House Buying – the Offer

House hunting in the Bay Area is a bit insane. I have written about this in the past, but since today we lifted our contingencies, and in a mere 11 days we will get the keys to our “new” old house, I will write a few posts on the search.

I have already mentioned the coded language in the listings. How certain phrases imply some, uh, unsavory or unsettling aspects of the house or the neighborhood.

I have also mentioned how often by the time a new listing hits Trulia or Zillow, it has had several showings as the MLS listings are on the leading edge.

Pro Tip: yes, you can go hit open houses without an agent, but often you will be late to the bidding party. Get an agent, and get access to their portal. Totally worth it.

It is scary to place an offer. You count your pennies, you check to see what you can scavenge from every account you have, IRA, 401k, brokerage account, even your piggy bank and you make your best guess.

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House Hunting Journal

Moving to the next phase of our San Jose adventure, it is time to begin the hunt for a house to buy. All the insanity of the Bay Area market is in our face.

Starting over the holidays was a bad idea. Inventory is dismal. Almost nothing in our price range or in neighborhoods we like, picking are slim.

But we got our loan preapproval, so we are locked and loaded.

Scary thought: Borrowing the maximum for a conforming loan, $625.5K. Gulp, that is a LOT of debt.

It is the second week of January, and some new houses hit the market. Did a little open house roulette this weekend. Wow. The pent up demand is off the chart, so the traffic was insane. Even shitty houses, were mobbed with people.

And what is it with the agents? I swear they are so full of crap that they can’t help but drip it out of their mouths.

Every, and I mean EVERY open house I attended the agent was either telling other people how many offers they already had, or that if they were serious, they better make an offer before Monday.

Puh-lease. Even the house that was a short sale (not mentioned in the description) and that it was expected to take 60 days to clear.

There is hope though. Our agent is good, inventory is (slowly) increasing. We are well qualified for our mortgage. Not having kids is a plus, as we don’t care about schools.

This will be a running series of posts on our experiences.