The most frustrating game

“The world is made up of two classes – the hunters and the huntees.” – Richard Connell, The Most Dangerous Game.

I’d like to amend that statement. The world is made up two classes – the hunters and the sellers. And lately I have sucked at hunting.

Eric and I began our more serious efforts for house searching in January. January 5th or 8th, I can’t recall, but it was somewhere right in there. Two months ago. We’ve gone out a handful of times with our real estate agent, and we have considered looking at over 40 houses. Of the 40-something we’ve considered looking at, more than half of them were sold before we could get out to see them. We’ve seen 16 houses in person, and of those, half again have sold, some of them while we were looking at the house.

I am not exaggerating. Eric and I loved one house in Hudsonville, and while we were wandering through, our agent called the selling agent, and we learned that it had sold two hours before we got there. It’s become something of a painful joke for us; our agent says that our luck has been completely unprecedented.

We’re not being picky, here, either. Maybe that’s our problem, but we’ve considered houses in four different areas, and there seems to be no safe zone where houses are sold out from under us. Seriously, that situation in Hudsonville has happened to us twice. And when we asked to make an offer on a third house, that one had sold right after we looked at it.

“It’s a buyer’s market,” is what everyone keeps saying, and to them I say “oh…you must not be looking to buy a house right now.” We’re at the tail end of that first-home-buyer’s grant, not that we were planning on making use of it, and this is generally considered the off season for real estate. We can’t step foot inside a house that doesn’t need tens of thousands of dollars of work done without it being sold before we pull up to the driveway. I’ve considered offering our terrible luck as a service to people trying to sell their houses.

I suppose I should point out that not every house has sold. The two that I really liked are still available. One of them is on a busy street, and Eric is not fond of the neighborhood. The other one would need to be completely redone, short of just bulldozing it and starting over. Sure we could get it for less than one-hundred, but we don’t have the kind of cash flow for that sort of overhaul. And Eric said it was creepy.

We are going to try narrowing our search and getting out more frequently, perhaps just one at a time, to hopefully get more nets out there. We went to an open house yesterday (and skipped two because it didn’t look like anyone was at those…not even a realtor), and I’m going out to look at two on Tuesday with our agent while Eric is out of town.

I just want this search to be over. I want to be able to focus on preparing for school, and I don’t want to have to find a house once school starts. I certainly would prefer to be moved in by then, too. There are so many questions I have about my future right now that I would like to have just this one part answered.

I’ve never been a fan of hunting, and house hunting is not improving my outlook at all.