Hey folks... this is my first blog entry... Originally I was going to blog about something weather related and I might normally do that, but this time I felt compelled to blog about something that I am sure many of you are dealing with or have dealt with before.... buying a home.
OK... on to my housing rant...
My wife and I are first time homebuyers... we have both always rented. Because we want to make the panhandle our home for years to come and because of all the great deals as a result of the housing crisis we decided that now was the time to get in at the bottom when it came to the investment of a home. With so many houses and such great deals... how tough could it be, right?
We have been house hunting going on 4 months now and we are still waiting. It is not like there is a lack of housing or that we are not finding any houses that we like, but it is the fact that we keep running into road blocks!
Our first weekend of hunting we found the perfect place... it was a condo... great location, great layout, and great price. Guess what? The bank would not loan any money on it because the developer still owned too many of the units. Some banks would loan $$ on the condos at 7-8%, but when you can get rates sub 5%... why should you pay 7-8% for no reason?!?! Obviosuly the developer needs to get rid of his inventory so we talked to the bank to see if they would come up with some favorable financing terms so we could buy one. The bank was unwilling which I found odd... do they want to own the condos? Because if they will not lend money to willing and qualified buyers then surely the developer will go under and end up in foreclosure. Aren't they better off helping the developer sell them rather than hinder? The condo experience just made me think of all those empty units on Front Beach Road... how will anyone ever buy or sell one unless they pay cash?!?!
Once we realized the condo would not work we moved onto a single family home. This one was a more traditional deal.... just agree on a price and we are good to go. Unfortunately, that did not work out. The owner is in a tough place and can not afford to go below a certain price because he is out of money. He would already have to bring a large check to closing even if we agreed on a price. His bank was unwilling to work with him and us to make the deal happen.
So, we moved onto property #3.... a short-sale! Now as many of you might already know... a short-sale is anything but short! We made the offer which was accepted by the owner... but in the month since he went to the bank with the offer we have heard very little. We continue to wait and wait. Maybe we will get it, maybe we will get a counter offer from the bank. Regardless, it is like running in quicksand. A painfully slow process.
Originally, I had no conerns about closing before the April 31 deadline for the First Time Homebuyers Tax Credit... but now I am not too sure. Our apartment lease in Atlanta is up and my wife has a few job opportunities down here so we are ready to move... but to where? For the past 4 months I have been lucky enough to stay with my folks in S. Walton County, but I would prefer to not have to move my wife down here with all of her stuff as I am sure my parent's house would shrink pretty quickly! Not to mention, what do we do with all our stuff... leave it in Atlanta, store it, move it twice? None of which being ideal.
Anyway, I know my wife and I are not alone. I just find it amazing that in this time when the government is trying so hard to get the housing market back on track... fully qualified people with tons of housing possibilities, can not get a home!
I will keep you posted and let you know how it all shakes out. In the end we will end up with a great place at a great deal, but our homebuying patience is wearing thin.
Have a great week!