, 2011 at 10:05 AM  

I'm sorry! I know how frustrating it can be. My fiance and I just bought our first home, but it definitely wasn't an easy process. It was a short sale and we waited to hear back from the back about our offer for almost a year! Finally we heard great news that our offer was finally accepted, we closed on 2/15 and moved in that following weekend.

My point to telling you this is, to just be patient. House hunting can be fun, but it can also take a toll on you emotionally and physically. When you find the right one, you will know and it will all be worth it! Hang in there!

Jen April 1, 2011 at 4:07 PM  

Sorry to hear you're frustrated. It can definitely get annoying. For our first house, we put in 4 offers before actually having one go through. In hindsight, we were glad the other ones fell through because the house we got was perfect for us. Hang in there!

Vanessa April 4, 2011 at 1:24 PM  

I know I’ve said it before but I feel ya. House hunting is the worst, the very worst. It’s not like a regular purchase where you can be rational, it has this intrinsic emotional element that complicates matters, and it’s so annoying having to wait for the right one to come up AND be in a strong position. For this reason we sold our flat first. We moved into rental accommodation for 6 months before we found the right house. But when we did, we had the cash, we had the mortgage, and this put us in a great bargaining position. We got our house for a much better price than if we had been in a contingency situation. I know for a fact that our vendors would not have sold on a contingency basis. So doing that is one option to consider. As for lowering the price, if I got a fair price I would be pleased. I maintain that if real estate isn’t your occupation you don’t need to make a fortune in it. You’re buying and selling your home. Sell at a fair price and buy at a fair price and you’re good.
Wishing you tons of luck – we moved into our house on Tuesday and I can tell you, the hassle and frustration is well worth it!

Wishing on stars April 19, 2011 at 2:13 AM  

Heather have you considered New Build? With most new builders you get to chose your carpet, paint, cabinets, doors,...all the things you said you'd like to change in the resale home so they were your own choice. They generally come with a 10 year warranty too.

Do you have Rent With Equity apartments in your state? If you are serious about selling your home, you might want to listen to your realtor and lower your price. Once you sell your home, move into a RWE apartment and until you sign a contract 15-20% of your rent will go towards credits that you can use towards closing costs, pre-paids, or studio choices.

Might be something worth looking into.

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