You can find our House Hunting series on YouTube!
The last few blog posts were focused on how we were preparing for the homebuying process and now it’s time to take some action! Time to submit our very first offer on a house!
If you haven’t checked out my latest blog posts sharing about our home-buying journey in New England, I’ll have the links listed below. This entry is Part 4: Submitting Our First Offer On a House, stay tuned for:
Part 1: We’re Homeowners
Part 2: How to Find the Perfect Realtor
Part 3: Our House Hunting Checklist: How to Find Your Dream Home
Part 4: Submitting Our First Offer On a House!
Part 5: Offer Accepted! Now We Wait...
On Sunday, March 21st, we officially decided to put down our very first offer on a house! Now do keep in mind that in today’s competitive housing market, just because you put down an offer on a house, doesn’t mean it’ll get accepted right away… or at all. We’ve known friends and family members who spend months looking for a house and have made multiple offers before finding the right home.
The Ranch House
At this point, we attended 5 open houses, and drove to 7 different neighborhoods over the last couple of weeks. We saw a house on March 20th, that I’ll call the “Ranch House.” It was a ranch-style home, with 4 bedrooms, 1.5 bathrooms, about 1500 square feet all on one level, and has approximately 0.35 acres of land. The Ranch House wasn’t perfect, and was built in the 1970s (which believe it or not is pretty young compared to some of the other homes we’ve seen that were built in the 1800s or 1700s). Needless to say, it had some cosmetic and structural updates that we would’ve liked to do. But it was also way below our budget, so the potential was absolutely there. It just would’ve required a bit more work on our end to make it feel like home.
On the day that we toured the Ranch House’s open house, we were thinking about submitting an offer… that was up until later that evening when we saw a house (that we toured the week before) go back onto the market. I’ll call this one the “Acre House” because it’s on an actual acre of land!
The Acre House
When we saw the Acre House the previous weekend, it was before we hired our realtor, and before we knew what our budget was. The Acre House was a split-style house, with 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, about 1600 square feet, 3 living levels, and has a little over 1 acre of land. The Acre House sits a little higher on our budget range, but the unfinished basement (which we could later flip for more equity), the open floor plan, and the fact that it doesn’t need as many structural updates, made it the winner for us!
Once we saw that it was back on the market, we immediately called our realtor to inquire why it was back on the market. We attended the open house on March 14th, and by March 15th the house was already contingent. Lucas and I didn’t even have the opportunity to wrap our heads around that house before it went off the market… so the fact that it returned after we had a chance to prepare over the last week, caught our eye right away.
Our realtor shared that the market is so competitive, that there are buyers who are putting down offers on multiple houses at once. It turns out, the buyer had two different offers accepted, so the Acre House ended up being the one they walked away from.
Shortly after, we immediately drafted up our Personal Letter to the Sellers, and then all we had left to do was wait to see what they had to say about our offer that was to be submitted first-thing the next day.
Setting Realistic Expectations
In today’s market, we have heard about buyers offering $20-30,000+ over asking price, paying high down payments, waiving inspections, and all kinds of crazy scenarios. To say the housing market is competitive, is an understatement because it truly is crazy right now. We have also heard that it’s not uncommon to get your first offer denied. We know some friends who have been looking for houses and getting their offers denied for months.
So with all of that expectation setting, we just simply crossed our fingers for a little bit of good luck. We weren’t in a position to offer up to $30,000 over the listing price, and the VA Loan required an inspection, which could’ve hurt our chances if we were up against someone who was willing to waive inspection. VA Loans also typically have a longer closing period depending on which lender you go with, which may also hurt our chances if we’re up against someone who is ready to close as soon as possible.
Knowing that this was our very first offer, we were ready to not get too attached for the sake of guarding our hearts. We fully embraced the mindset that if it’s meant to be, it will happen, and if it’s not meant to be, then we’ll find our house soon.
Will the first offer be our new home? Tune in to the next blog post to find out!
‘Til Part 5,
Storytelling by Gen
Travel diaries from explorations and adventures.