July 16, 2019

Home Buying Push-Ups Pay Off

This story is about a newlywed couple who trusted me to help them buy their first home. I was so excited to work with this couple.  They are a young and vibrant couple that married just a few months before we started their home search. The wife, like me before I became a Realtor, is a marketing manager for a local fitness franchisee and her husband is a finance manager. Ironically they got married the same date my husband and I did, although many years apart.  I felt an instant connection to these guys!

As is customary for all of my home buying clients, I recommended they get pre-approved before we started house shopping.  They worked with Jeff Love, Senior Loan Officer at Milestone Home Lending, and he put together a fantastic financing plan for my client. Because this couple was a first time home buyer and still have a relatively low income level, as they are recent college grads, they qualified for $0-down loan and a non-repayable grant from the state of Indiana.

This couple’s max budget was $200,000 and they wanted to buy in Fishers, Indiana. That was a tall order to fill!  Fishers is bustling city that is in high demand and homes there sell very quickly.  It is not uncommon for buyers in Fishers to offer more than the original list price for homes and for the buyers to pay all closing costs.  Those offer strategies may ensure the buyer gets the house he/she wants, but they are expensive buying strategies. My offer strategy for this couple was to get the seller to pay for most of the closing costs and to not exceed my client’s budget…and make that happen in Fishers. Yikes!

It was a grueling process. Many of the houses we wanted to look at sold within hours and before my clients could even get off work to go look at them. Nearly every house had multiple showings at the same time and we rarely had a chance to view the house by ourselves.  In fact, we kept running into the same people at house after house. We felt like we were getting lapped on 400-meter track.

We made offers on four houses and each one got rejected. It was heart wrenching, watching my clients fall in love with a house and then ultimately not earn it. After every failed buying attempt we re-evaluated our offer strategy and tweaked our game plan for the next offer we were going to make.  Ultimately, our strategy did not change much, because our strategy made the best long-term financial sense for my client, but it required patience and persistence.

It all came together on our fifth offer. The house was part of an estate and needed a little cosmetic TLC, but the floor plan, lot and location were just what my client wanted. The three-bedroom house is in a quiet neighborhood and just a bike ride away from Fishers’ city center.  It had two full baths, an eat-in kitchen, a screened in porch and a fenced in yard for their dog. The kitchen and bathrooms hadn’t been updated, but they were in good shape and can be updated over time. We made an offer and after a counter offer, we got it accepted.

The inspection came back with very little issues and the sellers agreed to fix the few items on our list. Now my clients could breathe a sigh of relief.  Assuming the title work came back clean, we were on our cool-down lap of this marathon. My clients were going to actually buy their first house!

Their financing package was complex and took a while to put it all together because of the type of loan and the grant they received. We had to delay closing three times, but the financing package was worth the extra push-ups. Thanks to our offer strategy and the unique financing plan, my clients brought no money to closing and actually received a check from the seller at closing. That is unheard of! The seller literally wrote my clients a check at closing! They had enough money to buy some paint and light fixtures for their new house!


Putting this buying transaction together was like a workout: hard, but worth it! I am so happy how it turned out for my clients and I know this is a great house to start their new life together.

Home Sweet Home!


If you would like to learn more about a $0-down loan or see if you qualify for a non-repayable grant from the state, reach out to me today. I’m here to help you reach your homeownership goals!




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