What To Do When The House of Your Dreams Doesn’t Become Yours

by Sabrina Smelko


A few weeks ago, we found our dream home. Tucked away on a quiet street in a quaint neighborhood, stood an unassuming double-brick Victorian, covered in ivy, and inside, finished to our taste with all of the bells and whistles. It was a just a stone’s throw away from friends, and a 5-minute walk to my partner, Shawn’s, new office. It was perfect. We put in a strong offer, we had no conditions, we put smiley faces on all of the cheques and forms, we got along great with the neighbor, who promised to put in a good word for us.

As we awaited the call from our Realtor, we distracted ourselves over a bowl of Pho at a local Vietnamese restaurant that we dragged ourselves to in an attempt to avoid sitting on the couch in silence. We ran through the options in our head and convinced ourselves the home must be ours, but in the end, the call started and ended with, “overbid by $80,000.” At first, we weren’t really upset. We thought, “Well, they can have it!” But over the following week, I began to go through the whole spectrum of emotions from apathy, to being sad about it, to confused, to where I find myself now: in a state of suspension. I had begun picturing myself there; waking up and having coffee on the back deck off the kitchen; working in the upstairs loft. It felt strange realizing that someone else would be living in the house that I had so many intimate pictures of on my iPhone.

At a certain point, I started over-exaggerating the home’s con-list and convincing myself that it wasn’t the one — and maybe it wasn’t. Maybe it would have been a mistake and come with myriad issues. Maybe it wasn’t the right time. And maybe, just maybe, the grass isn’t always greener. In this case, it certainly wasn’t — there was literally no grass to be had: the yard was all beautiful gardens, but it was small. See? Again, another comparison you run through in your brain when this happens. Another pro and con.

Since then, we’ve been to dozens of other homes and visited countless open houses, all ending in disappointment, but all punctuated by coming home to our current nest, which has birthed in me a kind of nostalgia. If nothing else, the experience has left me thankful for what I do have and with a newfound appreciation for certain aspects of the space that I had taken for granted. Though where we are isn’t the place I want to raise my family in the long run, I’m finding myself falling back in love with it for what it has been for us. As I type this, I’m sitting in my large, lush backyard listening to the birds as my puppy, Piper, rolls around, covering herself in pieces of fresh-cut grass as she gnaws on a stick in the shade under our large catalpa tree. And perhaps, that says it all. Sometimes there’s beauty to be found in surrendering. –Sabrina

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  • When my husband and I were househunting we found a quirky little house that we both just fell in love with instantly. Vaulted master bedroom ceiling with wood beams, original wide plank pine floors, huge separate garage/studio with heat (he restores cars, I’m an artist), tons of land with great sun for growing a huge garden and the best part, a couple of chickens had already set up home in the woods out back.

    However, it needed a lot of work. Structurally, it was fine but the whole house needed electric rewiring (aka $$$$$) and it would need a gut reno of the kitchen and the two bathrooms. Our inspector and my contractor FIL convinced us that this was not the right first house for us so we passed.

    As fate would have it, we ended up buying a house a mere mile away and every single day we drive by that quirky little house with the chickens and dream up big plans for one day when we might be able to buy that house again.

    Three years later, we regret passing on that house and if we were to go back in time, we would put in an offer on the spot.

    • I’ve haven’t yet had the good fortune to be in the market, so I can’t directly empathize, but even still, reading this story gave me quite a pang of sadness. I truly hope that the quirky little house becomes yours someday, and that you are overjoyed when it does.

    • I am so sorry you missed out on your dream home. We also took my husband’s parents to our dream home showing and I regretted it immediately. My husband talked with his father the whole time and by the end of the showing my husband was a hard no due to “issues” that were not issues to me at all. Fast forward 3 weeks, my husband has come around and he sees the light and says “we gotta get that house! Why did I listen to my Dad? He isn’t going to live there – WE ARE!”. My husband emails our agent that we want to put in an offer and settle in 3 weeks – he is already planning the move and timing for when we put our house on the market (we aren’t selling our house before we move). We had 45 minutes of pure bliss imagining ourselves in our dream home and working out the logistics (I’m a director of Supply Chain and a logistics puzzle is my version of porn!). Our agent came back and said that the sellers accepted an offer 4 HOURS AGO. I am now going through all the emotions – but I’ll never blame my husband or his Dad. Blame does nothing but cause anger – and what is the point of that?? This is such a huge purchase and proper time and thought needs to go into it. We have been looking for over a year and it would be so easy to just lose it, but if I have learned one thing over the past year it is this – nothing is ever awful or terrible, unless you allow yourself to feel that way. I am blessed to already own a home (albeit far too small for us) and be in a position where we don’t NEED to move, but we WANT to move. No one died, nothing is earth-shattering – we lost out on our dream house. . . until we find our new dream house. All the best to my fellow searchers out there. We will get through this!

      • Thank you for this encouraging post. I am still grieving over the one that got away from us last week. We had practically unpacked everything in our minds. I am still praying that the buyers will change their minds.

  • This time last year, my husband and I were looking to buy our first house. We finally put an offer on one that we loved, despite its flaws. Our offer was accepted and we went to contract. Then the seller came up with some reason that we needed to re-sign the contract. Which we did. Then our realtor called to say the seller had accepted another offer and we wouldn’t even get a chance to counter. Just like that, the house and all the dreams I had already envisioned were gone.

    We looked at so many houses after that, each less appealing than the last, and always terrible in comparison to the house we lost.

    Then, we found our house. I didn’t really like it at first, but when we looked a second time, we saw how much better it was and that this really was the right house. We’ve lived there for nearly a year and I am unbelievably glad we lost the first house. It just wasn’t as good, even though we were convinced it was.

    All this to say that you will end up with the right house because something was wrong with the one you lost.

  • Perfect timing! We just lost our dream flat, 3 days before closing, 3 weeks before moving (across the channel). Movers booked, workers booked, paint colours chosen, ferry booked, furniture sold… and now the bank downstairs from the flat (I can’t say OUR flat anymore) preempts us and buys it! And not even for banking purposes! Just so that the bank manager’s mistress can have a convenient place to wash her hair (that’s what we’ve decided anyway).
    I’m still in denial, partly. The other, more pragmatic part of me is frantically searching for a place to rent. An unexciting, emergency, take-what-you-get place to rent. For how long? Very long. Bargains like that one don’t come up very often.
    The bottom line is, sometimes life sucks. However, it’s made me realise this a rich person’s problem. Worse things happen. We’re not homeless, we’re not pennyless, and we have options. And a bottle of rosé in the fridge. Something will turn up! The world is packed with beautiful homes. It’s also full of many very ugly ones. Let’s see what we end up with…

    • I know this is an old post but thank you! I am in a ‘grieving’ process after losing out on the home of our dreams. Ticked all the boxes and was unlike anything I had seen before. It was instant love.
      I was misled by the selling agent and was outbid by $85k! I have since learnt friends of his purchased the property.
      Still house hunting with no luck.
      Your right – this is first world problems. We have our health, my kids have a roof over their heads, meals and warm beds every night. It certainly does make you rethink about what is important. Wants and needs are two very different things.
      Thank you, for your post, I hope you have since found your dream place that was meant to be.

      • I too have just read this after searching for comfort online. The ‘grief’ has shocked me.

        Today I woke up after little sleep feeling this was the day our offer would be accepted after going into Sealed bids (like eBay). A Victorian cottage, close to the train station, near a great school & with a beautiful garden.

        But the agent played us off against another offer. He implied out offer was strong, when he asked for Final, we offered just over…and got the awful call just now that the other couple went *significantly* over. It’s horrible.

        I feel stupid. We had pictured ourselves in the rooms, taken measurements, asked our parents about it. You emotionally invest because you have to. It’s every penny of your savings.

        It really feels like grief. We’ve cried. We’ve lost our appetites. We’ve felt heartbreak like I never expected.

        But I thank you for the post. The thing is, we’re incredibly lucky. Our little 1 bed apartment is filled with memories, and I’m happy that one day it will belong to another couple.

        Tonight we’ll crawl into bed under a warm English sky, and feel sad, but very thankful for what we do have.


        • we just lost the house of our dreams, we were first people to look at it when it went on market, we put in offer right away, took two days to get a counter, we countered one more time, 3 days later sellers counter, finally responded with another counter, we finally accepted the counter offer and were told there was another offer now, we put in a new offer at full price, which is the same offer as the other people, and they gave it to them. This seems so unfair to us, as we accepted the counter and that should have been good. I had been on such a roller coaster during that week, and also fearful of leaving the home I’ve lived for 28 years, but now I am so upset and depressed that it was just snatched away by someone else with no explanation as to why we didn’t get it beings we were the first one, and we would have gotten it for less had it not been for these people.

        • Just reading this after just finding out my offer in the perfect house was not accepted. Feeling like I will never find a house that great. I cannot believe the loss and devastation that I’m feeling right now. It truly is a loss when you’ve pictured your entire future there and now it’s not a possibility. I didn’t imagine I would be grieving this but hopefully it doesn’t last long and something else comes about.

  • We’ve lived in our current home for seven years. It was love at first sight, and even after doing way more work than we expected (it is 100 years old), I am still in love. That said, I think I could be in love with many neighborhoods and homes in this beautiful city. You’ll find another dream house, or hey, the owners might even put it up for sale in a few years.

  • We put an offer for our dream home. It needed some work, so our first offer was lower than the asking price. Worth a try we thought. We expected them to come back to us so we could negotiate, but they came back saying it was the asking price or nothing. We took a couple of weeks to review our finances and see what could be done. They sold the house in the meantime. We found out when we went back to them with the full offer. And worse still. I have since found out that the new owners did some work to it, and are now renting it as a holiday home. So sad… and no, I can’t let go. It will be back on the market, and this time we’ll be ready!

  • We once lost a dream home to another buyer’s bid as well, and it was exceptionally unnerving as I was five or six months pregnant and we had already sold our apartment (New York City co-ops are a world unto themselves).
    But much as we loved that place, we ended up with an apartment we liked even more. It’s almost 20 years later, and I still feel happy every time I walk through the door.
    Here’s wishing you good luck, too.

  • I’ve never had the luxury of being in the market for a house, but I know the disappointment of things falling through all too well. Especially housing. I live in London, and housing is truly a Hunger Games-style situation.

    I’m currently sitting in anticipation, waiting for a response from the government about a visa… and your bit about there being beauty in surrendering? That made me feel a bit calmer, just now. Thanks for sharing your experience and thoughts. Xx

  • When we went househunting 12 years ago, we were searching for “the one”. 2 years later we ended up settling for a small 1958 bungalow that had been DIY’ed, but not in a good way. Our intention was to fix it up, but life intervened. We have lived here for a decade, and our life story is so intricately intertwined with the house that I cannot imagine leaving. We have begun to correct the DIY nightmares, and are learning to love our space all over again.

  • First, let me say that I do understand. I looked at a 2-bedroom condo once that felt particularly special and I still think back on it almost a decade later. Did I know then that I’d still be pining for it now? No. And that’s just it – you don’t know when something is “the one” until after the moment has passed and you’ve already submitted an offer or someone else has. When I was looking to buy my current home, I had that same special feeling about a 4-bedroom house that I ultimately didn’t get. Do I miss that one? No, I certainly don’t feel like it’s the one that got away, which is the part that’s funny. There are only a handful of homes that stick out to me among the many I’ve seen over the years and give me that sentimental pang of “oh, I wish I could be there again.” That all being said, there is no way that your offer was a strong one if you were overbid by $80k. So, either up your offering price the next time around, or accept lowered expectations for next time.

    • Jessvii

      Your assumption here (which could have used a kinder tone) about offer strength here isn’t entirely incorrect. In large cities (Sabrina is just outside of Toronto), housing prices are sky rocketing and over-bidding is wildly common. That doesn’t mean that we’re all able to make our bids the same way- but that doesn’t make them wrong or unrealistic. I have friends who were outbid- in cash- 100k OVER asking- for a home in NYC and know of plenty of houses here in our rural area who bid well over 50k over asking price in order to make quick sales.

      Here’s an example I know of personally in Canada where a fellow blogger friend lives: she and her husband bid $225k on a house listed at $250k (there were some issues with plumbing). The house sold, in cash, that week for $315k. Almost 100k over asking and in cash. It’s not unheard of and bidding $25k under isn’t uncommon, especially when houses need some work. Having been through the house-buying process recently, we got a very good lesson from our agent about what represents a strong offer and what doesn’t. If you’re bidding $50k and more under, yes, that’s not the best bet, especially in a tough market (in a slow market, you probably can get away with that and more). But bidding a bit under isn’t unrealistic. So it’s a tough spot of trying to make a realistic offer on houses these days but dealing with a housing market in most large cities that is flush with people trying to buy properties quick, in cash, as investments.

      It looks like Toronto in particular is having a burst-bubble moment (or is just on the cusp of one), so hopefully people won’t be over-bidding so much in the future…



      • I live north of Toronto, and what you say here is exactly right. The market is absolutely insane. My husband and I made an offer on a house in our neighborhood a couple years ago, and it was something like $30k over asking. The winning bid was $60k over asking. It was very disappointing. This scenario is so common up here, and has made it so that I am hesitant to even attempt to move.

        • Another Toronto reader here, and yes, the market is completely bonkers. We lost out on 6 bidding wars before we finally bought the sad, yet sweet little row house that nobody else wanted. One bidding war we were involved in ended up going $120K over asking. (!!!) Unfortunately, I don’t think the bubble is going to burst any time soon. The crazy housing market keeps perpetuating itself, since people are terrified to move, as Sara said, and so there are fewer and fewer listings.

          There’s one house we lost out on that I still can’t get out of my head. I can’t even walk past it.

          • You’ve got that right! Unfortunately for many buyers, it will likely remain a seller’s market for quite some time. But I hope you find happiness where you are, Jess! :)

            • Thanks, Sabrina! We sure did, and slowly fell in love with our sweet little place. I bet any house you end up in will end up amazing with your crazy skills. Hope your house hunt has a happy ending, and sooner rather than later!

  • Oh I can so relate! I had this exact thing happen to me although I was never told how much higher the other bidder came in. I call tell you that I already had decided where all my existing furniture would go in each room. I had already moved in mentally. It was a perfect home and nothing else compared. I felt sad for what seemed like forever. We went and viewed other homes and nothing compared. I get what you are feeling. I even wrote a story about my experience and that was 7 years ago. But, we ended up getting a second chance…. The house fell out of escrow at the last minute and their realtor called us … It really was meant to be our house. I know this may not be the way this story ends for you. I just wanted to tell you how much I understand!! Marcy

  • I bought a pre-build condo 2 years ago and it was everything that I wanted. I had spent some years before doing my researcher and getting my finances in check to make sure I was able to make such an investment. Unfortunately there have been some major changes with the design layouts and the development itself with an even longer delay. To say the least I am totally not happy because I now don’t know if I am going to like it anymore. I am currently getting feedback from professionals and close friends to see if it’s even worth it to stick it out or just walk away with my money. Everything was great up until now and I was already envisioning how I wanted to design and place things. There is good chance I may just walk away because I can’t really envision myself being completely happy with what is going on. Being a first time home buyer is really frustrating, especially when you are all on your own, and so far it’s been a really disappointing experience. Until I make a decision on how I want to move forward, perhaps it’s not meant to be. Maybe you are in store for bigger and better things.

  • The anxiety, anticipation, and disappointment of house hunting in our city (home values here are the most inflated in the nation according to all the housing reports, and the process is extremely aggressive) has actually led us to continue renting. We’ve had some renting nightmares, and as a result are considering buying, even though we know that the home will lose value because of the market bubble. Oy. I’m extremely nervous about 1) buying in a massive bubble, and 2) committing to a home in a city that is changing so rapidly that I hardly recognize it from a year ago, and 3) the inevitable long road of getting attached-offering-losing that comes with buying here. So kudos for having the courage to get out there and allow yourself to be excited about the possibilities of a new place – I’ll be so interested to hear about the house that does end up being your dream home!

  • I feel for ya. Real estate is a tough one, full of ups and downs and unpredictability. You’ll find the ‘one’. I watched (stalked) our house online for 3 years. Talk about obsessing and visiting the site to look at pictures one too many times. Frankly the house was too expensive at the time, and while I loved it, it wasn’t in the cards for us. Then a few things happened with our apartment and we were able to start looking – when I checked on our house the price dropped $250K, then we put in an offer $50K lower than the reduced price. I’m thrilled to have the house, and I’m also happy we did what works for us. The right house will come along for you, at the right price. Hang in there. :)

  • I’m so sorry — I can imagine how disappointing it is after going through the nerve wracking process of putting in an offer. This has to be Toronto, right? I’m from there (though currently in the US) and about to move back. I’m dreading how expensive and bonkers the real estate market is in Ontario. From an American perspective, it’s insane.

  • Oh my! Last October, my husband and I decided we needed to sell our condo and buy a home with an actual yard. We searched for a month, but it happened to be a month where each week seemed like a year. The process was draining. When we finally found a home we loved enough to bid on, we decided to bid the day and moment we saw it. Our realtor called the other realtor and, lo and behold, someone had just bid on the home and gotten it!

    I, we, were devastated.

    A month or so later, we decided to increase our price point by just $10K or $15K… my mom came across a house in our new price point and we fell in love with it and placed a bid on it the next morning. After all was said and done, the seller wanted to sell quickly and decided to lower the price when the appraisal came in at our actual original budget price! We are now over the moon and love our property. We have made it our own with a little love, elbow grease, and some of the money that we thought we would have to shell out to just by the home.

    The right home, an even better home for you, will come. It will be the home where your life just naturally happens. It will bring you nothing but joy. Wait for it. Hard as it is. It’s just around the corner.

    If it happened for us, it can definitely happen for you.

    • Thank you so much for this reply. Really made me feel we have a better home to look forward to in the future.

  • Oh, I so feel your pain! When me and my boyfriend were searching for a house a couple of years ago, we found the one. It had basically a park sized shady yard, beautiful skylights upstairs, a studio space for me, and a screened porch. Being in the dining room felt like being in a treehouse. We drove by so many times to look at it, we had also moved in mentally. We put in a lower offer because it needed work, but told the family we would respect their late uncle’s gardening legacy. It was like pulling teeth to get responses, so we painfully went back and forth on price 3 times, which took about 2 months. Finally, there was a $5000 spread between our offer and their price and it felt like we had it! It was then that another buyer swooped in an snatched it up. We were so heartbroken! We had looked at well over 20 houses, so we felt like we’d never see another one we liked. Just when we’re were gonna give up before the holidays, we found one that just felt like home when we walked in. It had a beautiful smaller yard, didn’t need as much work, and was closer to what we wanted to pay. The process was completely different, the owners took the offer and we closed SO FAST. We were able to move in the middle of December. It was surreal, and I’m so happy! You just never know what will turn up next. :)

  • Oh I feel your heartbreak! Is there anything more emotional than making a home? I still think back on the “what might have beens”; two coops in Brooklyn that we didn’t throw ourselves into enough at the time. The place we ended up with is much smaller and presents some challenges, but I try to remember the benefits — significantly smaller mortgage, lovely views, better location. The regret still hasn’t fully passed two years later, though.

  • We found a dream house a couple years ago, mentally moved in, and went along to the auction feeling pretty good about our chances based on what the real estate agent had said about what it would probably go for. The bidding opened at our maximum price and went from there, ending up about $70,000 over. Even the agent was taken-aback! Here in Auckland house prices are going through the roof and competition is so high people are putting in offers hours after they’ve seen a place and might be paying a couple hundred thousand over govt. valuation, it’s one of the most expensive cities in the world compared to wages. I think finding a dream house somewhere like here is just too dangerous as the chances of missing out on it are so high. I later discovered that house was a dream house for several people at the auction and we all missed out to someone who immediately put it up for rent. Sigh. I like the house we ended up with, and in many ways it’s much better, but every time I go past the other one I think “you should have been MINE!”

  • Hi there – sounds like Toronto prices are as crazy as those in Melbourne, Australia. A house around the corner was listed for $1.4m (it’s a small home with a little yard, and NO street appeal), and ended up selling for $2.24M – yes, you read that right. By a buyer who told our neighbour he’s going to ‘sit’ on it for 3 years, not rent it out, then try and build 3 townhouses on it. He just ‘banks’ houses apparently… How depressing for the young families who were trying to get in the market as a first home. $1.4M is bad enough, but sheesh….

  • The Toronto housing market right now is insane. A beautiful brick victorian house nowadays in a good location is minimum $700,000-$800,000. My guess is it’s in the Broadview/Gerrard area if it’s near pho, which makes it a very desirable area. The homes there are beautiful, and homes are going for well over $100,000 over ask. It’s pretty crazy. It’s very common for people to come in with a bully bid to secure the house they want, as there are bidding wars going on. I’m just glad I’m not looking and live happily in my home. We even received letters and voice messages from realtors asking if we were interested in selling as they already have a list of clientele looking in our area to buy. NUTS!!!!

  • Two days ago we made an offer. The house had been on the market for three weeks. We went in low because it needs a new septic system. We were told there was potentially another offer in the works and would we want to revise, but we said no, because why would we raise our bid if somebody else might maybe be thinking of offering? Found out yesterday the sellers are working with the other offer. Sigh. Apparently they have the same conditions as ours (mostly regarding septic inspection) so obviously their bid is higher. We went into this, my husband and I, agreeing that we would not get all mentally messed up. I have been dealing with some heavy mental health issues. Last night, we agreed that we can let it go. Hate to, but it is what it is. There is a chance the other bidders will not want to deal with the expense and hassle of the septic upgrade, but being a farm kid I’m pretty realistic about those things. Just accepting that the place is as good as sold. It doesn’t matter that it would have been the next best thing to perfect… if we don’t get it, it means we don’t have to worry or deal with whatever problems it had. Losing that place doesn’t mean the world is out to kick us when we’re down. We don’t have to take it personally. It just goes that way.

    It’s comforting to read this story and comments, even if it means sharing some disappointment and heartbreak, because like I said, it’s not personal. We sold a house over listing in less than a week five years ago, but it’s taken another five years to sell a commercial unit. It happens. We can’t predict where we’ll end up, but I hope with a healthy attitude, we can find ourselves in a better — much different — situation than we imagined.

  • another quick note – we are in southwestern Ontario farm country, and the Toronto real estate insanity definitely has a ripple effect. I can’t believe how the prices have gone up. Real estate kind of feels like gambling. It can be an emotional roller coaster. But I’m not ready to give up yet!

  • Grace,
    You are using words that I did not. I did not say that Sabrina was “wrong” or “unrealistic” in bidding what she did. I did have a bit of a tough love tone, which you picked up on, but that’s just how my family speaks – frankly and directly. Simply put, there is a difference between saying “we thought we put in a strong offer” (which is the wording I’d have preferred) and “we [did] put in a strong offer.” With the benefit of hindsight, it wasn’t a strong offer from the seller’s point of view, and that is factual. I have heard from many realtors that “you put in your highest and best offer” and “a home is worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it.” I don’t necessarily agree with the first statement – if I were in Sabrina’s shoes, I’d only put in an offer for whatever amount I was comfortable paying, regardless of how high someone else might be willing to go. It’s not Sabrina’s fault someone was willing to pay more. However, I do think the second piece of realtor wisdom is true – regardless of what offers come in and what the asking price was, as long as the seller and the bank accept an offer, then that offer becomes what the house is worth for that place and moment in time. So, although Sabrina’s offer may have been a strong offer when it was placed, this article was written after a higher offer was accepted. There is an element of time here – it is the events that happened after Sabrina’s offer was placed and before this article was written that lead to the determination that her offer was not strong given that particular home/market/location/day/time/fact set. Given the wealth of positive comments that have come in so far for this article, I fully expect that Sabrina will discover a housing opportunity that is even better for her than the house that got away.

    • Hey Jessvii!

      Thought I should give some perspective and reply to your comments. We actually offered list price, with no conditions (we had a pre-inspection and got pre-approval financially) and a completely flexible closing date. And the property is actually in Hamilton, where the homes last sold on that street went for $50k less than what they were asking, so our Realtor actually advised us that the list price was overpriced for the area, but also that it was unpredictable as Hamilton just started getting spill-over from Toronto, and bidding wars — which were not common before — were starting to happen. Our case was one of the first homes to go 80k over asking in that neighbourhood, so at the time, our offer was indeed strong. In fact, we were told it was over-paying! In hindsight, I stand by the fact that our offer was fair, just and strong, and the fact that someone over-paid doesn’t make our offer weak, it makes it less desirable. Some people have the luxury of paying whatever it takes, and it’s simply a shame that those of us who can only afford so much are forced to over-pay or become fearful of moving. An offer is strong until someone bids over it, seems to be the case, so lesson learned is that there is no lesson learned haha! It’s a seller’s marketplace, which makes it unpredictable and renders any pricing strategy useless. This post was just a personal essay and reflection I wanted to share, and obviously rings true for many! Just thought I should clarify :)

  • I love the conclusion of this piece, about appreciating what you already have. I was obsessed with moving last year, focusing on everything I didn’t like about our current home. But in the current Bay Area market it’s just ridiculous to buy if you don’t have to (houses going for 100-300K over asking), so I started reconsidering. And looking at what we already have. And now I’m planning some moderate changes to make it work better for us. Life does give us disappointments that also end up being lessons! Thanks Sabrina for the insight.

  • I really appreciate this article.
    Today i had been sad because i had just remembered some old memories. wanting to feel better i went on google and typed “i lost my dream house” and this came up. Just before i was packing my belongings in a few cardboard boxes for the renovation to begin in our small 2000 ft, 1 garage home. I live with my brother, mom and dad. Its been just 10 years since i have been living in our home. Our home consists of 4 bedrooms and 3 washrooms. Everything needs a renovation; from floors, kitchen cabinets to windows. Its costing us about $80,000 CAD to fix. As a 22 year old my room is a perfect square with the size of 3 twin size beds. It feels suffocating and my room is always cluttered. During the beginning of our renovation a house had just shown up on the market. This house was directly down the street. Location to us is significantly important as we live right in the heart of the city and have our close friends living by. This house had our friends living directly facing the house on sale. It was big, 2 garage and looked like a $1,000,000 house. Selling for around $890,000. We saw it, loved it and bid on it. the tragedy begins when we hire our family friend realtor to help us. Our realtor calls to bid and gets off on the worst foot ever with the other realtor. Needless to say, we disliked the new house realtor aswell. After we bid we got a fax back with ocnditions of NO inspection and no financing clause. unfortunately we didnt think that was reasonable so we didnt confirm her offer. Even though our bid was $4000 under asking price.

    And… we lost it.

    All of the action had happened in a matter of 1 day. the house had gone on the market 3 days prior and BAM sold. Now i see it every day… down the road. I just wish i hadnt fallin in love with it. I wish i couldve afforded it to the point we could have over bid. But its sold and belongs to new owners and im just so disappointed. Just thought i would share this. But at the end of the day we all know it happens for a reason.
    *Our renovations have started. Hopefully i can fall in love again with my own house after. (Fingers crossed, ill try my best!)

  • As the wife of a mobile executive I’ve bought many houses over the years and have found that the ones that got away were always prelude to finding an even better place for my family, so I hope it’s the same with you all.

    I had one strange experience that taught me to rely on my intuition much more than I had in the past. We had just started escrow on a beautiful house on a hill that had expanses of windows overlooking a green valley with even a horse barn my daughter loved. It was while riding down the winding narrow entry road I had a vision of my son, who had just gotten his license, crashing head-on into an oncoming car! It was so vivid it left me shaking. In the next week I tried to “talk sense” to myself about it but we ended up cancelling the escrow, which resulted in losing our earnest money, but even worse, disappointing the family. My husband and I discussed it and we decided that it would be best not to worry the children with the real reason and moved on with continuing the house hunt without them.

    We stopped into a diner with a friendly waitress who had time to chat who told us serious accidents happened on that road all the time. We felt so relieved we had made the right decision. As it turned out we did find an even better house in a safer area and my son did have a fender-bender some time later, but rather than being annoyed with him, I was so grateful knowing it could have been so much worse.

    • That is truly a powerful story. In this age of technology we should listen more to that kind of intuition when buying a home. Good for you for not doubting yourself and looking out for the safety of your family. Money is secondary.

  • Hey,
    Same as KATTIE here, I’m really sad today because tomorrow, I’m gonna lose my dream house. So I wanted to feel better as well so I went on google and typed “i lost my dream house” and this came up. I’m not from Toronto, but Fredericton New Brunswick, so the scenario is TOTALLY different here. Ppl don’t overbid, they down bid. That’s insane, you’re buying a house now, and if you’re selling in 6 months, you could easily lose $10,000 CAD. We bought a new condo 3 yrs ago ($153,000), and it’s been 6 months now, we are looking for a house to expend our family etc. And I saw it, THE house I dreamt off ($215,000). Perfect backyard, huge kitchen, 4 bedroom 2 bathrooms. Just perfect. But, we still have our condo. So we put our condo for sale, it’s been on the market for 2 months now. And then, we put a conditional offer to that house. We were so happy when they accept!!! ($192,000) All my plan was done, my furnitures had a place etc. But then, they called us, sayin that someone is offering $20,000 less than us, but could move in now. So we had 24 hours to decided if we wanted 2 mortgages or not basically. So, we let it go…… And tomorrow, I heard that those ppl are going to sign all the paperwork and move soon, and I’m sitting here, in my condo still for sale.

  • Ugh, just lost a house today. It was looking good until a third much higher bidder entered the proceedings. Despite my best efforts, I did start to mentally move in. Even though I only had this house in my head for a few days, it’s kind of breaking my heart that someone else will be entertaining on MY back porch. Thank you for the post. From that and the comments, it’s good to know I’m not the only one…

  • I know what all of you are going through. We have limited funds and should have gone up 5,000. To get the house. We stayed firm and lost the house. It was perfect with low taxes, move in. Not everything else is nowhere near as nice. I have actually gotten physically ill and cannot sleep because of this. It is not the worst thing in the world, we are lucky to have our health, however, I can’t seem to move on. Thank you for letting me vent.

    • It’s a tough feeling. A lot like a break up, but somehow we survive those as well (and many times end up with someone better). At times like this we have to remember to be kind to ourselves and channel our energy to keep a look out for more doors opening.

  • I also found this thread when I went searching online for some “home-loss” emotional support. Thank you to everyone for posting their feelings, because it really is helpful to feel empathy with all of you and know that other people have the same emotions.

    My husband and I viewed a quirky house that in some ways seemed made for us, and in other ways seemed wrong. I love quirky houses, and this house had a courtyard pool which I have always wanted. The yard was set up in separate areas for many dogs, and I run a dog rescue. There were hidden rooms, and secret closets that made the house interesting and unusual. My husband and I both felt a “pang” of belonging in the house, even though the neighborhood was not the greatest, and the living room was a bit too small. The house had been on the market for 175 days, and the realtor assured us she would let us know if someone else made a move on the house, so we did not feel rushed.

    We went back for a second viewing, and we both had a strong allergy reaction while in the home. Itchy watery eyes, itchy throat, and nasal congestion plagued me, my husband, and our realtor. Because we had previously lived in a condo with water damage and mold, we spooked. Our realtor told us we should not risk putting an offer on a house with questionable air quality, so we did not make an offer on the property.

    But over the next few days, I could not get the house out of my head. It felt like my house. I lived there already. I saw my life playing out there. I began to wonder if the air quality was an easily correctable issue, such as an air conditioning filter.

    I called the home’s realtor to ask if she would let me try out an allergen filter in the house, and I was devastated to learn that someone else had already placed an offer on the property. She never let us know, or gave us a chance to put in a competing offer.

    I waited through the whole option period, hoping that something might fall through. During that time I learned that the air conditioning coils had never been cleaned, and that was the only problem with the air quality. Yesterday, the house closed. I have felt so disappointed and depressed over this. I really feel a sense of regret, grief, and loss over this house, where I saw my life playing out.

    I am so angry at myself for not moving faster. I have always been a slow processor, and I need time to mull things over before I really understand my feelings. I hate it that something as simple as dirty ac coils prevented me from living in this house.

    Logically, I know that another house will come along eventually, but that doesn’t help the way that I am feeling now. I never knew you could fall in love with a house like this. It feels like breaking up.

    • I’m so glad I read this post because It’s gonna allow me to sleep tonight. Me and my partner are entering our “best and final offer” in tommrow and I just know it’s not gonna be high enough. I wish we had a bigger deposit to cover the mortgage but we worked to get what we have so far and that was hard enough. Though it’s a perfect house, which I have in my mind moved into and restored back to its original Victorian charm, it is just that a house. We still have a warm place to sleep unlike many others tonight…. I just loved it even though it needed everythink doing. I just hope that a property developer doesn’t get it and destroy its history and charm. I just feel devastated that were not gonna get it.

  • There is a neighborhood in town that I dreamed about living in for the past five years. Houses have come up for sale , but either had mold or cigarette smoke smell. A few months ago, a home came up for sale and we bid on it . It was a multiple offer situation. I won the bid and proceeded with the home inspection. The home inspection found hvac issues and code/ permits issues. The owners remodeled the kitchen without permits and moved a gas line under the floor with flex tubing which wasn’t to code. I requested having the gas line permitted – owners told me take the house or leave it.
    sellers disclosure stated remodel no permits needed. Home inspector told the listing Agent all gas lines need permitting. I had a lot of anxiety on how to fix it – basement underneath was completely finished. Spoke to various plumbers on the phone received different answers from each one, my time was up and I needed to provide an answer – so I said no. Shortly after that decision I did receive the correct information on how to fix it but it was to late, the very next day the house was under agreement with someone else.
    I know that the new buyers know nothing about the gas line under the floor being a potential hazard. I am so sad and depressed it was the perfect home for my family. I regret this decision everyday!

  • I’m just reading everyone’s stories whilst nursing my ‘home offer rejected’ wounds. My husband and I are trying to find a home and today pretty much got crushed when a cash buyer came in and won a bidding war. Feeling very deflated and I’m surprised how much house hunting can bring you down. I know something will come along and it’s great to read everyone’s stories, it does give me hope . I’m really devasted and only have less than two months to be out of this house. I have two kids and I worry for them more than me. Trying to keep it all in perspective, we really are so lucky and I should get over it. Hopefully in a few days I’ll feel better. Anyway thanks to everyone else for sharing , it helps xx

  • reading all the comments and the essay really made me feel better. My realtor just called to tel me that I didn’t make a high enough offer on a house…. It went into best and final and she called back saying that the seller accepted an all cash offer forty thousand above asking price… So sadly there was no way I was ever going to get the house. I was so excited to move in and get a puppy and be the first of my family to get the house… But some other family bought the house for their daughter which makes me a wee bit jealous. But I mean it’s important that I remember that I have a comfortable apartment and a good job and the perfect house is out there. It’s just hard to comprehend what to feel. Anyways, thanks so much.

  • eugh is this a thing, yikes. I just lost a bid on a house, and am so sad. Me too I just KNEW it was my house, I could see myself there, I fell in love with it, in my head it already mine. But I had to cut our offer down a little and we lost. If only I had bid a bit more. Oh well. Maybe it has issues I dont know about, which is OK. But other houses just look horrbible now, not this house, this house was special, i just loved it. Ity had its faults but I did not care. And now I am looking for another palce, and (in a hurry too) and I see only things I do not like. All I fell in love with was a veranda and french door and the light coming into the windows and the trees outside, it was all beautiful. It was so pretty. So pretty. I just loved it it makes me sad, Is it normal to feel a connection to a house like that I felt as if I belonged there?!

    • Hi Rose

      I’m so sorry this happened. I recently bought my first home and went through something similar. I think those feelings are normal, but not necessarily a reflection that the house is indeed your soul mate. After all of the homes I wanted to put offers down on came back with major issues, I actually made an offer on a home that I didn’t particularly love, but had good resale value and would work fine.

      I’m so happy in it! And I’m glad I made a decision based on a combination of forward thinking and reality, and not just the perfect dining room.

      I know it’s hard and very stressful, but rest assured the right house will find you and you will find the right house.


  • Thank you – and here I was attributing these feelings to something a bit more mytisical. Like often I have just known something will happen kind of thing. Oh well.

    I guess now we have moved from the im terrifed of overpaying to the im going to overpay so i can just get a house.
    I am so sick of looking!
    I did see a house today, it was ok, nothng wrong really. but it just seemed not to my taste at all and did not like it compared to the other one. I tried to imagine how I could improve it but nope. And I am supposed to be in a rush too.
    To be fair though this is the 2nd time we lost an offer and that first time I was releived as I had no idea of the market and well the house prices are crazy here and no asking prices are on them, its all tender or negiotations with no asking price. And I thought I had put in a decent offer but it was not.

    • I am the queen of mystical Rose! I’m not sure where you are and what your market is like, but I refused to get lost in that whole game. I could feel how much it was overtaking me after such a short time, so luckily self (and family) preservation kicked in and I decided to settle for grass, shelter and two bathrooms instead of one! It sounds like you have the great ability to sense when things are a really good fit. That’s a gift most don’t have. The flip-side of that gift, as I have learned the hard way, is letting go of what you know could be perfect, but isn’t necessarily going to happen because of circumstances beyond your control.

      In the few short months in my new home, I’ve learned that even just styling it to my tastes is a long road. And honestly, with the stress of moving, buying settling, etc. – it would be regardless of how perfect it was for me.

      Sending good vibes!


  • Thank you all for this post. Ik it’s about things that didn’t work out so well but it helped me too like some others here.

  • And I’m really sorry for every one that went thru all the things you went thru. Freaking stinks.

  • The listing agent screwed everyone up including the seller by selling the house to the person he knew with a much lower bid.

  • Hi,
    3.5 years ago my husband and I saw a lovely home with great curb appeal that just made me feel wonderful as soon as I set foot in it. The kitchen was small but the backyard was just gorgeous. I loved every inch of it though it was outdated and needed some work. Since I was pregnant at that time and my husband isn’t the one to pick up a drill, he shied away from the amount of work it would have taken. Also back then we did not have enough savings. We moved into a compromise home 2 streets away that has served us good but I have never been in love with it. Even 3.5 years later I find myself driving to my ‘dream home’, yearning for the yard I never got and still decorating it in my mind. My kid is now 3 years old and I would have loved to own a yard where we could have celebrated birthdays, blown bubbles and hung out. We even have more than enough savings now but with the market being up, no sensible homes are even available for buying and the overpriced ones that are , do not compare to the ‘dream home’. To this day I have spent days and nights in regret thinking of all the improvements I could have made if I bought it. I wish I had listened to my heart and not to my logical husband because my mind and heart both did tell me clearly that it was the perfect home. When I was home shopping 3 years ago the curb appeal of this home had blown me away. A magical force told me that it was just the right house for our family. I wish , so wish I listened to my heart and made a slightly higher offer than the other buyer. The regret has brought me down on many days, especially these spring days when I imagine sitting by a backyard holding my daughter and staring at the big tress in the yard.
    I really wish another home opens up which makes me feel the same way and is as perfect as the one I lost. In the mean time I am trying every bit to love my current home.
    – Aru

  • I have just had my dream home pinched from under my nose. Having arranged a viewing, I was called by the agent on two hours prior to leaving to be advised that the owners had accepted an offer. I know I could have beaten the offer and would have been willing to do so but the agent cancelled the viewing anyway. I feel they have not only sold the owners short, as they could have achieved a higher selling price, but they have also denied me the opportunity of my forever home. I am sad and angry. The sale hasn’t completed yet and I refuse to give up on the house until I know it has completed. I’m not ready to accept defeat yet.

  • I’m grateful to the person that took the time to write their story & all the comments left from other’s as I see I am not the only one going thru this anguish. I moved about a year ago from the mid west to Florida but had been looking at houses on-line when still in the mid-west and whenever I would come to town. So I finally made the move after the stressful experience of being a home seller- here once my house sold I was thinking how much fun it would be to be the buyer where I could call the shots more. Ha! Last year my absolute dream house came on the market- this home is absolutely perfect in fact I not only compared it to being a home but like a mini tropical resort- tons of palms and other tropical plants with landscape lighting etc. I would not change a thing- of course the house was priced very high, in fact too high for the comps in the neighborhood. I immediately put an offer of course my offer was way lower then the asking price but was hoping the owner would at least counter & maybe come up with a more realistic number. The owners asking price but was still way high & the house sat- same comments, beautiful house but way overpriced. The owner lowered again and I had my agent reach out to say I would come up but the owner still wanted way too much- in the end the owner received a lower price than asking but someone with a bag full of money came along and didn’t care if they overpaid. I was crushed as I was feeling like I would have gotten the house if just some more time passed and owner came to the conclusion the house despite all the upgrades was overpriced for the neighborhood. I in all reality my final price would have been over-paying & yes I was using just about all my money but figured in a few years I could build my savings back up. I still drive by the house all the time and look at the pics I took that I saved on my pc- that house is perfect for me and here some wealthy old people are living in my dream house!

    Another house came on the market in the same neighborhood a few months later, a nice house but nothing compared to my dream house and I put an offer on it. My agent negotiated with the seller who was also an agent themselves & an agreement was reached on the price- so I thought YEAH!!! I got a house, told everyone etc. Well when we sent the contract over the seller came up with excuses of why they couldn’t sign just yet and then started asking for weird things to take from the property and also wanted to stay in the house a few days after closing. I kept trying to get a signed contract and then the seller went under contract with another buyer- so ANGRY!!!! It turns out that the house sold for exact amount of my offer but apparently the buyer was a real estate agent as well so the transaction was handled with commissions. I lost again……UGHHHHH.
    That was about a year ago and have been looking but nothing worth buying has come up until two weeks ago. Went to look at this house immediately after it was uploaded to the MLS and liked it- in fact it is the same house as the one I lost out from the agent not signing my contract only this house has a better yard and a pool. I liked this house but was concerned as the pool had a lot of stains etc. and some other things that suggested the owners didn’t do much to the house other than live in it. This house had a TON of potential but I think I was facing quit a bit of expenses to update and fix some issue but overall the house was priced decently most likely in consideration of some of the issues mentioned. Buying a house is funny thing because it is the most you will spend on an item and yet your supposed to put an offer in right away rather than being able to think about it. I am a thinker and wanted to see the house again with a relative for a second showing and when my agent showed up she mentioned the house already had an offer on it- I knew then I was most likely doomed. I looked at the house and was willing to put an offer. Even now- it has been 2 weeks & I do not know what in the hell I was thinking but I put in a low offer, what was I thinking???? I feel so stupid because I could have had this house and too be honest it would not be as good as my dream house but once I would have been done doing my updating etc. it would have been the next best thing in the neighborhood. I just can’t get over how absolutely stupid I was. This house had so much potential I just don’t know why I got weird with my offer and in all reality another $10K would have been cheaper than what I will pay in rent this year. I am so sick of this whole process- I just want to find my house & be done with this…. I do however feel the housing market has become overvalued and a correction could be looming. The one thing I get so tired of hearing is that wasn’t the house for you or meant to be etc.

    • Update: I am under contract in the same neighborhood with a beautiful house! It is the next best thing next to my dream house. I am extremely happy and looking back glad a few houses did not work out. I am still disappointed I did not get my original dream house but had to face the fact these people may live in it for 15 years or longer so I needed to move on- one thing nice is I live in the same neighborhood so if anything ever changes I will be there unless I come to think of my new house as being the better house. Hang in there- I know it is of little solace but I think what is meant to be is what is meant to be…

  • My husbnd and I found our dream fixerupper home in a great neighborhood on a small lake with property. Our offer was accepted and we were so excited. Unfortunately and fortunately our inspector found severe termite damage in a main support beam. The whole house has paneling and we couldn’t take the chance that the termites made it to the main level as mud walls were found in multiple places in the basement. The sellers offered us escrow to fix the problem once we moved in, but we couldn’t sleep at night knowing there could be a very expensive problem waiting for us. I feel devistated that we couldn’t convince the seller to fix the problem prior to closing. I know this experience will make me stronger somehow, but it still hurts. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  • My husband and I hav just gone thru the same devastating situation. In March, 2017, we found our DREAM HOME! Absolutely PERFECT for our family. Master (ours) on 1st floor, immaculate kitchen $ floorplan. ALL kids’ areas on 2nd floor. Son’s bdrm $ bath on one side, girls’ on other side w/ jack n jill bath. Extra living space for kids upstairs + xtra room. Needless to say, SHEER PERFECTION for our family…couldn’t be btr. In the end an older couple (from out of town) with NO CHILDREN, only a small dog got it. ITS JUST THE 2 OF THEM IN A HUGE 5 BR, 3+ 1 1/2 BATH, +2 EXTRA ROOMS. (15 ROOMS TOTAL.) It is STILL taking a serious toll on us all. (Being in a 3 br ,with 3 kids, 9, 12, 14) All we can do is keep our faith strong and be patient.

  • These posts from everyone have all been so encouraging to read as I am going through something similar. My husband and I found our dream house, I’m talking D-R-E-A-M HOUSE! Like something I could never have thought we could ever own in our lifetime but it was in our budget (actually, below!) and in the PERFECT neighborhood! But sadly someone else beat us to put in an offer. We were able to put in a back up offer in case the primary offer doesn’t go through for some reason. The seller has accepted our backup offer and all we can do is sit and wait while every passing day brings the current offer closer to closing. They are currently in the final stages and the only hope is that the primary contractees’ financing doesn’t go through for some reason. We are trying to remain hopeful but at the same time realizing that it’s not looking good. I am so so so so picky and I worry that I will never find something I love like I did this home. Ugh. It really helps to read that others have experienced the same emotions though and that I’m not alone.

    Still hanging on to that tiny thread of hope that the first offer falls through! Praying HARD!

    • Laura,

      Reading this in June 2018. Did you get the house? I’m praying too, as in the same boat. Thanks.

  • We just lost our dream home! It had a special charm about it… from the inside it felt like the beautifully italian home in the recent movie “call me by your name”, with large windows looking out onto a lush garden and wrap around verandahs in the federation style.

    I imagined our whole life there. I imagined writing novels in the gorgeous little study with a private balcony. I imagined playing cards on the verandahs, I imagined using the amazing gas fireplaces in the winter, hopping on the train (station 5 mins away) to go out to the city and local hubs.

    The place was so full of old world charm, it would have been like living in a charming Dickens novel.

    I know, it’s a rich person’s problem. But like everyone else here, I am amazed and surprised at the heart break that follows losing the place you envisioned your WHOLE life in. We have looked for and lost out on homes before, but they never had the magic this house had.

    Sometimes the place we live in can contribute to our identity too. Especially when you are trying to build a family that will be happy, and a new legacy, and you don’t have a satisfying extended family life outside the little new family you’re making.

    I want so much to find the best and happiest place to have the best chance at a happy family with lovely memories.

    • You are so right about the feeling and dreams you have for your family.. that is the main thing I am grieving over! The time we could spend with our kids in the backyard and pool and giving them room to run around. Instead of all three kids being in the one bedroom like sardines and only one small kitchen/lounge-in-one room.

  • I can so relate to all of these stories. My husband sent me a listing last week for a Victorian farmhouse about 15 minutes away from our current home. We immediately called our realtor to schedule a viewing and found out that the property had JUST sold conditionally. I have been looking at the listing longingly for days, imagining all the work we would have to do to update it but that it would be our forever home. The house is a beautiful brick gothic revival with really cool dichromatic brick work and all of the original gingerbread and trim/doors inside. I found out yesterday that it’s now sold firm. I keep telling myself to let it go but I’ve become obsessed. Our realtor is on vacation, but I’m going to get him to contact the new sellers to see if they will sell to us for a little over the price they paid next week. The worst they can say is no!

  • I find the comments more comforting than the actual essay, because unlike Sabrina, I no longer want to stay in this apartment…I’m tired of the squirrels scurrying in the ceiling, going through furnace and AC problems every single year, smearing soot in our lungs and everywhere when they fire up the furnace, flooding a walk-out basement, upstairs rooms freezing in the winter and unbearably hot in the summer, and waiting for heating oil to come in the coldest day of the winter. I just want to come home. I moved to this town, rented out our first house because I wanted to keep my children off that town…kids can get shot, or live next to a drug dealer, or just be safe walking around a decent neighborhood. Finally this year I was able to convince my husband to sell our 2-family so that we can finally live in the town I love, where we are renting this run-down apartment. And there she was, on auction, the home I thought would be good enough for us…not too expensive, not too big…looks like it’s in a good part of town. I didn’t even know how it looked inside, though it seems like it’s not so bad. However, we didn’t have funds yet, so I lost it then. Around 2 months later, it was back on the market as a flip, and a day after we closed on our old house, I dragged my husband to its first open house. I knew it was the one for us for sure then. It hit all my “need” requirements…rooms for the kids, first floor room for my frail 91 year old mother with dementia, a decent basement, a little more space than what we have now. It boasted an old model SubZero, but that didn’t impress me. Finally, after 8 years…a dishwasher! Only one catch…it had a really big property tax! But husband likes the house as well, but the property tax was daunting, so we ran the numbers. I’m a caregiver to a disabled child as well, so I will have to work to add to the monthly income. We also ran the numbers through various scenarios. I knew I wanted to make an offer when we found that although it was going to be tough going at the beginning, we would be able to swing it. It was priced to sell, because of the tax. Maybe we can bid a little lower than asking. Have the house reassessed the next year, and see how the town’s revaluation would bring down the tax rate. I wanted so bad to make an offer already. But no, husband goes, let’s run the numbers again, this time against other properties. Let’s look at houses outside of town. Let’s look at more houses in town. Let’s wait until fall. If the house gets taken by then, then God doesn’t want it for us. I grit my teeth, good wife that I am, going along for fear that even his granting his blessings he might take away. Well, a week before fall, the house goes under contract. We do have a back up offer, but realtor says it’s as good as gone. I am devastated, and you all know how that feels. I’ve waited for this for so long, looked at so many houses already, so this is really so painful. I don’t even want to look anymore. There’s no other house like it in this town, and I want to stay here for now. Sorry if you think it’s not a big deal, but it’s like my life has stopped. I’m so
    very heartbroken.

    • Melissa,
      I empathize with you 100 percent. It’s especially important you find a home to suit your needs being you care for a disabled child. I am in a similar boat in “wanting to be a good wife (in my case fiancé), gritting my teeth” but it is becoming hard to do that as we have now lost two (out of what seem like countless amounts we looked at) homes over the past five years I had my heart set on. I can’t take the heart break of losing another should we find it. I’ve almost been thinking this may be a sign from above he and I are not meant to live together and have a future after all which is even more heartbreaking as I thought he was my soulmate. He said if we waited this long to find each other in life we will certainly find a home, but we aren’t getting any younger and I left a nice, small apartment in a desired location to be with him. I emphasize with everyone here and thank you for helping me to feel I am not alone. This is at least momentary consultation in what feels like a very bleak time.

  • So comforting to read these comments! Our situation has been slightly different in that we were under contract on a Dream house and we pulled out today 2 weeks from settlement. We were the first to look at it (before the first official open homes!) and we scrambled to get our finance approval done that weekend (our broker even met us on a Sunday and worked so hard to get it pre approved for us in 4 days so we could put an offer in). We had been looking for new rentals, when we just checked the selling ads by chance and saw this place listed that morning, in the street where our girls go to daycare, and 5min from both our workplaces. It was a lovely large leafy block, with a beautiful pool. We couldn’t believe it. The house was 1960s original with floor to ceiling windows in every room and needed a lot of work, but we loved it. We put a very decent offer in, and they countered back and we recountered with an above average offer. They accepted and we went into a two week subject to building inspection period. The building inspection bought up a lot of issues.. we were concerned, and nervous about dealing with them.. but negotiated a 15k decrease and for some builders and things in to make a plan how we’d tackle them. Our offer went undconditional and we told everyone we were moving- I booked painters and the moving company. I’d planned our future there! Yesterday our solicitor rings and tells us there is an undisclosed stormwater drain running diagonally across the property- even under the house! sellers are legally obliged to tell you these things. We scramble for opinions yesterday and decide (heartbreakingly) this morning that we can’t risk the cost that might come with dealing with the restrictions it places if we tried to renovate or rebuild the house in the future. We may not even be able to build over it- or if we did it could leak. Also, the council can potentially come and dig up your yard at any time to access it. Luckily non disclosure allows us to terminate even though we are unconditional. But we’ve lost money in our soliciors costs and building and painting deposits. But I guess better than buying a money pit. So now we signed another year to rent our current place- with our2 kids squashed in the one bedroom plus one baby on the way and no living areas or yard. I’m so sad. We won’t be in a position to buy potentially for another year or two due to me needing to take maternity leave during a few months next year. I’d imagined all the summers and bbq by the pool and maternity leave decorating the house. I found out my older daughters best friends from daycare (twins) lived in that street too. I can’t believ how sad I feel- and confused- as we had the house.. did we make the right decision pulling out of the contract? I just couldn’t gamble now we have kids. We don’t have that luxury. But I’m trying to be positive and my husband says we can buy a few new things for the rental to make it more homely for the next year.

  • Thank you for this. my husband and I just experienced all of this today word for word. including going out to eat after submitting a strong offer. This article brought us both together again from our sadness of today.. we’re both smiling and energized to find a home again. thank you. :)

  • I just lost out on a home that was a cash offer…I’m so upset/angry. Especially knowing that it’s a cash offer, it’s likely someone who has no intention on living there…I am willing to bet that it’s an investor who plans to flip it for profit. I really want to locate the sellers on Facebook and give them a piece of my mind. I only pray that the house is riddled with problems and end up costing the investor money in the long run. Reading your article helped me some, I can’t believe that I could feel this way over a home—I just got the news an hour ago, so yeah. Anyway, thank you.

    • I used to think this, but just having put a cash offer in myself it’s entirely dependent on the house, the market, and the circumstances. I am not an investor, just your average Joe, husband and I went cash today on a property that had only been flipped a few years ago, good condition, doing 20K over. Haven’t heard a damn thing back so I know we’ve lost out. Going cash (no contingencies, inspections, blah blah blah) is totally risky, but if it gives you a competitive edge over other bidders so for the right house it might be worth trying. Two years ago when we started looking I wouldn’t have made such an offer. These days, I don’t think we’ll ever get a house. We’re doomed.