HGTV made me think house hunting was going to be so fun. It is not fun. House hunting blows.
Let me tell you why –but first, a preface!
I’m Generation Y. A millennial. My expenditures on frivolities, such as avocados to smooth over toast, have made it difficult to come up with the funds to purchase a home. The economy and rapidly increasing cost of living compared to the slower increase in national wages has also not helped. To boot, I gtfo out of school as soon as I had my Associate’s in general education, whatever that major even means.
So, between my own lack of academic ambition and the economic times, I am beyond lucky to be in a position to be house hunting at all. I want to make it clear that, though I do have (many) complaints about the process, I am grateful and happy I get to look for a house.
My situation is apparently not uncommon.
I am told the price range I can afford is the most popular in my area. And, of course, the areas I’m looking in are also popular. On top of that, there are very few houses in this range being put on the market at this time.
This means the moment a nice house in a decent subdivision at an affordable price is uploaded to house hunting sites, eight hundred girls just like me grab their realtor by the balls and drag them to the property, clogging those already congested pop up neighborhood roads. For most of these houses, I’ve waited in line behind one or two other house hunters, some of whom have been equipped with measuring tape and a dozen of their spawn.
And I get it. They probably need a house quicker than I do. Gotta have bedrooms for all those kids. Gotta be near the decent schools. Maybe they’re moving out to the ‘burbs and needawantagottahava house right now.
I try to be patient, waiting outside in the tepid North Carolina heat among their 16-seater SUVs that won’t even fit in the garages. I pretend to be interested in the sloping, tight back yards and the featureless backs of these plastic homes as my realtor attempts to keep me entertained in the meantime. I imagine trying to mow these lawns, and how much money I can spare to hire someone else to do it for me.
The longer I wait for the other potential buyers to get out of my way, the more bitter I feel. I imagine them slapping down $10k over the already ratcheted price. Using a conventional loan to buy it. Putting down 20% so that my USDA loan offer makes the seller laugh uproariously as they swirl wine in a crystal glass.
“She can’t be serious,” they’ll say. “She’s only offering asking price? What a joke! And she wants help with closing costs? How quaint!”
The house hunting itself is not much smoother.
There are three types of houses:
1. Perfect unaffordable house that either gets nabbed before I can look at it, or I’m outbid on.
2. Okay house I can afford but don’t want because the flooring is hideous and I don’t have money to replace the 80s laminate countertops in the kitchen.
3. WTF are these stains? Is this to code? How many cats live here? Is that a litter box under the coffee table?
So, the search continues. My realtor reassures me I’ll find the perfect house, but I can’t help but wonder if I’ll just get outbid when it does come along!
Have you been house hunting lately? What was your experience? If you scored the house, how’d you do it?