When I was in the market for my first and current home, I was not yet a realtor. I figured, why do I need a realtor to help me when there is Zillow or one of the other similar sites out there on the internet.
Now I will be the first to admit that I do love my house. I got lucky and found a great house in a great neighborhood and I wouldn’t change it for the world; however, in reality, where my wife and I ended up was not 100% where we wanted to be. We wanted to find a house in the Columbia Tusculum neighborhood of Cincinnati. We lived in an apartment there already and just loved being in that area.
We had a budget of $200,000 but wanted to stay under that if possible. In our online search and driving around the neighborhood, we found a great listing in Columbia Tusculum that we absolutely loved. It was a recently renovated 2-bedroom house with a great deck and outdoor space, walking distance to coffee shops, our gym and yoga studio, etc. it was perfect. We went to an open house and really felt good about it. We could see ourselves living there and continuing to enjoy the lifestyle we were accustomed to. The problem was that the house was listed at $235,000, a whole $35,000 above the top end of our budget.
After a thorough discussion with each other, my wife and I decided to keep looking at try to find something at or under our budget because we certainly didn’t want to be house poor. We also assumed that we would not be able to get that house in our ideal neighborhood for a price that would work for us.
We went back to the drawing board and eventually landed in the house we are now, but it wasn’t until we found our current house that we decided to engage a realtor.
A few weeks after closing I happened to look at back at the Columbia Tusculum house and it turns out that, right around the same time, that home closed for almost exactly what we ended up paying for our house – $180,000.
Five years later I am super happy where I am, but in the moment, I couldn’t help but have a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out).
Had we engaged a realtor at the start, maybe it would have been us getting that house for that price in our ideal neighborhood by all the places we wanted to be near.I tell this story because, now as a realtor, I don’t want you to miss out on what could be your dream home in your dream neighborhood because you might think it’s out of reach. The internet is great for a lot of things, but the sites like Zillow can only give you a snapshot. Hiring a realtor provides wraparound services to help you in your search and brings market knowledge and experience that you just can’t find on the internet. So, whether you’re looking for your first home or your tenth, I am here to help.