Post # 16
Ugh. Reading this is freaking me out. We put an offer in on a house yesterday, waiting to hear today. There is already one offer in and our market is pretty competitive, but not quite as crazy as what everyone else here is dealing with! This is such a crazy, stressful time! Anway, no advice, just comiseration 😉
Post # 17
desertgypsy : Good luck!!!! The waiting is the worst part, here’s to hoping you get positive news!
Post # 18
beevincent18 : Thanks! It is the first house we have seen that I didn’t just straight up hate, and when we walked in I got all tingly! So even if it falls through it is good to know there are houses out there that aren’t terrible lol! And the house number is 311 and yesterday was 3/11 so we figured it was a sign!
Post # 19
My husband and I just went through the same thing. The housing market is crazy where we are as well. We saw sooo many houses that came off the market in just a day or two after they were listed. But we finally got one! It had an open house on a Friday and a Saturday so we knew that there were going to be multiple offers. This is what ended up working for us. We put in an offer at asking price, but we wrote the sellers a really heartfelt letter about how we loved their home and how we could see and feel how much they had loved it and that we would be honored to start our life together and build new memories in their house. We made a personal connection to them (talked about raising our own future children their, they had cats and we had cats, etc.) We heard from their agent that the letter made them cry and that’s why they chose us. They actually had two slightly higher offers, but picked us based on our letter. Never underestimate the emotional connection people have to their homes! I’d try writing a letter next time and see if that helps!
Post # 20
Darling Husband and I bought a house about 2 years ago and we’re also in a super hot market. We were hearing all these horror stories about buying a house and, luckily, we offered on a house that had just been backed out of by someone else. So, we slipped through the cracks on that one. We paid just under the price it was listed at, but I think that was partially due to the seller being afraid since they hadn’t been able to get through the sale with the other party.
Our other friends in the area bought a very nice house without ever SEEING the place in person. That’s how hot the market is in our area. I think it was the 7th or 8th house they bid on, but it’s perfect for them!
It’s a hard market to buy in, but you’d much rather be paying toward a mortgage than to rent. Success happens, just try not to get too attached until you have the deed signed! Good luck!
Post # 21
imsandradee : tip: DO NOT overpay. You will likely not get the money back or it might not even appraise at that. And skipping a home inspection is no bueno- I did that once, will never EVER do it again, rookie mistake.
Better to wait when the market is better if you do not have to buy now. What’s the rush to paying a mortgage every month and upkeep on a house? Purchasing a house is a HUGE investment. Take your time.
Good luck to you.
Post # 22
We bought a For Sale by Owner (where the owner had a finance company they were comfortable using for us to finance). I found dealing with a real person less stressful than dealing with the whole real estate thing.
Post # 23
I live in the SF area and it took 4-5 months of looking (saw 50+ houses) and 5 rejected offers. All of our offers were over asking- anywhere from $10k to $30k. We typically lost because someone was willing to pay $10k+ more with no inspections. When we found the house that we ended up with we decided to bid pretty competitively and included a buyer’s letter. Someone had offered about $5k more, but the other terms of our offer were better so they asked us to pay $5k more and we said yes. Fortunately our inspection did not find anything awful and we are now happy homeowners. It is exhausting, but keep going.
Post # 24
Are you open to looking in other neighborhoods? When we were looking, we looked at a hot up-and-coming neighborhood 10 miles east of downtown. It was a full year of failure where we were once outbid by $100k cash for a house in such a sorry state that it would have needed new wiring and didn’t even have AC. We were about to give up but somebody suggested a neighborhood 10 miles west of downtown that I hadn’t even heard of. And that was the jackpot. We got the first house we bid on, under asking, and a lot more house for less than we were originally budgeting on.
I had a friend with a less dramatic experience regarding neighborhoods. He was originally looking in a particular neighborhood and drove past this duplex on a way to a showing that this realator never brought up. It didn’t show up in his internet searches either, even though it was only 3 blocks away. Because it was on the wrong side of this street, the duplex was considered part of a worse neighborhood. The whole area was gentrifying anyways so he went and bought it for less than what he was originally looking to pay and with a lot less drama.
Post # 25
imsandradee : Best of luck, and try to be patient — it can take some time and a month really isn’t all that long! My husband and I bought in San Francisco last fall; we were looking for about 3 months but those were a really intense 3 months of sometimes multiple days of house viewing a week. The market here is totally insane; most houses in the city go for 20-50% over asking and it basically seems like a free-for-all with people just throwing cash at these places.
What I would suggest – look at what houses are actually selling for, not the asking price. You’ll start to get a sense of price per square foot based on the house’s location, age, general condition, etc. And that’s what you should use to make your offer. You may find you need to make compromises on what you were originally seeking – we certainly did. Decide where you can compromise (location? square footage? # of bathrooms?)
A buyer’s ‘love letter’ is a good idea, though in a REALLY competitive market it won’t make a difference. The house we ultimately got, we were one of 9 offers and received a counter-offer because of our realtor’s good relationship with that particular selling agent. A well-connected realtor familiar with the market and other players is a huge asset.
Post # 26
Oh my god you have to bid on your properties??? What’s the point in that?? In the uk the asking price is pretty much the maximum you pay! Normally you get it for under and there’s a massive housing shortage
Post # 27
We live in a very rural area and homes are literally on the market for a couple days and they’re nabbed up. We’ve been looking for months and finally found one, on a dirt road surrounded by cornfields. We figured that being so rural there wouldn’t already be an offer. WRONG! It was on market for 2 days and had an offer. We were in a bidding war but the seller accepted our offer. So it’s def a HOT MARKET and when the time is right you’ll get your home!
Post # 28
We just put an offer in on Thursday and it was accepted yesterday, for a few thousand below asking price! We were shocked! It is a super hot market right now, my tip is to get in QUICK. I have scoured the local real estate website and checked back multiple times per day. ( I had it down to knowing that they update the site with the day’s new postings around 1:25 pm every day… and again around 4 pm… so I would check back at almost exactly those times… I kid you not.)
As soon as you see something you like, call your real estate agent and try and get a showing as soon as you possibly can. Weekdays are best because less people will be looking at houses during the week due to other commitments. We saw our house the day that it was listed, and put an offer that same day, about an hour later. The sellers were supposed to have an open house today so we wanted to get in before then. Also, if possible try and avoid going to look at houses that are listed as “waiting to be presented offers until a certain date”, because then obviously you are competing with many other people and will likely have to pay above asking price. My brother and his girlfriend have put offers on 4 different houses now and keep losing because the houses have multiple offers and keep selling way above asking price.
Another tip is to check your local Kijiji/ craigslist. I’ve seen quite a few cute houses pop up on there and not too many people think to check sites like that, but private sales can work to your advantage in this market. A few weekends ago, we went to an “open house” listed on Kijiji by a private seller, and we were the only people to go through. It must not have gotten any attention, because we saw the same house up on the real estate website 2 weeks later listed for 30,000 more than what they were asking when they were selling private!
Good luck!! You will find something and as the spring market rolls around there will be more selection so less competition I believe!