The Pitfalls of House Hunting

When I bought my home in New Hampshire, I had bad credit (thanks to my ex-husband) and had to settle for the least horrible house I could afford. So when I began house-hunting in Florida I was looking forward to being able to choose a nice home. I pictured house-hunting as a fun opportunity. It didn’t really turn out that way.

Here are the problems I’ve run into.

Without a knowledgable friend or partner to lend advice, I am still on my own when it comes to discerning a good house from one that should be passed by. As is the case always, I am alone in my decisions. But not quite. My son and I are buying this house together so his thoughts had to be taken into consideration. He knows nothing about home buying and ownership, whereas I do. He is not looking at the possible problems, just the parts of the house he likes.

One house seemed really great, or should I say the land the house sat on was great. The house itself was not impressive. In fact it seemed a bit neglected. I didn’t want a house with problems, and I could foresee work. We went and looked at the place twice, and we loved the land, and location, but by the second visit, I knew I did not want to live in that house. And it was overpriced.

Then we found another that was a two-story home.  That type is fairly rare in Florida.  We went to see that one twice also. I felt like I had those two guys on my shoulders – you know, the angel and the devil, fighting back and forth. One second I loved the place and wanted it, and the next I was saying no way. We passed on that one too, for numerous reasons, and I don’t regret it.

So I thought to myself, “look at the place twice because that is when you will know”.

Some homes were immaculate.  They looked like a photo shoot for a magazine.  Some homes were full of clutter and junk.  One was a combination of both.  Seriously, this place was as neat as a pin inside, but the outdoors and garage were a mess.  Neat wife vs. slob husband?

We had a big disappointment when we looked at a house that ended up already being under contract. I don’t know if my Realtor just didn’t know about the contract when she showed it to us, or if it was a coincidence that we both (buyers) liked the same house at the same time and they put in an offer first.

When my son and I viewed the house we thought it was very nice, but we weren’t feeling like “this is it”. We talked about it over the weekend, and the more we talked about the house, the more we loved it. It was perfect. Monday I called to make an offer and that is when we discovered it was off the market. WHAT?

House hunting was no longer fun.  We had lost.  I discovered that it’s tough to come back from that. All we wanted was that house. We had talked ourselves into it, and we were ready to live there. Our desire to look at houses waned. We just didn’t see anything that lived up to that perfect home… the one that would belong to someone else!  My son kept looking for it, hoping it would show back up for sale.

Our Realtor kept sending houses for me to view, like a good Realtor should. I kept ignoring them. Nothing was as nice as the house we lost.  But we needed to move, and soon.  Finally, one day a house she sent caught my eye. We didn’t have high hopes, but the place was nice, and a bit unique. And it had all the room we needed, and it wasn’t too old. It wasn’t perfect, but close enough for what we needed. We could work with it.  We put in an offer.  Now we are waiting to sign the papers and move in.

Our house-hunting is over (barring any unforeseen events) and I am relieved.
By the way, my idea of viewing a house twice before deciding ended up not working. We saw our new home only once and knew it was for us.

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