I’m just a regular first time home buyer that decided to document the housing market as experienced in 2022.
A little backstory
I started seriously considering buying in Fall of 2021. I contacted a loan officer who gave me some numbers at that point. What I found is that I’m able to qualify for and afford houses up to 1m-ish. I’ve no idea if I could afford more, I didn’t really want to buy much higher than that. I have a 25% down payment ready to go for that.
As it turned out, I didn’t actually get searching in Fall 2021. A lot of travel happened in that time, since there was a slight let-up in Covid. I went to Europe and Canada and we were out of town for the holidays. So we really started in earnest in January of 2022.
We saw a couple of houses for 850k and quickly saw those houses sell for 50k, 150k and 300k more than the listing price. That’s when I started looking at the data more and realized this market felt way too close to the peak of the 2008 financial crisis. The more I looked at stuff, the more crazy it all seemed. And I started getting nervous about getting trapped in an overpriced home underwater for a decade.
In 2005, I was 4 years out of college, in my first software engineering job. My pay was actually good, but I had been paying for my younger sibling’s college so most of my savings had gone towards that. Everyone, but everyone was buying. All my coworkers and friends. Even my tax person told me I really should. But I didn’t, because I also loved where I rented, with my best friend close to the beach. I thought I was being unwise.
Short story I didn’t buy. And when the market crashed I got laid off along with 250 of my coworkers. Thankfully i got another job right away. But some of those coworkers and friends ended up foreclosing. Some didn’t get jobs for 6 months.
I was not smarter for making that decision back then, it was just I wasn’t ready to settle into suburban cookie cutter life which was all I’d be able to afford. I got lucky. I managed to dodge that bullet, thankfully. And I don’t want to line up to catch this one.
Disclaimer: I’m an idiot first time home buyer. I’ve never taken an econ class in my life. I’m just sharing what I see and learn as it happens. I am 100% certain I will get things wrong, so don’t take any of this as the golden truth.