(Closed) How many homes did you see to find the right one?

posted 7 years ago in Home
Post # 3
Member
10851 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

Oh gosh. I think we looked at like 30-50 houses at least, although thankfully we didn’t drag our agent out to all of them. We’d see a listing we’d like and go drive by to check out the neighbourhood, etc first. That really helped to narrow things down.

We gained in some areas and compromised in others. We ended up with a house on the river (we never thought we could afford anything on the water!), but we don’t have a garage. That’s a pretty big deal for us considering FI is a contractor. Also we have our master bedroom on the main floor and the other three bedrooms in the walk-out basement (tons of big windows and sun). However, we plan on renovating next year and moving all the bedrooms up onto a new second floor. We bought for the land, not the house, so we’ve just been making due for the past two years knowing that we’ll renovate and make it all to our style soon! Don’t be scared off by cosmetic stuff! Good luck!

Post # 4
Member
1145 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2000

We compromised on age and distance (3 more miles further in a previously ruled out community). But the trade-in was 3 bdrm value, limited neighbor proximity and a gorgeous ocean view with picture windows which were huge plusses not originally on our list.

We found ours in close to two months and about 15 or 20 houses later. We had to take a break one or two weekends b/c we did get a litttle depressed finding things we really didn’t like a majority of a time. Be patient, take notes (plusses and minuses) at each house before you drive away so you can analyze your decisions and get better throughout the process.

Post # 5
Member
5148 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

We probably looked at about 10-15; out of those we had 3 we looked at again before making our final decision.

Post # 7
Member
11328 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

I think it really honestly depends on how well matched your expectations are to your budget. If you want x, y, z in a house and can afford houses that usually have that… its not so hard. If your budget wouldn’t usually support such features then you might need to either compromise or wait to get REALLY lucky. 

Our budget was pretty well matched to our expectations and we only looked at maybe 10-15 houses? We actually liked quite a few of them but I wanted to do due diligence in our search before picking.

Post # 8
Member
762 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

Um, like 100. Our realtor worked hard for her money. And she still likes us!Surprised

But we really got a great deal and it’s a great house for what we paid! It is exhausting but well worth it!

Post # 9
Member
3762 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I like what Corgi said, you may need to adjust your expectations for the budget. 

However, I would say that only looking at 10 seems really low.  I looked at HUNDREDS online, probably drove by over 100 (location and yard were REALLY important to us) and did scheduled showings for about 25 before deciding on our house. 

Don’t give up, but make sure you have your expectations set appropriately for your budget.

Try listing out what is most important to you. 

Post # 10
Member
529 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

I completely agree with @CorgiTales.  I think if your budget aligns with what you’re looking for, it doesn’t take too long to find a house.  My husband and I looked at roughly 10-15 houses, though house #5 was the one.  We looked around some more after seeing that house just incase there was better/cheaper, but in the end, I loved that house so much so we put in an offer after viewing it the second time.

10-15 are just the ones we went to and walked through.  I, like @caszos, looked at MANY on-line, looking at their pictures, how many bedrooms/bathrooms, what their neighborhoods were like.  For me, one of the biggest pieces was location.  My husband and I work over an hour apart from each other, so we wanted to find a house that was in a good location either to the highway, or something.  We both wanted our commutes to be under 45 minutes, so that narrowed down our search a lot and only looked at houses in good locations for us.

Post # 11
Member
5671 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2010

Hang in there! For us house shopping was such an exhausting process but it’s where you are going to be for a while and you better love the house that you will be working to pay your mortgage for.

Since we had access to the MLS we looked at hundreds of houses online. We kept a folder of every house we saw and it was around 75. We bid on 4 houses (all bids asking price or more) and we got the 5th house. We started looking in the beginning of December, had our offer accepted in the middle of February, and closed at the end of April.

Once we narrowed down the exact neighborhoods we wanted to live in rather than just the cities it was just a waiting game of a house to come on the market in those 2 areas.

Post # 13
Member
4123 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

We also looked at hundreds online, drove by a LOT of them, and went to about 20 with our realtor. The 2nd house we looked at was the one, but we looked at another 18 first 😉 Every house kept comparing to “The 2nd house.”

For us, we knew we could be like our friends, and get a “move in ready” house that was a little more up to date and nice. But it would be 2-3 bedrooms, 12-1500 sq feet, and in a chaotic not so great neighborhood. We didn’t want a townhouse. We wanted something we could grow into. we BOTH wanted an office so we needed at least 4 br and we both didn’t want under 1600 sq. ft. Oh, and a garage.

The one we found actually has everything we asked for, and more! We found a foreclosure however. Our house at market value is about 60,000 more than what we paid (i.e. other homes in the neighborhood are far out of our reach). We really lucked out, because it was in really good condition and has over 2000 sq feet. We’ve put about 6k into it so far in a new a/c and wood laminate floors throughout… and it’s pretty much up to that value already. We still have a lot of projects to do, but we knew to get the neighborhood, location, and size we wanted we’d have to compromise. Our neighborhood is ridiculously amazing. As our friends put it, “This is the kind of place I expect our friends parents to live, not our friends.” 

Basically, you have to look at your price, expectations, and if it IS possible to do. We knew that we could get what we wanted in a foreclosure… so that’s what we were looking at. You need to keep your list to what you can’t live without, (this should be location, bedrooms, and structural things like maybe a garage.) Then a “really would like it to have” list, with things that are easy fixes down the line, Decks, pools, stainless appliances, certain types of floors, granite counters, etc….

Once you really put everything in perspective it will help you. It also helps to know average costs of renovations etc. Most expensive is the kitchen followed by bathrooms. But, that’s where you’ll recoup the most. Floors are SO EASY and can be in-expensive to change. 

I really highly suggest looking at the before/after house tour on younghouselove.com. It may help open your eyes to what some paint and elbow grease can do.

House Tour

Best of luck, and let us know updates on the search!

Post # 14
Member
1645 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

Right now, I think we’ve probably seen about 25-30 houses. We started looking last fall, took a break until after the wedding (May this year) and are back at it in full force. I have got the online searching down and know basically every house in the area we are looking in our budget that’s on the market. We too, have done a lot of driving to see houses without our agent and have ruled a lot out that way.

It’s been interesting though, the biggest issue we have is DH’s height. He’s 6’6″ and so many homes (in our area and in our budget) do not have standard height ceilings in the basement or second story. We’ve ruled out about half the houses we’ve seen just for that reason alone.

Out of the houses we’ve seen, we’re making our third offer. First was last fall, on a house we loved, but the sellers wouldn’t come down enough. Second was another house last week, but the sellers are pretty unrealistic and wouldn’t come down enough to offset the work needed on the foundation. Now we are about to put an offer in on a house we saw yesterday.

We’ve had to adjust our expectations. DH wanted land, but where we are looking we can’t afford more than 2 or so acres unless the house is a total mess. So we’ve compromised on this house – 1+ acres, 2 bed, 1 bath. It needs some work, but was a one owner home and meticulously maintained. The owners built the home when they first started out and raised 4 kids in the home. I kind of like that it’s a home that has been so loved and cared for, and based on the pictures still on the walls, held so many wonderful memories.

We had to learn to not look at homes that were above our budget, even if only by a little bit. Our expectations got raised, but despite the market, there are a surprising number of people who are not negotiating. Also, you need to be up to date on the market and able to act quickly, since a lot of homes were under contract by the time I found them and tried to make an apt to see them. This was very common when the tax rebate was still being offered. The best homes were moving very quickly.

Good luck on your search!

Post # 15
Member
70 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

At least 30+.  I was looking for a non-townhome (because of the pet restrictions usually written into the HOA), a level fenced in (or fence-able) backyard for the dogs, and not TOO much work because I was a single woman at the time, and didn’t have extra money to fix anything major.

I put in an offer on one house, but couldn’t afford the repairs discovered during inspection.  I ended up spreading out my search radius (“well, I guess a ten minute longer drive isn’t SO bad…”).  Then a twin house opened up in a development where I’d look at my very first house ever (and loved…should have gotten it, even though it backed up to a well-traveled road).  They waited a week after listing it to show it because they were having it professionally cleaned, which had me just dying inside because I wanted to see and buy it RIGHT NOW. 

Been living there for two years now :).  Somewhat modern kitchen?  Check!  Level, newly-fenced in backyard?  Check!  Three bedrooms, plus a possible fourth in a walk up third floor attic?  Bonus!

Biggest advice I can give: It will happen!  but don’t do what I do and get so excited and frustrated with the process that when you do find something doable, you offer full asking price just to be done with the whole thing.  I probably could have bargained them down if I’d just calmed myself a bit.

 

Trust me, the house for you is out there, it just takes a while to find it!

Post # 16
Member
1363 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

I’ve lost track, but I bet we’ve seen close to 100 homes in person.  There are nearly 400 in my “reject” folder from our realtor.  It really will pay to be patient and picky.  I know it’s frustrating until you find the right place.  We’ve been looking for 10 months now and have seen a lot of really crappy places.

Find a great realtor, and let them do the heavy listing.  Don’t be afraid to ask your agent to check out a listing in person and tell you whether it’s worth a trip.  That’ll help cut down on a lot of your trips.  If you’re looking for a specific floor plan, that’s something your realtor can scope out ahead of time.

Good luck.

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