This Bonkers Market Is Forcing Me to Put My House Hunt on Hold — And That’s OK

published Aug 21, 2022
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empty house
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My fiancé and I had a plan. Get married, have a baby, and buy a house. And we were going to do it all at once. If you think that’s crazy, you’re probably right. But “luckily” for us, the universe had other plans in store. Getting married is happening in March, the baby is happening as soon as possible, and the house… well, that’s another story.

If you’ve been following the real estate market around the country at all, you know how completely wild it is right now. We live in Chicago. At first, we were getting priced out of houses because there weren’t enough available homes. Then, more houses went up for sale at affordable prices. Hooray! We began looking and favoriting spots on And once we were just about ready to speak with a Realtor, bam. Interest rates skyrocketed.

And with that, we decided to put our house hunt on hold.

It was disappointing. We were hoping to have a home, a yard for the dogs, a garage so we can stop parking on the street, a third bedroom for a baby, and a second home office. But instead, we’re opting to stay in our two-bedroom apartment where, if we have a child, I’ll have to give up my office so they can have a place to sleep. My fiancé was excited to have some semblance of generational wealth — something we could leave to our child so they wouldn’t have to start from scratch.

At this point, we’re still browsing the real estate apps and favoriting homes we love, just in case. When the interest rates go down, we’ll see what’s left over and hopefully be able to buy a place.

Credit: Daniel Kim Photography/Stocksy

I know our situation isn’t the worst. We love our apartment, even if we want someplace bigger and more amenable to having a family. Our dogs are small, so we don’t need to worry about them having enough space to run around. And it’s affordable. It’s one of the most reasonably priced spots in our neighborhood, which is rapidly attracting more and more wealthy Chicagoans.

So we’ll wait for now. We’ll see what comes up when we begin our search again in earnest. If we can’t move until then, that’s probably fine — we have other big life moments to work toward. But renting forever doesn’t appeal to us as a couple, or as a family.

I’m not sure what we’ll do if things stay rocky until after we have a child. Everyone complains that millennials are waiting forever to buy homes. But when we have crippling student debt, income that hasn’t risen alongside inflation, and a housing market that makes it pretty much impossible unless you’ve got some secret hidden wealth — it’s no wonder we aren’t buying homes. And that’s sad, because it’s stopping us from starting families we can feel secure enough about having.

I don’t know what’s going to happen. Sure, we can wait another year to buy a home. But what if interest rates remain high, one of us loses our job, or our landlord raises our rent? What will we do then? It’s a question that stays in the back of my mind as I make peace with not buying right now.