Frustrated home buyer

We are currently looking to buy a home in the western NJ/eastern PA area and I am so sick of looking at homes! I think that we have looked at least 40-50 homes since March and we are still in the rental! We have looked from southern NJ to northern NJ to eastern PA. Its not that we are picky, we want a 4 bed/2.5 bath with a basement for less than $400,000. We were originally wanted one with some land but that is not to be for now. We finally decided that we need to look at homes with 2 pictures in our head, the “For Now” house (as in this house is good but in 5-10 years we want to buy our Forever home) and of course the “Forever” home. We almost bought a house in PA that was the perfect size but it did not have the land we wanted. The problem was the garage floor over the basement may need to be replaced. Then there was the house that we did put a bid on, then interest rates jumped up and the house and tax payment would have been almost $3000 a month!

We are looking at another house tomorrow night, it would be the “For now” house for us. It did not take us this long the last time we bought a home in 1999.:wall:

Keep your fingers crossed!

I’m sure your new home is there somewhere. Perhaps the owner’s just haven’t put your dream home on the market yet. God’s timing is perfect…

Good luck!

figaro, we’re in the same boat – only our house has sold and we MUST find a new one PRONTO!

We almost put in a bid on an old, old house, but someone beat us to it. Turns out that the foundation is so bad that the house is un-insurable! That would be an awful position to be in.

Be diligent. You’ll find the right place.

Hope you find your perfect house soon!

My husband and I bought our house early last year…definitely our forever home. Funnily enough, it doesn’t meet half the “requirements” we had decided on when we started house-hunting. It’s waaaay smaller than we wanted, it’s actually a duplex (and I swore I would never ever buy a duplex), etc. etc. But we looked at it anyway because of the area it is in and as soon as we walked upstairs and saw the gorgeous view out of the window (overlooking the river Elbe and all the ships going by) we knew that THIS WAS IT. We’re very happy here and nothing will get me to move. So keep an open mind and try to enjoy the house-hunting. Are you under any kind of time pressure? We weren’t, which really helped…

Thanks for the replies!

HamburgKnitter, I am not sure if you could say we are under pressure. We are currently renting a house that is for sale but even the selling agent for this house said is won’t sell fast because the homeowner overpriced it. (it is a 4 bed/2.5 bath on almost 5 acres BUT over 4.5 of those acres are not usable, they are on a steep hill loaded with trees for $500,000) I think that I am just not liking living in a rental after owning a house for 6 years.

And we did start opening up our options, we would prefer a house with 4 bedrooms but if it has 3 and a full basement then we will look at it.

YIKES! For those of us in the Midwest, $400K seems like it should buy you just about whatever your heart desires. I spent about one fourth that amount on my current home with 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, and a basement (creepy and dark, but still a basement), and frankly, that seemed a little pricey to me at the time. I guess it’s all a matter of perspective.

I hope you find exactly what you’re looking for! Summer is probably a good time to look, isn’t it? Kids out of school and all that…


I’m in California, $400K is 2B/1B in a bad part of town…no land, just concrete and a chain link fence.

wiredqs-what part of CA are you in? I was born and raised in northern CA up by the OR border then moved to San Diego County (talk about opposites!) and we lived there for about 6-7 years. When we bought our home in northern SD County, we paid $217,000 in '99 for a 3 bed/1 bath home but it had a great yard. Big compared to the size new homes have now.

I grew up in Bergen County, NJ, one of the nation’s richest counties. In 2005, just before the bottom started falling out of the real estate boom, we sold our house and my grandfather’s house and bought a bigger house in town. G-pa’s house was a 3 bedroom, dated ranch. 2 bathrooms, 2 kitchens, finished basement, decent size land, 1 car garage. He’d bought in the 60’s for like $20,000 or something. It sold for $467,000.

Our house went for $500,000-something. 3 bedroom bi-level, 1 car garage, we’d done a fair bit of work so it was much more modern, not as much land.

We bought a 4 bedroom bi-level, 2 car garage, above ground pool…over $800,000.

NJ is crazy expensive. Figaro, just be glad you weren’t buying in 2005. :shock: Prices have dropped. :hug: I hope you find something soon.

We bought a 4 bedroom bi-level, 2 car garage, above ground pool…over $800,000.

When did you buy this house? Is it here in NJ?

We bought it fall of 2005. The market’s more of a buyer’s market now, so it wouldn’t have been anywhere near that expensive if we were buying it now. It’s in Northvale, NJ…go as far north and as far east as you can without hitting New York state, and that’s Northvale. :teehee:

I live in New York State and the prices for homes are crazy. Homes have doubled and some areas tripled in price. :shrug:

All of my three adult children have moved to their own places but my dh and I are keeping our house. ITs bigger than we need but we know we’d have to pay a LOT more to downsize. So I’m glad we are staying put.

i feel your pain…my husband and i were living in a rental in bergen county, nj, for several years before deciding to look for a home of our own in 2006. because he commutes to manhattan, we needed to find a place near-ish to a train or bus line, and our budget was a little bit less than yours. needless to say, there was [U]no[/U] way we could find a home in bergen county for the price we could pay, and we ended up settling in orange county, ny - it’s more of a commute for him, and i had to get a new job entirely…

i hope that you’re able to find a home that makes you happy!

Stiney, I grew up in Bergen County too!!!:cheering: Go Northern NJ!!!

Seriously though, it’s gotten crazy there. My parents are still in their little 3 BDR, 1.5 bath rancher in a neighborhood where all the rest of the ranchers have been torn down to put up McMansions taking up every inch of the lot. They bought their house about 32 years ago for like 35K and will probably get over 400K for it.

Have patience with your house search! We finally found one we felt was “our home” after months of searching and finding that nothing was exactly right. Turns out this house has its problems too…so much that the seller had to come down substantially in price so we could have the money to fix the issues (crawl space water accumulation, wood rot, HVAC replacements). Original price for 4 Bdr/2.5 Bath/1 garage on about 1/3 acre=$279K. Current price=$229K. But we are glad that although it’s going to be difficult and inconvenient to live through all the work, it will be totally worth it when it’s all done!

It also is slightly different than what we pictured our new house to be…we originally wanted a 2-car garage, a basement or bonus room, a screen porch or Florida room…and we have none of those. But we have a beautifully renovated house with a 1 car garage and a yard with lots of potential! :thumbsup: Your house is out there…and you will find it! :hug:

I think I knew what it was like but reading your stories is getting me thinking…

I’m in San Francisco where $400k wouldn’t even get me a 700 square foot condo! If I wanted a 4 bedroom 2.5 bath house, I’d be looking at $2 million! Even then, I wouldn’t be getting any gardening land.

I am seriously thinking of buying something in another country…

Or just move to the middle of nowhere… if I told y’all about my house, you just might kill me… I love rural VA!

I lived in CT my whole life before coming to Boston last year and the prices are crazy there too. My neighbor put their 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath up for sale for $1million. And of course the taxes are huge especially since my neighborhood is a waterfront community…you can’t get anything there for less than $750,000 even if you’re looking at a small house.