SHREVEPORT, LOUISIANA — Being a first-time homebuyer in 2022 was wild. By the time we found our home, we had looked for 11 months, toured at least 30 homes, made 11 offers, and, after finally having offers accepted, had three inspections come back with major red flags.
All it took was one right offer, at the right time, with the right real estate agent to find our perfect home. It also took patience, a lot of patience.
Brandon and I have been married for two years, and our little family includes a two-and-a-half year old Blue Heeler named Duke. We all lived in a 650-square-foot apartment. We knew we wanted more space not only for Duke, but also so that our family could have room to grow one day.
We met Cindy Joyner, with NextHome Connect, at church – she’s the pastor’s wife. From the start, it felt like she was our friend more than anything else. After asking her questions, we started to get really excited and anxious to find our new home.
We started looking in January 2022.
Regularly, once a week, we would go to look at houses. However, a buying frenzy meant that we were often disappointed. Time after time we were outbid in a sea of offers. No matter what we faced, Cindy was amazing to work with. Some of the places we were looking at were an hour out of town, and Cindy would always make the time to help us see those houses.
She really cared. Cindy knew what was going on in our lives, so asking her questions was easy. There was no pressure throughout our entire search. At least not from Cindy.
The market’s wild ride and interest rates rising did put some pressure on us. Every time we looked, it seemed like our purchase power decreased.
If we were lucky, we would get an appointment to see the house an hour after it was listed. By the time we arrived, there were usually multiple offers already on the table.
As time went on, the disappointments stacked up. We would think that a house was perfect. Then, once it was inspected, the home would have major problems. This happened to us three times. Some had bad foundations, others needed roof repairs.
At the time, homes were flying off the market without inspections. Sellers wouldn’t work with us to reduce the sales price for the costs of these roof and foundation repairs.
In hindsight, I am glad we didn’t let market pressure convince us to rush into a house. Cindy would tell us to take our time. “Don’t jump just because something is available and in your price range,” she said. As first-time homebuyers, this was a huge decision. I am glad that we took our time and didn’t let a crazy market rush us into doing something unwise. Because eventually we found this home, and we are in love.
It is so spacious compared to the apartment we were living in. Built in 1950 it has this mid-century charm that is so unique. No two houses on our street look exactly alike and we love that. The fenced backyard is filled with beautiful old oak trees and baby magnolia trees. Duke loves it. Our house has so many windows that it is filled with beautiful, natural light. The geometry of the home is fun and interesting. With three bedrooms and one bath, we have space to breathe.
It was the right place, at the right time. It also wouldn’t have happened without the right REALTOR®.
I would tell anyone searching for a home to find someone who has your best interests always in front of them, who puts the person ahead of making a profit. The best REALTORS® won’t push you into something you can’t afford or isn’t what you really want. Even though our opinions sometimes differed, with Cindy we knew we weren’t being pushed to look at things or rush into a decision.
Now, Brandon and I sit in our living room and look out our windows and know that we are home.
It’s a great feeling.