Blog Beaverton Long Search for First Home Comes to an End

Long Search for First Home Comes to an End

By Mel Marzahl, December 18, 2020

Anika and Todd have been searching for their first home for over a year. It has been a long journey for them to find their first home. The toughest part was narrowing down what they really wanted and needed and then finding that within their budget. It was made even more challenging because of the increasing home prices, changing needs, and, of course, Covid.

Changing Needs and Wants

We started the search by looking at homes close-in SW Portland that needed some work. Anika and Todd have a great eye for design and what is possible with a home. We talked about the potential of lots of dated and fixer homes we toured. They researched the cost of putting in new kitchens, baths, and flooring, but eventually crossed a fixer home off their list. They decided that living in a project wasn’t for them, especially once Covid came and they and their two girls were all working and learning remotely. Managing and living in a remodel while teaching and working in it too sounded much less feasible.

We also looked at three-bedroom homes to start and decided that the family would need more space. With the greater need for a dedicated office, a four-bedroom, or three-bedroom with bonus room became a necessity. The extra room would serve triple duty as an office, playroom, and guest room for the day when the family can eventually come to visit!

Overcoming Challenges

With the changes in the family’s needs and wants, came changes in price expectations and location. We had to overcome multiple challenges with Anika and Todd’s home search. The first being that they are first time buyers without the huge cash reserves of many others looking in their price range. Because they weren’t buying your typical “starter home” Anika and Todd were up against other buyers who had more cash and were buying their “move-up homes” with equity from previous sales or other sources of cash. This made it tough to compete against the large down payments of other buyers, once we found houses they were interested in.

Their second big challenge was overcoming the reality check of housing prices and location. Over the year we were searching, housing prices increased by almost 8% in the parts of SW Portland we were looking. Also, when we started the search, we were looking at 3 bedroom cosmetic fixers in close-in SW. They were able to find this type of homes to look at fairly frequently. By the time we were making offers a year later, our search had changed to 4 bedroom move-in ready homes. Unfortunately, this type of house was over budget in the areas we were looking in so we had to expand our search further out to include the suburbs, places Anika and Todd originally had ruled out.

Writing the Winning Offer on the Perfect Home

After a year of searching, changing needs, overcoming challenges, Anika and Todd found an amazing home in Beaverton. It has three bedrooms plus a fourth bedroom/bonus room with interesting nooks perfect for a multiple-use space. We had to see it the second it came on the market, and after touring it, they knew it was the right one. They made a very competitive offer with great terms any seller would like to see. I spoke with the agent multiple times and developed a report with her. When we learned another offer was higher and willing to buy the home as-is, Anika and Todd decided to increase their offer to their max budget. They knew they could regret not doing so if they lost it.

The agent called me to discuss because their increased price put us neck and neck with their other offer best offer. We were told the only difference was that the other offer had a slightly larger downpayment and the buyers were willing to buy the home as-is. We chatted about why Anika and Todd weren’t comfortable with as-is, and while they truly didn’t expect to find any major issues, they couldn’t risk taking on a large, unexpected repair since they were putting their savings into the downpayment.

The sellers ended up accepting their offer anyway. I was thrilled to hear that the main reason they went with Anika and Todd’s offer over the other was my communication with the listing agent. Developing a good relationship with the other agent, being communicative, honest, and upfront while protecting Anika and Todd’s interests stood out to her. I don’t know who the other agent was, but I know they also wrote a very strong offer and were tough competition! Being a part of the deciding factor in my client’s offer winning out over another, slightly better offer felt great and I was so happy to relay that news to Anika and Todd.

A Long Search Comes to an End

Anika and Todd are now in the process of moving into their new home as I write this! The escrow process was a bit bumpy toward the end, with a closing delay, but we all got through it and both sides ended up happy. The inspection report was the cleanest I had ever seen, and the home needs just a few minor repairs and is ready for their personal touches. Anika and Todd are thrilled to finally own their first home. They worked really hard to make this happen for their family, and I couldn’t be happier to see them moving in.

Congratulations to Anika, Todd, and their girls! I can’t wait to see how they make their new house their home.

Mel Marzahl

Broker | OR


Raised in the Pacific Northwest, Mel became a passionate advocate for homeownership and investing in real estate after buying and selling her first home. What drew her to it was realizing the significant financial impact the right investment property can make and learning how much having a home to truly call your own can improve your quality of life. Her specialties are working with first-time home buyers and sellers yet she is fluent in all aspects of residential real estate. She is trained extensively in real estate negotiation, holding both the CNE (Certified Negotiation Expert) and RENE (Real Estate Negotiations Expert) designations. Mel knows that with all the technology available to buyers and sellers, one of the best skills a REALTOR® can have is knowing how to be a collaborative negotiator to get the best outcome for their clients. After a decade-long career working in operations and client service for creative companies, Mel earned her Broker’s license and made the move to real estate. She listens to her client’s needs and aims to treat everyone involved in a transaction with honesty and integrity. She loves getting to know her clients, their wants, and needs to ensure they get the highest level of service Mel is known for. Mel brings creativity and an eye for detail to the table with a background in art and events. She enjoys a remodel or renovation project, has a soft spot for old craftsman homes, loves helping first-time buyers, and educating her clients on the selling and purchasing process. She believes in staying up to date on market trends, technology, and tools available to real estate agents. This gives her an edge when it comes to marketing properties and communicating with her clients. When Mel is not working in real estate she is volunteering with the Red Cross, gardening, hosting dinner parties, or relaxing at home on Bull Mountain with her husband, son, two big dogs, and a handful of chickens.
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