I went hunting this spring. It was grueling, hard work, and kind of traumatic.
No, not this kind of hunting (although isn't that a gorgeous picture of girl power and horses?). My hubby, the Chef, and I went house hunting. Our first little Love Nest sold within days of putting it on the market. And while we included a contingency provision in the contract, that we could possibly stay in our old house longer if we couldn't find a new house, we were determined to move as soon as possible.
If you live in Colorado, or have heard any of the reports about the housing market in Denver this year, its been insane, and has hit record highs. Denver was the hottest market in the nation this summer, with Boulder ranked 13th..
The market in Colorado story shows the resilience and diversified nature of the states’ economies despite the declines in oil... Denver is experiencing substantial economic growth, and the tight supply of housing is resulting in the fastest-moving inventory in the country. (source)
An insanely hot market was awesome to sell in. A bit more challenging to buy in.
To say the least.
But since we weren't looking in Denver proper, but in some of the northern suburbs, I figured we'd be ok. And in a naive way, I thought since our price point for houses was larger than that of general first time home buyers we wouldn't have the competition.
I was wrong on both counts.
Numerous houses we looked at were sold the first day they were listed. In fact one house I was trying to convince myself to like since it was in a great location went under contract while we were still in the garage debating the merits.
This was the first house we put an official offer on, the Indian Paintbrush House:
It was a bit over priced and a touch out of our budget, and since it had been on the market since the first of February, we made the best offer we could and hoped that they would come down a bit. The realtor and/or the sellers kind of jerked us around about the price for a while, before ultimately rejecting our offer. The reason they gave? It wasn't enough for them to build a new house in Boulder with. I'm sorry, building a new house in Boulder will cost upwards of $1 mill... way more than what they were selling this house for. The 20K difference between our offer and their asking price would not keep them from building.
I'm petty enough to take joy in the fact that they never sold the house and ultimately took it off the market. I'm sorry, but there it is. Pettiness, thy name is Amy.
Losing that Indian Paintbrush House was a tough pill to swallow, but we were determined, so we kept looking at houses.
This was the second house we fell in love with and put an offer on, the Ranch House:
This house too was a bit over priced, but we offered all that we could for it. The sellers accepted another offer that was $500 over ours. Ouch. But despite my sadness, I was happy I wouldn't have to live with the oak cupboards a grandma installed in the kitchen.
Just hours after losing the large ranch house above, we went to look at this house, the Red House:
A bit defeated at this point, we went looking for houses again. Two more were listed Thursday night, and we were determined to look at them before they sold. This house, below, was on the same street as House #2 above, so we already knew we liked the neighborhood.
Beautiful Floor Plan With 4 Beds And 4 Baths. Grand Entrance With Curved Staircase. Main Floor Office With French Doors. The Kitchen Features A Double Oven, Center Island, An Abundance Of Cabinets, Walk In Pantry And Stainless Appliance. The Family Room Is Off The Kitchen And Features A Gas Fireplace. The Master Suite Has A 5 Piece Bath And Walk In Closet. En Suite Secondary Bedroom With Large Closet. Covered Patio And Sprinkler System. There Is Plenty Of Room In This Home For Family And Entertaining.But it didn't say: This house was built in 2009 and is very sad. 4 bedrooms, but only one person lives here full time. The owner sleeps in a small bedroom without furniture, and her daughter looks like she just moved in out of her dorm room. Two or three cats and a large dog had made their mark on the house-- the pets seemed to be the only ones living in this house.
Barren walls, no furniture-- this house didn't look staged, it looked sad.
The house went on the market at midnight. We put in an offer at 5 p.m. The owner accepted our offer at 11:00 p.m. that night.
The sad house is now our dream house... and we just need a bit of elbow grease and love to make it our dream home.