It wasn't meant to be... a phrase I am hearing all too often and honestly if I hear it one more time I may scream. See I have started looking for houses back in April, hoping to be a first time home buyer, and since then I have put in multiple offers and have yet to even have an offer accepted. Another saying that's making me cringe "it's a sellers market" the inventory is low.
So after 4 offers, over 30 homes, 2 states and 4 months later I am exhausted emotionally, physically and any other way you can be exhausted, overwhelmed and frustrated. SPOILER: Now this isn't going to be a post where miraculously at the end I show you the gorgeous home I bought because it has not happened.
Let's start at the beginning. Yes I am single and under 30 and I am buying a house. I know it's shocking and I get looked at like I have 3 heads when I tell people I am purchasing a home on my own. But I have worked damn hard for this, sacrificed a lot of nights out , purchases and vacations to save every penny and I am proud. I've heard it all "what happens when you meet someone?" "Are you buying a house that has room for a family?" "Are you ever going to get married?" I am not saying I won't get married or have kids I am making the decision to build equity so if or when the time comes I can potentially sell the house and have the equity established instead of wasting away my money on rent.
I have known for the past year I wanted to purchase a home. So I rented a house where I have almost all the responsibilities of a home owner. Let's face it I shovelled and snowblowed (best investment ever) over 10 ft of snow this past winter. I am ready to shovel my own driveway and mow my own lawn.
Now I am a Massachusetts girl born and raised but I am currently living and working in Rhode Island so that's where I started looking. Let's face it RI is a bit cheaper than Mass. Your dollar goes a little bit further in Rhode Island. So I got pre approved found a realtor and off I went. House after house just didn't feel right until I walked into the cutest cape that had ever existed that was located on a river. I was looking for the dotted lines to sign on and I was stopped dead in my tracks. THE PROPERTY TAXES ARE WHAT?!? They were double any other house I had looked at. To this day I still think about this house and the largest shed I had ever seen. ::sigh:: "It wasn't meant to be."
Now I truly have to give a shout out to my parents they have been great. My mom has seen every single house with me. Her entire calendar has turned into open houses and showings on nights and weekends. My dad travels a lot for work but he has made it out to see a lot of houses and every house I have put an offer in on. Now I value my parents opinions heck they are half the reason I can afford a house. Not because they are giving me money for the home but because they have always been supportive and taught me the value of hard work and saving. Heck they drove me on my 14th birthday to get a job at a local grocery store. While I value their opinions I am a very independent person so when I had a realtor tell me that they didn't want to show me a house without my dad there I was confused. But I am buying the house? You know it's my money right? Needless to say that realtor didn't call me back and I didn't reach back out.
One of my friends after hearing the story told me of her friend in Massachusetts who was a realtor. We met and I LOVED her. She is personable, knowledgeable, communicative, we get along and she can chat just as much as me. Which is important when you are spending this much time with someone. The first day we met I actually put my first offer in on a house.
Offer #1 To Good To Be True
I knew as soon as I pulled to the curb that this house was destined to be mine. It had a garage and a basement WHAT?! In my price range that's unheard of. Well 10 other people thought so too. Yup thats right 10 offers at the open house I was offer #11. Three bids later along with a best and final the bidding war is over and I'm not even in the ring. I'm the spectator that's picking a fight with their neighbor to get on the jumbotron. Lesson learned be more aggressive. "It wasn't meant to be."
Offer #2 The Second Chance
I am having lunch with a friend when I get the call. The house I loved and have been comparing to every other house I've seen since (remember the house with 10 other offers) has been listed again. Turns out the buyer has asthma and they found mold in the attic. The seller is paying for mold remediation but that buyer went running. I swoop in and submit another offer. Then hours later I submit another offer even higher. I loved this house so much I went over the limit I had set for myself months prior. I was starting to feel good about this.... this house is going to be mine. Welp it went for over asking I was in the ring this time but I got knocked out on the second punch. "It wasn't meant to be."
Offer #3 The Foreclosure
There had been this house on the market for months now as a foreclosure my mom kept bringing it up because it was in a really nice neighborhood in a town I couldn't typically afford if it wasn't a foreclosure. The pictures told me it need some work but after weeks of driving by I finally called my realtor about it. This was the first home that was more of a project that I was interested in. I could see the potential and the house was made for entertaining. That being said with amount of work that needed to be done the bank was asking for way too much! So I offered $54,000 under asking. It needed about $35-40k worth of work including a french drain. Well that offer got rejected even though it was $20,000 over what the bank had paid for it. I needed to come up $45,000 for the bank to consider me. So the property sits vacant and the bank is losing money every day. And you know what "It wasn't meant to be" and that's ok because the more I think about that house the more that basement scares me.
Offer #4 The One that Hurt the Most
This house was perfect and way under budget, move in ready with gas and central air. The house was much smaller than what I had been looking at but it some how didn't feel small. I feel in love with the details, finishes and the potential that the house had. It was perfect for one person just slightly larger than the house I am renting now and it was located on a corner lot. There was just one issue. This house was priced about $25,000 over comps. The couple that owns the house is upside down, meaning they owe/paid more than the house is worth. But I want this house. So this week one day after the open house I offered 20k under asking. I had to extend my offer 24 hours because they were expecting 2 more offers. Yesterday morning I was told my offer was rejected they didn't even counter and there were no other offers on the table. I'm surprised by this but hey I really want this house. Let's raise my offer $10k and be ready to counter. At this point we are only $10k away from asking which is already over priced. I am getting excited and my hopes are definitely up until I get another message that my offer was rejected and there was not a counter offer. I pick my jaw up off the floor along with the pieces of my heart. How could they not counter? Their realtor explains they only want asking and are willing to wait until SPRING to get it. Yes spring! Do they even want to sell their house?! With the rates going up house prices are projected to lower this Fall to counteract the increase. Not to mention a house that was renovated with only 70 sqft difference 8 houses down on the same street just went under agreement for get this $30k less than this house. Once that house closes that comp is going to affect the value of this house. This just makes no sense to me... send me a counter offer! This house should be mine. While this house is under budget I don't want to go to high because I don't want to be upside down and I need the house to appraise for my mortgage. So am I walking away? No because they rejected my offer and I have nothing to walk away from. So guess what "It wasn't meant to be."
So the search goes on as I grow more frustrated, emotional and exhausted. It may be time for a bit of a break from looking but since all the houses are scooped up so quickly I can't seem to drag myself away from zillow. So tonight I am off again to look at another house. Wish me luck and hopefully this one will be meant to be.