I’m heart broken over a house that’s not mine

Guest post by Ashley Coffman

Love hurts…My realtor called me this morning to tell me that we would not be able buy the house we wanted. The seller received two bids this weekend — one from us — and went with the other buyer. I called my husband in tears.

It’s not just the frustration of having to start over. Or the sting of rejection. Or the time and energy we now have to put into finding another house that fits our criteria and budget. It’s the heartbreak of losing a home that I was really in love with.

I tried not to fall in love. I really did. I knew there was no guarantee they would accept our offer. I knew that nothing was set in stone and that things fall through sometimes. This wasn’t just the first house we’d bid on: it was the first house we looked at! But fall in love I did. I scrolled through photos online, showed them to our friends and family, surfed the internet for decorating ideas, spent a whole weekend watching HGTV, and even began referring to it as “our” house, “our” backyard, “my” kitchen.

The first moment I decided it was “ours” we’d spent the whole day looking at houses and narrowed it to two. On paper, they were the same house. Three bedroom, two bath. Same area, same utilities, same layout. The only difference was that the second was $5,000 more and out of our price range. We took another look at the first one. I tried to imagine myself living there: now I’m making lunch. Now I’m watching TV. Now I’m getting out of the shower. I walked into one of the bedrooms. Now I’m getting the kids up… and then, I cried. Not sobbing, just a little misty. I could imagine raising my kids here, and that was it.

I was in love.

I could kick myself. How could I fall head over heels for a house that wasn’t even mine? How could I not protect my heart? But how many times have we all said that to ourselves? I think back to old boyfriends and how many times I’ve been in love and let down. Was it worth it? Oh hell yeah. Because I learned from each experience, just like I’m learning from this one. We now have a better idea of what kind of home we want for ourselves and our family. We know how the process works and which questions to ask. I’ll risk the heartbreak and fall in love again because, really, who wants to buy a house they don’t love? That’s like getting engaged to someone you haven’t given your heart to, just in case it doesn’t work out.

Today I had my heart broken. But it was worth it.

Comments on I’m heart broken over a house that’s not mine

  1. Please don’t fret. Don’t ever fall in love with a house because a house can never love you back. There is a reason for everything, and there is another house out there with your name on it. And, the other deal may fall through…You may be able to offer an even lower price in the future. Hang in there.

  2. We are head over heels in love with a house we just bid on, and it is really agony. Intellectually I know there are a million reasons it might not work out, emotionally I know I will be a total wreck if we have to walk away.

  3. My parents had three offers on homes in the same neighborhood accepted and then the sale fall through before closing because the seller withdrew the home from the market (in one case because liens meant the place actually couldn’t be sold). Their realtor was walking around the neighborhood and saw the style of home my parents wanted, with a man outside doing yardwork. Realtor approached the man and asked if he knew of anyone around who had a ranch home they were potentially thinking of selling. Man looked very surprised and aid that he and his wife had just decided the week before to sell since they were pretty much living at their cabin anyway, and that they were doing some retouches on paint and getting ready to stage before listing. They chatted a bit, my mother was called and IMMEDIATELY went over to look at the place, fell in love with it, and made an offer the next day.

    This guy was a woodworker by trade and hobby, and had built the kitchen cabinetry by hand. Including a matching panel for the front of the dishwasher. The house was in spectacular condition, they had obviously taken great care of it. It was a spectacular find, and one that might not have been made if that realtor hadn’t been willing to take the initiative to talk to a potential neighbor.

  4. My husband got the call from the realtor that we didn’t get our dream house…right in the middle of my Grandpa’s funeral. Ugh. I was so upset 🙁 It was the third house we had fallen in love with and then lost, and I was so tired of losing people and places.

  5. It took me five years, a major breakup, several jobs, a marriage, and long-drawn-out-completely-out-of-our-control-financing-disaster that finally resolved itself before I found “my house.” I can’t tell you how many houses I fell in love with over the years, but I can tell you that every time I “lost” one it was for the right reasons and led me to the house I never would have bought at the beginning that it is the best possible house for us in so many ways.

  6. I specifically looked this post up because I just did this today. We’ve looked at a lot of houses but everything in our price range is, frankly, absolute shit. Last night our realtor sent us a listing that went on the market TODAY and I absolutely knew I was going to be in love with it. So we looked. And I am. And so was my husband. And we knew we might get outbid, but the starting bid was very low, so still, maybe a chance….

    then our realtor called to tell us that they’re only accepting cash- it won’t appraise, apparently, because it’s very old and MIGHT have lead or asbestos. MIGHT. It’s had a lot of work done, so it might not. But apparently even if it would appraise, they don’t care, the jerks at Chase want cash, and what they really want is a cash bidding war. It’s going to go to a business who will rent it out for offices (it’s near downtown) or to an investor who will flip it.

    Thanks a lot for not putting “cash only” on the listings, douchebag. Even though we only just saw it… this was literally the house I’d describe if you asked me to describe a dream house. Old, brick, in aesthetically pleasing disrepair, wonderful light, lots of space. So many light years above everything else we’ve looked at. There’s almost nothing on the market in this area right now and they’re all selling immediately, it feels so hopeless and I feel like I just got dumped The worst part is that I looked up the folks who previously owned the house (it was a foreclosure) and paid three times what they’re asking now- they’re both young, artsy, partying types (we’re young, artsy, non-partying types). The fact that they could get a mortgage for that same house for WAY more (despite whatever “issues” it potentially has) and we’re not even allowed to try for way less just fucking stings.

  7. Loved all the comments here. Just needed to add my woes…I just lost my dream house because DH won’t commit to it, although it was the only house he liked out of the ones we have seen. I had found this house as being sold on auction in the beginning of summer, and I wanted to buy it then, but we didn’t have the funds. When it came back in the market right after we closed on our first house (a place I had buyer’s remorse on, unfortunately), I had to goad DH to drop by the first open house. The house had a layout and space we needed, but the property tax was a killer! Still, when we worked out the numbers, I knew we could swing it, and I wanted to make an offer as soon as possible. Let’s wait till fall, he says, if it’s really ours, then it’s not God’s will. Sure I thought, being the nice wife, gritted my teeth and hoped that in this seller’s market, God will rule on our favor. Well, a week before the first day of fall, there was a 3rd open house but when we drop by to check in, the house was locked. It was two weeks later that I learned that the sellers had already accepted an offer a few days after that open house and it was now in contract. I only found out because exactly a week after DH decided to finally make an offer, the sellers had accepted the first offer. Worse, I’m finding the extent of the “bad blood” between our realtor and the listing agent to be really unproductive, so even if we have already submitted a back-up offer, at this point I’m being told to pretty much give this up. I am hating myself for allowing this to happen. I knew better than this and I didn’t fight hard enough. How could you say it’s not God’s will when you didn’t even toss your hat in the ring? We didn’t even do the most basic act to put ourselves out there…make a fudging offer! What was I scared of? I have been trying to make a case for a “good” house for my family for the past…grrrrrr 19 years, come on! As for hoping that the first deal falls through, even that I’m too “nice” to wish for, and my spirit has been destroyed that I pretty much know that I have certainly lost the house. Sorry, I’ve just been burned so I am so heartbroken and I just want to scream at the universe. I can see no light at the end of the tunnel… yet. And I’m now faced with another winter in this squirrel-infested apartment whose walk-out garage floods (!!!) and soot came out of the heating vents last year, so no happy thoughts yet for me.

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