How To "Keep On Keepin' On" When Buying a House

How To "Keep On Keepin' On" When Buying a House

Carolyn Purnell
Oct 17, 2013

You've spent months searching Zillow, Redfin, and Trulia. You've dedicated nameless hours to touring homes, putting together paperwork, and submitting offers. But nothing seems to pan out. How should one keep up and at 'em through this whole process?

My partner and I have been on the hunt for a home with a small bit of outdoor space and perhaps a bit more living space. We've been actively searching for months now, and we've put in offers on multiple homes, most of which have been rejected because the sellers also received full cash offers from large investors. This happened most recently when we lost out on our dream home, a beautiful converted warehouse that might haunt us as "the one that got away."

Now let me just say, this is not a "woe is me" story. I know that I'm fortunate to have the chance to shop for a home and that something will eventually turn up. Plus, I know that there are many people out there who have had even harder experiences with this whole process. Even more luckily, the home we live in now, if not ideal, is perfectly adequate, and we aren't facing any move-out deadlines. All in all, it's a good situation. But while the process is ongoing, it is easy to feel frustrated and somewhat defeated, and I'm sure I'm not alone in this.

So how does one keep up the hope, and perhaps more importantly, the sheer energy to keep looking when dead ends abound? My partner is more able to play the long game, thinking that even if it takes years, we'll find the right place, but I hate feeling like we're in limbo (something I should probably get better at). What's been working for me is simply trying to keep the energy of the process going. When the rejection comes, I'm right back on Redfin looking at the next potential home. It also helps that we have very open minds about location and house type, so the search is still interesting thanks to the variety of places we've had the chance to explore.

But I imagine that many of you have developed your own tips and tricks. Do you fantasize about your dream home, giving yourself a new well of optimism? Do you change your expectations? Do you stop the search and wait? Do you cut back the search so that it's less time-consuming and brain-space consuming? What's worked for you, and conversely, what hasn't?

(Image: Carol and Phils' Charming 1930s Cottage House Tour)

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