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Home-buying isn’t supposed to be “demoralizing,” but in North Texas it is

We followed homebuyers through the grueling process. And we got an earful.

DALLAS — Not too long ago, a home-buying story like Wendi Hinson’s would not have been believable.

“We put in seven bids. Every single bid was well over asking. Sometimes we put in a bid without ever seeing the house,” Hinson said.

Six of those offers were rejected.

“It was never even close,” she said. “We ended up going about $60,000 over our original budget. For a house built in the 1970s.”

Hinson and her husband had just had a baby. They were moving to North Texas from Austin for work and assumed the local real estate market would be better than central Texas.

“We were wrong,” she said.

Kishwar Mehdi’s had a similar experience.

He and his wife started shopping for homes near the end of 2020.

A baby was on the way and they were hoping to purchase in Hurst, Euless, or Bedford to stay close to family.

“Every offer we were putting in for months kept being rejected,” Mehdi said. “It was demoralizing at times. But we had to take it on the chin and keep moving.”

The Mehdis came to the realization the HEB area was not attainable.

Their baby is now 8 months old, and they will finally close on new construction in the Eagle Mountain area at the end of May.

“This was a grueling experience. It wasn’t fun,” Mehdi said.

According to the Re/Max National Housing Report, Dallas-Fort Worth saw the largest spike in home sales prices in the nation.

Home prices are up 39.5% over 2021.

The report says the median home price in DFW was $362,782 in April.

That’s well over Stephanie and Marco Meza’s budget. And as mortgage rates tick up, their budget gets squeezed.

“At first we’d do like $275,000 to $300,000 and then the rates went up. So, we started looking at $250,000 to $275,000. And then the rates went up more and then we started to $225,000 to $250,000,” said Marco.

The Mezas were looking for a three-bedroom, two-bath brick home in an older neighborhood.

They preferred Dallas, but it was “out of our price range,” Marco said.

They put in three offers on homes that were rejected. All those offers were over asking, “but you have all these other people that are going $40,000 or $50,000 over asking price,” Marco said.

The Mezas are in their late 30s. They’ve been married seven months and compared looking for a home to being on a dating app.

First thing every day, they looked at listings.

“I mean literally at 5:00 in the morning,” Stephanie said.

It was also the last thing they did every night.

“This is our daily routine for six months,” she said.

Going to look at a home felt like speed dating.

“It would hit on a Thursday. By Saturday it would say, ‘multiple offers, highest, best offer by Monday,’” Stephanie described. “It’s literally 24 hours for you to decide if you want a home or not, which is outrageous.”

The Meza’s realtor is Lisa Moya King of Sotheby’s.

“I think the most I’ve ever had to do with a buyer is probably 22 offers,” King said. “There have been times when buyers have gotten emotional. And I’m like, I don’t know who you believe in, but I believe there are these real estate gods. And when it’s supposed to happen, it’s gonna happen.”

She said she has to remind her clients – and herself – to breathe and believe in the process.

King and her team recently sold two homes on Bryan Parkway in Dallas, one street from historic Swiss Avenue.

One home was listed for $1.195 million. It went under contract for over that.

The house across the street sold for $200,000 over the $895,000 asking price.

King isn’t shocked by the numbers anymore.

“Every year we think it’s going to normalize, and the market is going to slow. But we still have a housing shortage,” she said. “So as long as we have that shortage, it’s simple economics. Supply and demand.”

She said she counsels buyers who are overpaying to remember that purchasing a home is a long-term investment.

“Do not expect to put your house right back on the market and get what you paid for it,” she said.

King said she’s starting to see a few indications of market “softening.”

In ZIP code 75228 in East Dallas, King said she’s seen some price decreases and homes sitting on the market for not just days, but a week or two.

And in ZIP code 75233 in southwest Dallas County, King saw a $50,000 price reduction on a five-bedroom, three-bath house.

“So, keep looking,” she said. “Have patience.”

King helped the Mezas put in what she calls a “super clean” offer on a home in Garland.

The definition of super clean, according to King, is no option period, “probably doubling or tripling earnest money, and an appraisal waiver.”

Also, “not asking for any sort of home warranty, closing as soon as you can, and giving a leaseback for free to the seller to live in their house until they find the next one.”

It worked.

The Mezas closed on the home in Garland one week after they put in the offer.

“I cried,” Stephanie said.

It was a crazy process, they said, but worth it.

“Good things don’t come easily,” Marco said.

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