You hear it at every party when the conversation turns to real estate, you read it online, you’re experiencing it as you read this:
“Portland housing inventory is at a historic low…”
“That house had 19 offers and went 20% over asking…”
“That home would have sold for (insert a much, much lower price) two years ago…”
and perhaps the most loathed “I keep getting beat out by cash offers..”
Yuck! To say it is a depressing and discouraging time to purchase a home in the Portland area is an understatement. And I should know as I just closed on our home in March after four rejected offers.
STAY RATIONAL All too often our home buying search begins with the intent of making rational buying decisions, then emotions take hold. You start imagining yourself in the space, remodeling the kitchen, placing your furniture and so on… Then you make an offer and begin thinking this is my house, I have to get this house. Heart pounding you open the email to learn your offer was rejected and you are crushed. I remember feeling personally rejected when I lost a bid on a house. I got too emotionally engaged with the house and it’s very easy psychologically to do. However, it is so important to remember that if you don’t get this house another one will come along and it will probably be even be better than the first one.
PRACTICE SELF CARE As in all stressful life situations it’s important to get exercise and eat clean. That means get moving everyday to get those endorphins going. House hunting can be a time consuming period. A good way to get some exercise in would be to take a walk or jog around potential new neighborhoods. You can even stop and have conversations about the area with residents if you see them in their yards… killing two birds with one stone. As far as diet, I know it is fun and convenient to eat in the neighborhood of a home you like after viewing it (and I would highly suggest this) to get the vibe. Luckily in Portland there are many healthy, fresh choices. And while I’m not suggesting only eating salads or vegan stir-fry, a healthy side salad along with that burger goes a long ways in contributing to an elevated mood.
DON’T GET DESPERATE I can’t express this more strongly. Don’t get discouraged and feel so desperate you buy a house that doesn’t meet the majority of your needs. Yes, you may have to make some concessions and – yes, you do need to be realistic about your purchasing power, but that does not mean you should be compelled to purchase a house you won’t be happy living in. Additionally, don’t loose site that your home purchase is a major investment. That cute old PDX style home may be everything you want, but if it is next to a freeway or has a major structural problem – it won’t gain equity as quickly.
Hang in there and keep it fun. If you loose a bid, let yourself experience the disappointment, and any other negative emotion that may arise, then in the infinite wisdom of Elizabeth Taylor, “pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick and pull yourself together.” 🙂 Yes, that’s right… go out for a nice dinner to celebrate the fact the right home is in your future.