In June of 2020 we decided to talk to our mortgage lender and see how much house we could afford, if we were to decide that it was the right time to buy. We went through that process and all throughout were just casually browsing homes in our area. Then in July, we found a gorgeous house in our city, that was investor owned, and currently listed for rent. It was a beautiful Spanish style house set on 4 acres, close to all the amenities and the best part- every square inch needed to be renovated. Basically, my dream house. Through an unbelievable set of circumstances we were actually able to tour the house and put an offer on it to potentially buy it. We were eventually told we either needed to up our offer, or the property would stay as a rental. Long story short we weren’t willing to come up, and they weren’t willing to come down, and we didn’t end up buying the house.
After going through that experience, we felt we were ready to get a little more serious about house hunting. Which was just in time for the market to get real slow and inventory to drop. Properties were few and far between all through the fall and winter. We looked at a house in September that we didn’t end up offering on because we felt the price was too high for how much work it needed. Then in November there was a house that we reached out to set up a showing on, but it was as good as sold already after a nice long 36 hours on the market.
By February I was frustrated. By March I was half hoping the market was going to pick up and half convinced we would never find another house to move to. Then in April, we finally found a house we wanted to go see! This one was a split level (which I said I would never buy), with a 2 car garage (which we both said was a deal breaker), set on 2.5 acres in the middle of our current city. The land was gorgeous and it was tucked into a small neighborhood that we didn’t even know existed. The house had a lot of great potential. We got excited, made an offer, and started cleaning our house to put on the market. A couple days later we got a text that our offer was…rejected. We were sad but, we ended up getting a call back a couple days later saying the initial offer fell through and asking if we still wanted ours on the table. YES! After a couple more days of deliberation on the homeowners part…we got rejected a second time.
We were sad, but at the same time it kicked my house cleaning and organizing butt into high gear. It was like for the first time I realized if we actually had an accepted offer, we would only have a few days to get our house ready for market. It was a wake up call for sure!
A few weeks later we found a third prospective house, so we set up a showing. This one was a huge farmhouse style two story with a large wrap around porch on a little over an acre, one city over from our current one. The house itself had some unfinished projects and quirks and the yard needed some major TLC, but it was in a fantastic neighborhood and the lot had mature trees! We really liked the house and the property so we put in a strong offer and waited to hear back. We were confident our offer would get accepted but then a few days later we heard that the seller went with a different one. It was discouraging to say the least.
One hard thing we were coming to realize is that in this market, people were literally selling their homes and living in temporary housing while they house hunt to avoid having a contingency of selling their home on their offer. They were foregoing home inspections to avoid that contingency as well. They were also placing offers on homes almost 40k-50k over the list price. It was insanity! We had multiple contingencies attached to our offers which seemed like it was making them hard to get accepted. Despite that, we kept going on our house hunting journey.
Yet another few weeks later we found lucky house number four! It was a beautiful modified two story with vaulted ceilings, tons of windows and natural light, on 2.5 acres just 3 miles from our current house. We toured it and despite the fact that every single bathroom only had pedestal sinks, we fell in love. It was priced to move so we offered more on this house than the other three, we threw out as many contingencies as we could, we even added in clauses to make our offer more appealing, anything that we could do to make sure that we ended up in this house, we were doing it. And it finally paid off! HA. Just kidding. We did get a nice email though letting us know that we were “right up there” with the offer they did pick which, you know, was almost as good as an accepted offer.
So, to sum up thus far, it was now the end of June and we had 4 rejected offers and 0 houses under contract.
The same day we had gone and toured lucky house number four, a different new “coming soon” listing had appeared. It wasn’t going to be on the market for almost another 3 weeks. There were 4 pictures of the yard/driveway and the list price was the tippity top of our price range. With most houses selling for way above list price, I figured it wasn’t even really worth considering. The property did look really appealing though. Three weeks go by and I see the listing come up as active. I pull up the pics just because I’m curious and because spending all my time on MLS Online is now my favorite hobby. It was a 90’s built modified two story, vaulted ceilings, unfinished basement, on almost 4 beautiful, wooded acres.
The next week, I’m hanging out on the MLS and I see this house is still Active; not active contingent, not pending, seemingly still for sale. At this point, if a house is still for sale with zero offers after eleven days (especially in our area), something is wrong. Either the house is completely awful, overpriced, or both. I show the house to Zac and he takes a look. I tell him I want to go see it and he tells me if it’s still available by the weekend, we can set up a showing. I texted our realtors to see if it was actually still on the market with zero offers and they confirm, so we set up a weekend showing.
The next day we find another house that just came on the market that we were also interested in. It was a smaller house built in the sixties on a larger property that backs up to a river! Thinking there might be potential to do a lot split and fix up the house, we set up a showing for this house the same day as the other one.
That weekend we head out to see the houses. We like both of them, but after finding out there’s no potential to split the lot on the sixties fixer, we decided to pass on that one and put an offer on the 90’s built house. We offered under asking, and had three contingencies attached – kind of unheard of in the market at that point. We waited a day, received a counteroffer, and eventually went under contract! We couldn’t believe it! It was a literal miracle.
We had to wait a long 90 days to close and the waiting period wasn’t without a few hiccups that threatened to push our closing date out even further, but eventually we made it to closing day, signed the papers and got the keys to our new place! Looking back it’s easy to say that all the rejected offers were worth it because this house checks more boxes for us than all the other ones we offered on. When you’re in it though, it’s hard. It felt like every day I went online, I would see someone else moving into a new house, or I would show up at work and my co-workers were going through moves and I would get down on the fact that we hadn’t found a place yet. I would try not to get my hopes up and then still end up in tears after every rejected offer – it was really hard. All that to say, I’m so happy and relieved to finally be through the other side of this process. I truly believe that God worked everything in His perfect timing to get us into our new home. We’re so blessed to be here and can’t even believe that it’s ours! I have so many wheels turning already about all the different projects I want to accomplish here and am really excited to make this house feel even more like us than our last place. You’ll just have to wait and see it. 🙂
Thanks for reading,