26 Jul Trying to buy first home, very frustrated, thinking about waiting
My wife and I are trying to buy our first house. We live in Central PA, not a large metro area or anything with super high cost of living. Our salaries are good, and we have been pre-approved for 300k (with a note from the loan officer that we could go higher if we wanted). We set our max budget at 260k. Our agent and a lot of people we talked to keep telling us that a house is an investment, but I just simply do not think that that is how I should be looking at this, since if we just wanted to invest, we would just put the money in another investment vehicle. I prefer to think of a house as something that we want because we want to control where we live, nothing else.
First, we found a house we loved at 245k very quickly into our search (it was the 3rd place we saw). We offered 240k, but there was another offer that was higher and we lost out. Looking back, it is probably a good thing we didn't get that house, it needed a new roof and needed 3-5 trees removed immediately.
After that, we have spent every day after working seeing houses, and I'd say 80% of them are bad, with a few other decent ones mixed in. Yesterday, we found another place, listed for 250k, that we also loved. We offered asking price and waited. This morning our agent called us and told us there is another offer and that he would get back to us. We waited and later in the day he called me and told me that there are now 4 other offers. We put in an escalating offer for up to 260k, but realize that that probably isn't enough and I am expecting to get a call tomorrow saying we didn't get it.
The market is so frustrating. We don't live in a large urban area, but we don't want to go over 260k, but anything at a price under 240k has not been acceptable to us at all, they are mostly either poorly maintained or are flips. Should we just give up and look in a couple years when the market is slower?
Our offers are generally 10% down, no sellers help, no contingencies and we have pre-approval. I don't feel we are in a bad place to make offers around list price, but I don't think we can afford to offer 25k over asking and then have an appraisal come back less and require an even larger down payment….