Post # 1
I live in a high cost of living area (top ten cities in the U.S.). Due to a major corporation expanding in downtown bringing thousands upon thousands of new residents into the area, the costs of homes over the past few years has spiked. I’m talking double, and in some places tripled in value an cost. That with incomes remaining about the same has increased the demand for homes in the middle range ($300k-$600k).
My fiancé and I just started looking a month and a half ago, and the process has been exhausting. We looked at some places that, in 48 hours, sold $50-$100k over list.
Recently we found a condo we loved, but it only had two bedrooms and virtually no backyard. We are planning to have two babies within the next 3-5 years, and where would we fit them both? That, on top of the fact that 5 years ago it sold for $290k and was listed this year for $435k made me panic and pull out last minute. It’s a desirable area with a short commute to work, but to pay that for so little in a suburb that is not in the downtown area was too much. My fiancé is not pleased by my waffling, and I do not blame him because prices and competition will only continue to escalate in the immediate future.
We are getting married this summer and hoped to find a home before that time. Any advice for a beginner? Anyone else going through the same thing?
Post # 2
Look for a longer commute? Many of my friends have moved to small towns within half hour to an hour of their job. They’ve scored nice big houses with yards, for money that will buy you a shoebox in the city. I can’t speak about school quality but worst case, they could probably spend the savings on private school.
Post # 3
House hunting is so hard, I feel your pain! It took us 2 years to find our home and to feel comfortable on the purchase. I think you are right pulling away if you aren’t sure. There may be another property that is better for you, maybe one with an extra bedroom or a back yard that’s in a different location or that needs more work.
Post # 4
It’s definitely frustrating. Housing costs in major metropolises have soared, outpacing inflating by a lot. Despite the fact that FH and I, togethee, make over 6x what each of our sets of parents did at our age, we can’t afford to buy our childhood homes. -.-
Post # 5
Sounds like my city (Seattle). It really is exhausting considering the demand severely outweighs the supply. There will have to be some things you will have to compromise (commute, size, number of rooms, garage, etc). But the right house will come at the right time. Dont be afraid to be aggressive in your offers. Good luck!
Post # 6
minimalistbeex : That’s my city!
We are looking at all of those factors. There are beautiful homes farther away, but the commute in to work would be challenging. I think we are starting to be more open minded.
Post # 7
I tried to buy a condo in Seattle last year. After making one offer, 50K over list for a one bedroom, I lost by 40K and was scared away. People here are insane. My coworkers who got houses just literally bid, bid, bid until they won
Post # 8
I feel you, girl. We have yet to find anything that we like more than our current apartment so we are taking a break from looking. It’s too discouraging. Best of luck, I hope you find something you love (in your price range) very soon!
Post # 9
My fiance and I are getting married August 2018 and we were house hunting for several months in a super hot real estate market too. I was 99% close to giving up on getting a house because houses in my city were going for high 400s for a small crappy old homes due to demands exceeding supplies. We unexpected found a place that checks all the boxes we want (mostly what I want — close to downtown, new built, large square footage, good layout) but we had to increase our budget by 200K. I almost backed out several times because of the cost but my fiance did the math to show me what we can afford for mortgage and show me the pro/cons of buying a house vs continuing to rent down the road.
Basically, if you’re still unsure, don’t make an offer. It seemed like you are still unsure of what you’re looking for in a house due to cost and competition. One of the first thing I did was determined exactly what area I want to be in and I also had a backup area if I get priced out in my first chosen area. Then my fiance and I decided on a price range that we’re comfortable with. I wanted to go as low as we can but my fiance is ok with top of our budget for the right place (which we did). One way my fiance reassured me on the cost was that he worked out all of our money to show me that even at top of our budget, we can still live comfortable after paying mortgage. That really helped me with not backing out because of the high cost. Lastly, we discussed what kind of place we want. We both wanted a low maintenance place so houses with big yards are out. We do not like condos because we don’t want to have neighbors above/under us like in apartment. So we looked for a neighborhood in our city that has this urban concept where you live in individual houses with small yard (less than 10 sqft of grass yards) — basically town houses like in the east coast.
By figuring out these 3 factors helped us finally found a place after months of searching and me almost giving up on getting a house. Most important, don’t rush to put in an offer for a place you’re not comfortable or happy with just because of cost and competition. I’m so glad I did not do that when I was so desperate just to get a house in a competitive seller market. We close on our house next week and I’m so glad house hunting is over for us and we have a place that checks all the boxes that we want.
Post # 10
gigilau89 : That was super helpful. We are slowly learning too what we are okay with and not okay with, but with things going so quickly and inventory so low, it’s hard to catch our breath and figure out what we are prepared to accept. We have agreed to up our comfortable price range by $100k too, but it doesn’t change the types of opportunities in the area we’d like by a significant margin.
I’m so happy you were able to find the place that was right for you! Gives me hope that the right house is out there waiting. Have to be patient..
Post # 11
- Wedding: September 2017 - Pearson Convention Centre
Try making a list of all of your must haves and narrow it down to a few locations that might make your search easier and not so stressful
Post # 12
bridetobe2018 : small world!! We bought our house about a year and a half ago right before the market got super crazy. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions. I have lots of great resources if you need!
Post # 13
Hey bee, sounds like a sucky time. 🙁 I’ve heard plenty of stories about the Seattle housing market. Fiance and I are closing on our house TOMORROW (ahhh) but in our case, house had been sitting on the market for nearly six months and we were the first and only offer. As you might guess, market is not very hot here (despite home prices creeping up in recent years).
However, I originally hail from the Bay Area, which is arguably worse than Seattle. The horrific housing scene is one of the primary reasons that I stayed in the Rust Belt after college. A few years ago, some friends of ours lucked out with a short sale on a condo in a bleak industrial neighborhood (that has since become the new hotness and is being built up like crazy). It was a drawn out and relatively difficult process, but they got a pretty good deal for the area. They were desparate to get a place after having been Ellis Act evicted from their apartment and resorting to living with parents in south bay and enduring a hellish commute. They said the best thing about homeowning was that they couldn’t get evicted. Even so, they paid three times as much for small loft condo than we did for a huge six bedroom Victorian.
I’d probably have nervous breakdowns on the reg if I had to buy in a crazy hot market. Good luck!
Post # 14
House hunting in any metro area suuuucks. We live in Australia and were living in a major city where we rented. It was expensive and we’d have no hope of buying any time soon… Coupled with the fact we hated living there.
We made the decision to move country. Four hours away from where we lived. We both have jobs close to home, lovely people in town, affordable housing and such little traffic!! We’ve just bought our first home – we put the sold sign up yesterday.
The process was daunting and overwhelming at times. Like PPs have said, work out what is important and a must and what is a non essential item. A close commute might be ideal, but your backyard may end up needing to be small because of your budget. Or you could get a larger house and land but longer travel time. It’s all about what’s important and what you will or won’t compromise on.
For cost, that’s the really intimidating part. Going into debt is scary but most people out there have a mortgage. Don’t borrow beyond your means, be realistic and as easy as it is to be tempted to bid/offer more than what you set out for… Don’t. This bubble won’t last forever so set yourself up for a realistic plan.
Post # 15
My husband closed on a condo a month after we met for $360k and we sold it 3 years later for $499k, this allowed us to build a home where we are starting a family in a top 10 school district. I think buying condo for the two of you and then selling when you grow out of it is the right idea, that way you build up equity and can afford a larger home later on; as long as you are not selling it within a year of buying you are good!
Look for something that is suitable for the both of you and a baby since you want to family plan in 3-5 years, dont even worry about the school district right now since you can move once that becomes a priority.