Honestly, I wasn’t really expecting to write this post, as I was hoping I would have better news to share. However, things don’t always go as expected, as we all know. Paul and I have been house hunting all summer in hopes to find our next home. Many people have asked why we would move since our house now is perfectly fine, and so I thought I’d give you the 411 in case you were wondering, too.
Re Our House Now
As I said, we love our house. The open floor-plan, the style, the design is everything that works for us now. Since we don’t have kids we don’t exactly need more bedrooms, but we like to think ahead. We bought this house with the notion of it being our “starter home,” which allowed us the opportunity to really figure out what we want in our “family home.” Since this is our first house, we didn’t exactly know things we would and wouldn’t want in a house, but now we do. After living here for over 2 years we feel pretty confident that our list of requirements in our next house will make us very happy for the next 10(?) years. That’s not to say that this house isn’t great; in fact, if we could pick up our house, move it to our dream location and expand, we would 1000% do it. The bones of this house are great.
The House Hunting Process
One of Paul’s hobbies in life is to browse the real estate market. I get, no joke, at least 3 houses sent to me each day. Literally the day we moved into our house he was still sending me houses. He claims it’s so we “know what’s out there,” but it’s a bit excessive. Basically, what I’m trying to say, is we are always looking. But, we go about things a bit differently when we are REALLY looking. Recently we have been hitting open houses each Sunday, which you have seen glimpses of on my IG Stories. If you don’t know anything about The Valley and / or real estate, in a nutshell, there is slim pickins. Inventory is low and prices are high.
Ideally we would LOVE to buy a home that is priced to be a fixer-upper and spend the next couple years creating our dream home. While we don’t have kids Paul & I think it would be a really fun project for us to tackle together. It really helps that we are on the same page about style, too. However, what we are finding are homes that ARE fixer-uppers but priced like a home that is fully done. Kind of an issue…
After spending the entire summer searching for a house, we came across TWO that we loved. The price was right-ish, the bones were good, they were mid-century modern, and we could envision our life there for the next 10 years. Sold.
The 2 Houses We Put Offers On
Well, unfortunately, we didn’t get either house. Here’s what happened.
The First House: We saw this house right before we left for Italy (for 2 weeks). I had initially written it off before even walking in due to the poor pictures online, but after spending an entire hour in the house, silently plotting everything we could do, it was decided. We had to put an offer on it. It was the perfect home for us, but not perfect timing, as we were leaving for a big trip. This caused us major anxiety and stress. BUT, we have a habit of buying houses in the middle of major life events (last time we moved in on my bridal shower, and then headed off to Greece to get married…), so it was almost a sign to me that it was right.
While in Italy we pushed the house out of our minds so we could enjoy our trip. There was nothing we could really do about it so we just let it be. There ended up being multiple offers on this house and our offer was accepted as a “backup offer.” There was still hope. After a couple weeks into escrow (inspections, loan contingencies, etc.), we were notified that they closed. We didn’t get it. I was bummed but not completely gutted. I knew there would be more houses.
Sidenote, this house was the one I posted on my IG Stories with the beautiful bathroom that overlooked the lush backyard. It has SUCH potential. Image below.
The Second House: This one was special. It was a beautiful 1960’s mid-century home that was everything we were looking for in our fixer-upper. This time we were home, prepared, and a little more eager than last time. Unfortunately, so were 12 other people. Clearly we have a pretty good eye, as every home we pick (including the one we are in now) always ends up in a bidding war. This house got us both really excited, but I know not to get emotionally invested right away.
The only thing I can really say is this, we gave it our best shot. We went to the very top of our budget as we competed against 6 other offers that were countered, including us. When the words “best & final” come your way it’s very frustrating. You don’t want to OVER shoot the price, but you also want to show how motivated you are. In the end, our counter offer was the best we could do and unfortunately it was not accepted. Not getting this house really bummed us out, but I know it just wasn’t meant to be.
I have to keep that kind of mindset during house hunting. It’s very easy to get excited and ahead of yourself with grand plans, but there’s always a chance that it falls through, which is why I can’t get too attached. In the process of buying our current house I was in tears every day–too many plans, emotions, road blocks, arguments, money, etc. This time around I’m remaining a bit more distant so I don’t bring on unnecessary stress. We are still actively looking, and once we do close on a house we plan to put our current house up for sale. Since I feel very connected with you guys, I felt like I owed you all an update. With the holidays coming up I feel like we will be very distracted with family and events so we will most likely find our dream home in 2018. Hopefully!