In researching a story on the state of real estate in Rochester and Rochester Hills, we asked for your stories about buying and selling homes in the two cities. Here is a collection of responses and stories, both from the Rochester Patch Facebook page and from email correspondence.
Julie Spasoski: "We just bought our first home here in Rochester Hills. We were leasing a townhouse for years. We had been looking for quite some time, but not seriously. We finally decided last June would be the right time for us. I swear we looked at 50+ homes. Our price range started out around $150,000.
"The houses were priced low and then end up with multiple offers. It was heart-breaking. House after house had slipped away, all going to offers that were substantially more — I mean homes that were short sales and foreclosures even. We just couldn't figure out why people were willing to pay $30k or more above asking for these homes.
"After losing about 6 homes this way, we ended up having to increase our limit. We finally found a lovely home that was right at the top of our budget, but we were the first ones to put an offer in and it was accepted right away. It was a short sale so things took a bit, but here we are. Our first home.
"We wanted to stay in the area we were at, behind Hamlin Elementary, but ended up at Orion and Rochester. We looked ALL over the city. SO many nice homes and areas to choose from, but the whole bit about the multiple offers was so mind boggling! It is true though, homes here in Rochester/Rochester Hills do not stay on the market long!"
Brian Mack: "Homes that are in decent shape and are priced right will sell fairly quickly. Homes that have been neglected or are priced unreasonably will sit for months. There just aren't that many nice homes out there, so the good ones don't last long."
Rick Straughen: "We bought a house in the summer of 2011 and a lot of the houses in Rochester Hills were sold in less than 24 hours of being listed. We were happy to finally get one and have enjoyed living here. Brian's comment is very accurate. I believe the one we bought had 6 offers on the first day being listed (open house)."
Natalie Gasiorowski: "More houses would be on the market if they would help out some of us that are SO underwater we want to move and can't Instead of helping out those who bought out of their league and are defaulting on their mortgages, how about helping out those of us that ARE paying our mortgages, want to move but could never sell for what we bought for 9+ years ago. Inventory on the market won't get better until the market value gets closer to what people's mortgages are somehow-especially of mid-priced homes."
Stephen Frye: "We bought two-and-a-half years ago (staying in community) and were also able to sell. I've seen signs go up and down quickly. I've also heard that the situation is the same in Bloomfield area. Shows the value of a good school system."
Melissa Vecchi: "Six months ago and we missed out on several home due to multiple offers. Some sold when we were en route!!"
Jade Rubino: "Currently purchasing a house in Clawson. We searched in Berkley, Royal Oak, and Clawson and it was the exact same situation. So incredibly stressful! The house we are buying, we put an offer on the same day it was listed, I think we may have been the first people to look at it as well."
Megan Lozen Barnes: "We bought in area two years ago, and had the same issue. Lost many houses to multi-bid situations. Finally got one and paid $500 over asking price. Appraisal was an issue though, and homes still appraising for less than market value. (what others willing to pay, as evidenced by all the multi bids)"
Sandy Tabacchi: "My husband is an agent and often has a difficult time finding houses because there are not very many for sale and those that are often go quickly. If you're thinking of selling this may be a good time. And please call my husband!"
Angela Todd: "We bought In July. We literally had no time to think about putting offers in. We just did bc houses were coming up and down so fast. I would scour the listings multiple times daily and call my agent to get us showings quickly. Thankfully he was on his game as well. It was nuts.
"If you can find a house that's in decent shape, you literally have no time to think. I saw that the listing come on and we were there within hours of it being listed. Thankfully, my realtor and I are both fairly aggressive because with current market conditions, you can not afford to not act. Within the first day of being listed, there were multiple offers made. My realtor put together a strong offer at asking price and it was accepted thankfully! It had no problem appraising thankfully but I think that's because they listed for what they knew it would appraise for.
"We also had our share of disappointment in Rochester Hills. Submitted offers on a few and did not win. You feel like you are acting so fast on the biggest purchase of your life when really you should be taking your time and making sure. I am thankful I had a real estate agent whom I trusted that really lead the way for us."