Is buying a home harder than finding a mate?
Ben and Diane’s story is not unlike any other people their age. Both are young professionals with a lot going on and their work is dominated by their jobs. They spend much of their time at the office and do not have many opportunities for socializing or meeting other people their age unless of course, they happen to meet at work. And while some of the workplace rules that pertain to dating may have eased over the years, it can still be a policy best left to “don’t ask, don’t tell”.
So these days finding the right relationship can be as easy and quick as swiping right, which is exactly how they met and their “I” became a “we”, and the merger was on.
I met them at a recent Open House where I learned their story and soon began to hear about the frustration they were experiencing as home buyer wannabes. They had made a few offers which were not accepted. They were outbid, out financed, out negotiated and just plain out maneuvered. They had their sites set on a particular style of home. They were also realistic, knowing that this was their first home and they wanted to buy in Pasadena. They knew that many of the boxes on their “must have” list would be changed to wants, and eventually to… be nice if it had it.
Which it doesn’t. It’s hard to buy your dream house even if you have $700,000 to spend.
If you thought finding the perfect mate was difficult, have you tried buying a house lately?
Buying Demand is High
In a society where we seek to satisfy our need for instant gratification, one desire that still remains elusive and probably will for a long tome is the quest for homeownership. With housing demand still high and desirable inventory low, the competition for new listings is keen. Open houses are full of visitors and listing agents are receiving an abundance of multiple offers. Many houses are entering escrow within the week.
Cash offers have made financing obsolete, and a 30-day escrow has become a memory. Contingencies have been eliminated and inspections take place within a couple of days and closing is reduced to the time it takes the escrow company to obtain a pay-off statement from the bank.
Used to be when you made an offer on a house and received a counter offer, the negotiation process would include a number probably higher than the one submitted. Numbers have been replaced with phrases such as “highest and best” or an escalation clause.
While this is not indicative of all homes for sale, it is frequently happening on newer listings that are very desirable and competitive. Desirability can encompass location, character elements, pricing, neighborhood, condition and a list of any other features important to the buyer.
Go Ugly and Go Home
If you find yourself in this group and chasing every new listing that comes on the market, you probably think the situation is hopeless.
However, there is an alternative.
You just have to find the house that nobody else has wanted. They do exist so instead of looking at houses that have been on the market for seven days, look at the ones that have been on for thirty days. These can offer great value and also provide the opportunity for you to add your own custom touches and create value.
But just because home ownership remains elusive for many the process of searching for a home does not have to be.
Listed below are some of the links we have set up for the most popular home searches in Pasadena. Hopefully, this will make your home search a little easier: