It’s April y’all.
To be honest, I thought we would have a house by now. You could not have told six-months-ago me that it would have taken this long. I would have regaled you with stories about how I’m historically ahead of the curve on just about everything. Did you know, I finished college at age 20? And that, I was valedictorian of my kindergarten class? And that I made the “Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs” – stuff like that.
Yet none of these experiences prepared me for the formidable odds of purchasing a house as a first time home buyer in Denver. Shocking, I know.
I’ve mentioned before the ridiculous situation we are facing: historic low inventory, rising interest rates, record demand… etcetera. I mean, check out this article entitled: Report: Denver is the worst place in the country to be a first time home buyer. Not like I didn’t know, but still… way to keep it real, Lending Tree!
Nevertheless, it wasn’t until we started working with our new agent last week, that I realized we had been bringing a knife to a gun fight.
I’m not sure when it happened but sometime between looking at the first house on December 15, and mid February, there was a stark shift in attitude among our whole team. We went from “Yay! We’re buying a house!!!” to “Okay, that house checks most of the boxes, should we offer on it?” Not the most positive sounding question, now is it?
One of my favorite professors from college would always say, Negative attitude. Negative experience. That was the knife we brought to the fight: a negative attitude. How’s that kind of thinking going to help us?
I forgot that this was supposed to be an exciting and fun process. I forgot that we are buying our HOME. The place where we will entertain family and friends for YEARS, hold barbecues, raise children (and chickens!), put a Little Free Library in our front yard, and with any luck, chase down the ice cream truck from time to time. It is the beginning of a really big chapter for Fury and me so why were we not excited?
One of my favorite book titles is by best-selling author of the Timmy Failure series, Stephen Pastis. Book one is simply called “Mistakes Were Made.”
I think that sums up the first three months of our house search. Mistakes were made all around. By our agents. By us. By everyone involved in the process (except maybe our lender who has been a total rockstar in all of this). Having a new agent has breathed some much needed fresh air into our house search. She is experienced, pro-active, smart, and most importantly positive.
At the end of our last meeting, she said, “We’ll find you a house!”
I wanted to hug her but if I did, I might have cried. I don’t think I knew how much we needed some positivity.
Like begets like and her attitude made us feel more positive and optimistic. In fact, three days after our meeting we put in another offer. We didn’t get the house (insert super sad face emoji here) but this time I was actually bummed, which believe it or not, is a good thing!
I was always a little relieved when we didn’t win the previous offers. This house was different. The 24 hours between submitting the offer and waiting to hear back was agonizing. I was like a 15 year old girl checking to see if my crush had called. Is my ringer on? What’s my service like? Will she call? Will she email? What color do I want to paint the walls? Should I put a green roof on the garage? When do we start celebrating? When the offer is accepted or when we get through inspection? Why hasn’t she called yet? Does that mean we got it? That we didn’t get it?
In the end, I was disappointed. I LOVED the neighborhood. Cute homes. Walking distance to parks and cool stuff. Kids riding bikes on the street. I really wanted to live there. The house wasn’t perfect – it needed a new roof, new windows, and had weird spaces in the kitchen (one of them which could nicely fit a wine fridge… just sayin). But the house was in decent shape otherwise; it was move in ready and had AirBnB potential, and we could afford it.
There were only 5-8 offers on this house which is way better than the 44 offers on the last house we offered. We’re now in a position to be competitive in a neighborhood we WANT to live in so these days, we’re a lot closer to “Yay! We’re buying a house!!!” instead of “Will this one do?” And finally… FINALLY, I’m super excited about this process. We’re buying a house! EEEEEEKKKK!!