WAUKESHA, WISCONSIN — What made me think now was the right time to buy a house? To be honest, my lease was ending. I didn’t like apartment living. I was recently divorced, suddenly the single mother of two young boys. My mom had just died because of COVID. She took care of me and my brothers and I knew that buying a home where my boys could enjoy a great childhood is something she would be proud of.
I had heard that the market was tough, but I didn’t realize the extent of it. You hear stories before buying a home and think, “oh, it can’t be that bad. People can’t be overbidding by that much, that’s just craziness.” But no. It’s actually happening.
I looked for more than six weeks with the help of Rochelle (Gamauf, of NextHome Lake Country), and I was looking hard. I had so much flexibility around my search area and timeline, I was sure I would find something.
I remember putting that first offer in and feeling so excited. It was a beautiful house, very well kept, and in a great area.
Not until I got the denial from that first offer did I realize that it wasn’t just one or two people putting in offers – it was a dozen or more. I thought I was overbidding by going $7,000 over asking price, just to find out that was nothing compared to what other people were doing.
In my six weeks of serious looking I saw more than 100 houses and put in seven offers.
As I was looking at houses, I found one that was a little high priced, but it was beautiful and worth it. After looking at the home once, I went to an open house to see if I got the same impression – to see if I still liked it. There were so many people at that open house that I just took one look and walked back out. I thought “nope, I’m not even going to try to put an offer in.” When I saw all those people I knew I wasn’t even going to try. Come to find out, that house had over 30 offers.
Then I ended up finding out it sold for $40,000 over the asking price. I wouldn’t be able to afford that anyway.
When I saw things like that, I got frustrated. We would put in so much work and then feel like we were getting kicked all the time. Then I stepped back and thought my denial meant that house wasn’t right for me. It wasn’t the house I was meant to have, so I should keep looking.
So when I found this house, I knew right away it was the one for me and my boys. I fell in love with the pictures of just the outside. It’s an old brick house. It’s solid. Looking at the brick you can tell it has that old charm. You hope that the people have taken care of it, and they did. It had so much space for what I wanted- a big yard and big garage. I wanted my boys to each have their own room. I love to cook, so I wanted something more than a cramped apartment kitchen. I wanted a yard where my kids could unplug from their devices and go outside and play, the way we all did when we were young. I love the idea of being outside.
I also love the idea of having a home where everyone can have their own space – where I can have my large family over for Thanksgiving and not have everyone tripping over each other. This home is over 2,700 square feet with four bedrooms. It was perfect.
This was my seventh offer, and to the sellers, I was just one of 14 people who wanted their house. But somehow, something about my offer and my flexibility stood out. They accepted. It was surreal. I cried a little bit. I was so excited. I was overwhelmed with happiness.
However, there was this sense of sadness too. I wanted to tell my mom what I had accomplished. I wanted to share my joy and the journey with her. I think in a way I am. I think she knows wherever she is that my boys have a great home now.