One of the reasons we decided to dedicate an entire week to housing stories is because we know how you feel. We've all been through the gauntlet of renting or owning. Here are some of our experiences:
Chris Zito, KING 5 Mornings on KONG Producer
"Our experience was relatively painless. We were selling a home in the San Francisco Bay area, so we were used to an insane housing market.
Luckily, we had been fortunate in our home there, so we walked away from that sale with a nice profit that we were able to roll into a large down payment for our new home.
Coming up from California we weren't looking for any specific neighborhood or even city. We found that we were able to upgrade our house and reduce our mortgage, so we were thrilled. Some of that joy was tempered when the house appraised for $65,000 less that the purchase price. If we hadn't had such a large down payment, we would have lost the house.
Thankfully, the amount we were financing didn't change, so the mortgage company put the loan through anyway.
We love the house and are already planning a major kitchen overhaul."
Susan Danz, KING 5 Mornings Writer
"I remember the good ole' days when you wouldn't dream of putting in a bid at the asking price, and you certainly wouldn't offer more. We negotiated the price of our home down about $30,000 from the asking price and, as first time home buyers, we still wondered if paid too much. Oh, the good ole' days were only six years ago."
Jessie Kane, KING 5 Mornings Executive Producer
"My husband is a very smart man, and I take his advice very seriously but boy, oh boy, am I glad I listened to him some four years ago when we purchased our first home. He said we should look to buy when we did because prices and mortgage rates were only going to go up. Looking back at it I never, and I mean never, would have imaged how crazy the market would get. I am forever grateful to him for igniting the fire and propelling us into homeownership.
We met with our realtor in May 2013. We set our budget at $425,000. I said I felt more comfortable at $400,000 but would extend our budget for the right house. Well, it didn’t take long for that to happen. The house we ended up buying was amongst the homes we saw on the first day looking at properties with our real estate agent.
We knew as soon as we walked in that we had to have the darling 1901 farmhouse in Ballard. So much so that after seeing a few more homes we asked if we could go back to it for another visit. We quickly lined up financing, a pre-inspection, etc.
Jessie Kane's sold sign for her 1901 Ballard home.
To make our offer more appealing, we wrote a love letter to the owner and said we could close by the end of June.
I always thought people were crazy if they offered more than the list price. Well, call me crazy. The house was on the market for $389,000, and our initial offer was for $415,000. However, it didn’t stop there. Just hours before all of the offers were to be reviewed our realtor called and said the listing agent told her we had a strong offer, but there were offers for more than ours.
When I told my husband the news, he said to me, 'I need to know how badly you want this house.' We quickly decided to up our offer to $426,000 — our best and final offer!
Once all of the offers were in—we just had to wait. Fortunately, we didn’t have to wait long because we were the first ones to get the call because our offer was accepted! I was at home with our son Skyping with my in-laws at the time. They heard me take the call from the realtor, so they knew we were going to be homeowners before my husband. Crazy!
We closed about a month after our offer was accepted—and we’ve called our farmhouse “home sweet home” ever since. Once again, I’m so glad I listened to my husband and that we jumped into the housing market when we did."
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