I’m Starting to Question My Decision to Try and Buy a Maine Home
Let me preface this by saying if this comes off whiny, that's not the intent. It's simply a real look inside of the state of real estate right now -- a state that doesn't seem anywhere close to slowing down. And a state that quite honestly feels like a lopsided "fight" for some interested buyers.
And while these specific examples relate to Maine since that's where I'm personally going through them, the fact is this reality no matter you're looking across the country for the most part.
I've been in the hunt to try and buy something for a solid couple of months now, since sometime between the end of January and beginning of February. And I don't mean casually looking -- I'm talking I've been in the hunt for a place. Actively. Feverishly. Checking out multiple properties per week -- sometimes multiple per day, multiple times per week -- since my first meeting with my realtor (who has been PHENOMENAL, by the way.)
I swear, with the market the way it is, if you don't make jokes about constant rejection, you'll cry.
As of this writing, yesterday morning, I just received my eighth rejection on an offer. EIGHTH. Being a first time home buyer, I don't know if that's an above average amount of times to be rejected from offers or not, but it seems pretty high to me. Actually, I guess I should take a quick second to thank the five girls back in senior year of high school who rejected my promposal -- at least they were preparing me for trying to become a homeowner! (Yes, that's a true story, and yes, that was supposed to make you laugh -- I swear, with the market the way it is, if you don't make jokes about constant rejection, you'll cry.)
Obviously, since buying a home is such a huge investment, I do have some standards that I refuse to budge from -- but don't get it twisted, my standards aren't Kardashian-level expectations in the least. Hell, they're barely Tom & Jerry levels of standards.
At least two bedrooms (more is cool, but I'm fine with two). Paved driveway. Good bones. Within a 30-minute radius from the station (considering commuting 60-90 minutes like I am currently on the daily can suck an egg). Preferably not in a high crime or flood area. A yard for my dog would be a bonus, but considering I'm also looking at condos and not just single-family homes, it's not a necessity, it'd just be a bonus. And I'm fine with having to fence in the yard myself.
Like I said, I'm looking at buying a home for the first time, but I'm pretty sure those are low standards. Tons of cosmetic work needed? Cool, I can get to that over time. No yard? All good, I can walk my pup around instead of just opening the door and letting him run around off-leash. I'm not even looking for a garage, which is optimal in New England during winter.
The three homes I've featured in this article are all homes I actually toured, put an offer on, and got rejected on. Not mansion-sized, not perfect but by no means total fixer-uppers, and all offers were above listing. That's like, the new common sense move when it comes to making offers in this market -- come in at listing? Fat chance, cowboy -- you need to go in at least $10K over. And prepared to get rejected even if you come in $35-40K over, too, bub.
I get that it's already an uphill battle because I'm working off a single income. I get that maybe instead of ignoring those DM's from random accounts on social media offering to be my Sugar Mama, I probably should've responded instead of blocking them. But in all seriousness, after eight rejections and countless showings with seemingly no end in sight, I'm at the point where I'm asking myself if it's even worth it anymore.
Is it worth burning through all the gas I'm burning through? Putting all the miles on my truck I'm tacking on? Literally living my life on burn out just so I can turn around and put an offer in, smile at my realtor while she encouragingly tells me that "this is the one!" but knowing full well it's not because someone else will outshine my offer?
Like I said at the start of this -- I'm not whining and I don't want pity. If you're selling your home currently, congratulations in advance on the gold mine you're about to make. But also, good damn luck trying to find something once you sell your home, because it's an absolute uphill battle.
A couple of days ago, one of my co-workers wrote this article about coming to terms with being a Millennial that will likely never own a home. And although it was well-written, it broke my heart to think that that's where her head is at -- that she just doesn't even have any shot in the dark before she's even tried.
But, having going through it in real time, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't starting to feel the same way. And I'm sure others in the hunt for a home echo that statement.
Regardless, though, anyone in the hunt for a home currently that's stepping up to the plate and striking out -- myself included -- hang in there. Don't stop. Our respective homes are all out there, and I truly believe that we'll all end up in the homes we're meant to end up in at the end of the day.
It's just going to be a little (or a lot) bit of Hell trying to get there.