Guest Blog From A Homebuyer & A JVM Manager
Below is a guest blog by our long-time Marketing Director, Lindsey Hansen.
She wanted to share what she went through to buy a home so frustrated buyers everywhere will know they are not alone.
And, more importantly, so buyers know that they should hang in there.
In early 2020, my long-time boyfriend and I decided we’d start seriously looking to buy our first home in January 2021.
We thought we’d wait for the market to soften a bit, but it went in the other direction, and we ended up bidding in the most competitive market in history.
So, my first piece of advice is to not wait for a less competitive market because … it might never come.
I’ve been employed by the best mortgage lender in the biz for the past 8 years (if I don’t say so myself 😊).
So I had always assumed that when the time came, buying would be a pretty straightforward process, considering all my inside connections and the general mortgage expertise I’m surrounded by on a daily basis.
But, the market is brutal even for us “insiders.”
Anyway, this is how the first 2.5 months of this year panned out for us trying to buy a home in the SF Bay Area:
• House Offer #1: We were up against 15 other offers and didn’t get the home. It sold for $115k over list price.
• House Offer #2: We were up against 18 other offers and didn’t get the home. It sold for $125k over list price.
• House Offer #3: We were up against 16 other offers and didn’t get the home. It sold for $100k over list price.
• House Offer #4: We were up against 28 other offers and didn’t get the home. It sold for $100k over list price.
• House Offer #5: We were up against 14 other offers and FINALLY GOT OUR OFFER ACCEPTED.
For every single offer we made, we 1) had an airtight pre-approval letter from our lender; 2) offered the fastest close possible; 3) offered seller rent-backs; 4) removed all contingencies; 5) had the best loan terms; 6) planned for appraisal shortfalls (as they were sure to happen); 7) had our lender call the listing agent to tout our buying strength, 8) had our stellar real estate agent working every possible angle, and 9) were prepared to meet a counter offer from the sellers.
We basically did everything a buyer could do – outside of paying all cash.
BUT – this should NOT discourage anyone from trying to buy too because we did finally get a home because we hung in there and just kept trying – even though we were pretty discouraged at times.
And that is the primary point of this blog.
Yes, the market is insane, and yes it is very frustrating to lose out in bidding wars over and over when you’re giving it your all, but the right house will eventually show up.
Inventory is tight, but not non-existent.
With the right agent (and mine was excellent) and the right lender (also not too bad 😊), everyone can find a home they will love.
And yes, even us “insiders” go through the same frustrations and disappointments that buyers outside the industry endure.
P.S. We were not worried about overpaying or the market correcting for two reasons: (1) we wanted a home of our own no matter what; and (2) I edit Jay’s blogs every day, so I know that Inventory Issues and Demographic Trends Make a 2008 Type Correction Very Unlikely; that inflation will make my mortgage an asset; that housing is a great inflation hedge; that looming inflation makes it likely that future prices will only be higher; and that Fed policies and money supply increases make continued appreciation all but inevitable.