(Closed) First Time Buyer: How many homes did you tour before buying?

posted 4 years ago in Home
Post # 16
624 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: City, State


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larissakay :  

Oh man, we’re probably at the high end of the spectrum, but we looked for about 8 months, and probably walked through 50 homes.  We put in offers on 4 of the homes (including our now home), and ended up getting our offer accepted on 3 of those.

The first house we backed out of before waiving contingencies (we had no idea our offer would be accepted, and how fast it all moves).  The second house we backed out of also when my DH got cold feet, which ended up being a blessing in disguise.  The 3rd offer didn’t get accepted.  4th times a charm!

It’s such a huge decision, and there’s really no guarantee, so we wanted to make sure we got into the right situation for us.  Especially as first time buyers, you have to find a balance that works for you between:

  • location (school district, commute, safety, community, etc.)
  • price
  • amenities (sqft, how many bed/bath, updated, nice kitchen, yard, etc.)

and we found, it’s virtually impossible to have everything you want. However spending as much time as we did looking really helped us establish our must-haves and priorities, and we found a place that’s great for us.  Not as big as we’d like, but great neighborhood with a lot of potential.

good luck!

Post # 18
2090 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

I want to say somewhere between 15 and 20 (minimum). So, I looked at a ton of houses online. We went to see houses, and most were very different from the pics or there were things left out as far as info. For example: washing machine by the kitchen sink, 100 years old, low ceiling while climbing the steps so if you were above 5’6 you would crack your head on it going up the steps… Just to name a few. One house was so filthy and the people were clearly not ready to show it. They squeezed themselves and their dogs into the car so we could see it. We were outta there in like 1.5 minutes. We liked one and made an offer, but it turned out to be a short sale which the owner/realtor left out of the listing.  The realtor kept saying that if I found something I liked, she would show it to us. So, I found some listings and we went and viewed like 7 in a day. We found our house, and I had to rush and make an offer because there were several other people who wanted it. For some reason in my area, it was not easy to find a 2 full bath in our range. So, it was a hot commodity. The kitchen is large, too with marble countertops. We had to bid the full amount of our loan to get it. It still needs work, but we LOVE it! The seller’s realtor held the house for me because I am a military vet, which was SO kind! There were plenty of offers because they had an open house. If you like a house and they have some nice show items set up you can ask to keep them (if you didn’t know that). We kept the dining table, a beautiful painting, and a clock. They also gave us two space heaters. Good luck with everything and it may take time and effort, but you will be so happy once you are in your very own home!

Post # 19
934 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969 - City, State

We looked at THIRTY EIGHT homes in the span of six weeks!  I was so sick of looking at homes by the end of it.  Our realtor said that it wasn’t usual to see that many, but it was worth it when we finally found the one!

Post # 20
136 posts
Blushing bee

2… houses in our community are not put up for sale that often so we bought what we could. We put an offer on the first house but was declined and bought the second months later. I wouldn’t buy our house again if given an option due to the lack of storage space and not true entry way. 

Post # 21
2122 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

One. I don’t recommend it.

Post # 22
9129 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

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larissakay :  we’re in the Boston area so even “starter” homes are very expensive so the demand far outpaces the supply. I live in a highly desirable suburb (thankfully it wasn’t as hot when I bought) and I know of people trying to find an updated 3 bedroom, 2 bath house with a yard and a garage in the $400s. Sorry folks keep dreaming because that doesn’t exist here…

Post # 23
2090 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

I agree with 

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summerlove23 :  You have to figure out your dealbreakers. What you MUST have and what you can let go. I was determined to get 2 full baths, but I was willing to forgo an additional bedroom (but we got it anyway, as they built one in the basement). I was not obsessed with a large amount of square footage, either. We refused to do oil heat, even though there were some great houses with it. We also wanted a driveway (there are a many houses without one, oddly enough). You won’t necessarily find one with everything, but as long as you get what you MUST have, you will find something to meet your needs. We are much closer to my son’s school now, which is a plus!

Post # 24
1646 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Did months of online research on Streeteasy beforehand. Looked at a total of 10. Made offer the same day – we already did our comp analysis upfront so we knew the price we were ready to pay.

Post # 25
1893 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

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larissakay :  Looked at hundreds online, saw 15 before we settled on our house that we purchased. We were actively looking for about 3 weeks, and this was during the time where houses were selling after being on the market for mere hours.

Post # 26
7397 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

We looked at maybe 5 or 6?

I agree that it really depends on your area and what you’re looking for. DH and I were very specific about only being interested in houses of a certain style/price and in a certain area. In our town the inventory back when we bought (over 8 years ago!) was pretty slim. Had we been willing to go one town over we’d have had much more to choose from but we weren’t interested in living in that town nor did we like ANY of the style homes in that town.

The house we ended up buying was one we saw while it was on the market, but way out of our budget. We went to see it just to compare it to others. It then went off the  market but we knew it hadn’t sold (small town) so we reached out to the owners and ended up buying it FSBO.

Post # 27
452 posts
Helper bee

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larissakay :  we toured two before deciding to start a new construction!

Post # 28
4838 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

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larissakay :  we bought our first home in a competitive market. We had so many false starts and ended up in bidding wars by the tonne. We saw more houses than I care to think about. 🙁

I always say to first time buyers…. Keep going you will get there in the end. Going from renter to owner is a scary but rewarding step. We just bought our  ‘next’ home this weekend. The bottom has fallen out of the market in my city…. so it is less competitive but it it was still a nerve inducing process!!!  Weve done it  3 times but I don’t think that feeling ever goes away even as experienced buyers. Bonus this time was that because of the market we were able to get into a better home/area sooner and that the sellers accepted our significantly below asking price first offer.  Always had to negotiate the counter offer process in the past! 

Post # 29
5018 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2017

I think we toured under 10 homes in about two weeks before we found OUR home.

Post # 30
505 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

I toured maybe 20 houses, put offers on 10, got offers accepted on 2, over the course of 6-7 months.

The first house I saw I actually fell in love with, made an offer right away and went into escrow. Unfortunately the appraisal came back too low and they decided not to sell anymore, so back to square 1. Then from there it was about 6 months of searching before I found the one I am in now. I was in a position to be fairly picky, as I lived with my parents after college to save cash, so I was in no rush. I knew the exact neighborhood I wanted and could narrow it down further by the amount of work needing to be done and added amenities. I lost out on a lot of offers I made just because I only put 10% down, and in my neighborhood there were a LOT of people offering all cash! (Btw who  actually has 300,000 in the bank wth..). 

I have to say though, even though it seemed like there was no end in sight and there was a ton of disappointment, I could not be happier in the home I am in now so clearly it worked out how it was supposed to. Good luck!!

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