We just received the email from our agent notifying us that our offer was accepted! We’re not telling anyone in person until we get the clear to close, so I figured I’d get some of my initial excitement out through a reddit post.
Pre-search: We have been renting a 2 bed, 2.5 bath condo for the last 4 years. We initially started casually looking at houses last February. We quickly realized we would need to start saving agressively to afford the type of home we wanted. In addition, my partner’s employer reacted to Covid very poorly, so we decided we would wait for him to secure a new job then wait 3 months to settle in before buying. He started his new job in March and we picked up the search soon after knowing that it could take some time. Coincidentally, our landlord informed us of her plans to sell the condo we’re renting that same week. She’s very kind, so she said she would give us flexibility, but it definitely put some pressure on the search.
Search: Our search range was a broad region in southeast PA. We set a very wide set of criteria in terms of house requirements. 3+ beds, 2+ baths, 2000+ square feet. Other than that, we were open to fixer uppers, new construction, or anything in between. The key factor for us was to have enough property to afford us some privacy. We set it at minimum 0.5 acres. Max price 575k with 5% down conventional loan.
We viewed probably 25-30 homes in person with our agent between March 29th and June 1st. All offers ended up being houses built between 1950 and 1985 in well maintained condition, but not fully updated.
Lost offers: 1) List: 519,000 — Offer: 551,000 — Waived all contingencies except appraisal
2) List: 475,000 — Offer: 512,500 — Waived all contingencies except appraisal — Additional: 12,500 appraisal gap coverage, pay for seller’s transfer tax.
3) List: 500,000 — Offer: 535,000 — Waived contingencies except septic inspection and appraisal — Additional: 15,000 appraisal gap coverage
Accepted Offer: List: 525,000 — Offer: 562,000 — Inspection for informational purposes and appraisal contingency — Additional: will pay seller’s transfer tax and we had our mortgage broker call the seller’s agent when we put our offer in.
Ultimately, I feel really fortunate. The search was really stressful at times, but we never got to a point where we felt tempted to over-extend ourselves. Yes, we were waiving inspections, but we were bringing a family member along to showings who has experience renovating houses. It’s not the same as an inspection, but it gave is reassurance. While we would never do this in normal circumstances, the market is what it is.
As you can see, our offers were all somewhat similar. We don’t know what pushed us over the edge this time, but we think having our mortgage guy call the agent helped. Another possible factor is that the first 3 houses followed the normal schedule for our area which is to list Thursday, hold open houses Saturday/Sunday, best offers deadline by Monday night. The house we have an accepted offer on was listed the Tuesday after Memorial Day and they set an offer deadline of Thursday at 5pm. This in theory limited the number of offers that we were competing against.
Anyway, I hope this information is helpful to someone out there. Wish us luck as we begin the arduous process ahead of us to settle on our new home!