We Bought a House in Florida

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Need an edge in a bidding war? Rocket Can™

While all opinions are my own, Rocket Mortgage® has sponsored this post.

As you may know, my husband, Zach, and I had been thinking about purchasing a second home pretty much as soon as we closed on our current home in Oregon last June. Not even a year later, here we were, continually finding ourselves back in my home state of Florida and feeling a real pull to have a home there. We decided to officially embark on this journey in April, and I’d say it’s been a pretty quick process, especially considering how wild and unpredictable this current housing market is.

top of a palm tree against the mostly sunny sky

While we were still perusing houses, we decided to team up with Rocket Mortgage® to document the home buying journey and to share some of the tips and things we’ve learned along the way! Like how in this crazy market you absolutely need timely access to all your mortgage information, documents, etc. Even if it’s on a weekend or a little later in the evening, Rocket Can.

The home searching and purchasing process can all be a little overwhelming, especially if you’re a first-time home buyer! That said, we made a little video sharing a bit about our own journey, which you can watch here. We also decided to compile a list with Rocket Mortgage of our tried-and-true tips to succeeding in this current housing market!

Tip 1

First off, Rocket Mortgage is so simple to use, so you can get the ball rolling without feeling stuck on the first step.

Tip 2

Odds are, the first house you look at won’t be “the one.” It’s good to get familiar with the flow of things and take your time! Purchasing a home is a super big and super exciting decision, so keep persevering in your search, and when you find “the one,” go for it with all you’ve got!

Tip 3

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, timely communication is a must! Especially when it’s 8:00 p.m. on a Tuesday night and you’ve stumbled upon your dream home, right?  It’s so important to have access to your mortgage information when it’s convenient for you. So, if you need someone to pick up the phone and happy dance with you at a moment’s notice, Rocket Can.

Tip 4

Don’t be afraid to offer over asking on a home if you really, really want it. Chat with your team and ask them what they think a good, competitive offer will be! This is something we did, because in this market, offering over asking seems to be the most assured way of securing the home you desire – and trust me, your team will know best! Rocket Mortgage helps you understand how much home you can afford and also get home loan options.

Tip 5

Write a sincere, personalized offer letter to go with your offer. I know plenty of folks who have gotten their offer accepted even if they weren’t the highest bidder, simply because their letter and personal story grabbed hold of the seller’s attention! This was something that we did, and we truly believe it helped us secure the home, even though there were multiple offers and higher bidders.

boy and girl's feet in a swimming pool

Speaking of an offer letter, a lot of you have asked me about the offer letter situation and what specifically I included, so here’s a few of my own personal offer letter “hacks,” if you will. Once you’re done reading, there will be a PDF available to download of the exact letter we used to secure this home!

Always start out by addressing the sellers by name. Ask your real estate agent for this info, as it’s usually easy information for them to get. After that, address the home visually. Talk about how you love the exterior charm, or how you appreciate the floors, or the personal touches they’ve added to the landscaping, etc. Mention a personal connection – maybe you noticed they have a favorite quote of yours hung on their wall, or a vintage piece of furniture that you really resonate with, or maybe the street name reminds you of your childhood home. A personal connection is always a great attention grabber. Next, give a good blurb about why you feel their home would add value to your family’s life. Maybe it’s right down the street from your new job, or close to great hiking spots that you know you’d spend a lot of time at. Giving a good reason as to why you want the house can be super beneficial. Lastly, tell them a little about yourself and your family, maybe include a photo so they can put a face with a name and thank them for the opportunity to tour their home and for reading your letter. All of things combined can really help your offer stand out in a crowd!

top of a palm tree against the mostly sunny sky

Always start out by addressing the sellers by name. Ask your real estate agent for this info, as it’s usually easy information for them to get. After that, address the home visually. Talk about how you love the exterior charm, or how you appreciate the floors, or the personal touches they’ve added to the landscaping, etc. Mention a personal connection – maybe you noticed they have a favorite quote of yours hung on their wall, or a vintage piece of furniture that you really resonate with, or maybe the street name reminds you of your childhood home. A personal connection is always a great attention grabber. Next, give a good blurb about why you feel their home would add value to your family’s life. Maybe it’s right down the street from your new job, or close to great hiking spots that you know you’d spend a lot of time at. Giving a good reason as to why you want the house can be super beneficial. Lastly, tell them a little about yourself and your family, maybe include a photo so they can put a face with a name and thank them for the opportunity to tour their home and for reading your letter. All of things combined can really help your offer stand out in a crowd!

boy and girl standing at the front entry of a beige house

Overall, if you’re looking for a standout, simple experience, check out the folks at Rocket Mortgage. It was so fun working on this project with them, and I hope we made the home buying experience a little more enjoyable.

Click Here for my Offer Letter

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