I've been looking for a house for my girlfriend and I since mid summer. We have looked at over 60+ places. The market in Minneapolis is not all that great it seems. From my perspective things are still over valued except for certain neighborhoods that have been hit pretty hard by the foreclosure situation. Early on I put an offer on a short sale property. First the buyer accepted and the bank declined (or so we were told). Then the bank accepted and the buyer declined. Eventually I walked away and put an offer on a place two houses down. Another short sale, but this time listed by someone that was sure we could get the deal done since they indicated a strong knowledge around short sales. We kept looking even with offers in the works just in case. Plan B quickly became plan C followed by plan D.
We offered on a foreclosure at over the list price and lost out by a thousand dollars.
More looking, now the offer we had walked away from wanted to know if we were still interested. It had taken them nearly 45 days to come back asking for another $2,100.00 dollars. I couldn't believe it.
Finally, we put an offer on a place that we both really liked and would love to move into. Again the selling agent indicated they could get it done quickly. That was nearly 60 days ago. We followed by putting the final offer in on a place that is not occupied and indicated a fast close possible. That was nearly 30 days ago.
The unfortunate thing is that now, we both have to vacate our apartments at the end of this month and the likelihood of finding a place by that time is pretty much nonexistent. We are still looking and spend last weekend looking at places that weren't short sales and really weren't that impressed even at prices that were out of our range.
I'm a first time home buyer and have learned a lot. I was naive in many ways and felt that with all the housing price complaints and the banking debacle, that someone pre-approved for a loan, not really all that picky, a wide search area etc, would lead to a house in a short period of time. People sort of warned me against short sales but in this market it seems that most of the recent listings are short sales and yet the listing agents don't seem to interested in being honest that they may take excessive time.
I have made several offers so far and have two active offers waiting for a response from the bank. I understand there is a huge fiscal crisis going on at the moment but from what I can tell, the banks helped cause the problem and now they seem to be perpetuating it. We keep looking but we've seen so many that at this point I'm considering just waiting until one of the deals comes through. With winter coming soon, more options will show up I'm sure but it seems that even when I'm waiving around a fist full of money, the banks just don't seem that interested in acting. It is kind of hard to have sympathy for an industry like that.