We have been looking for a house for about a year now. It's a much more complicated process than I had initially anticipated. I thought you looked at 5 to 10 houses, picked the one you wanted and then got it. NOPE! It's more like looking at 5 to 10 houses a week for an entire year, getting outbid by all cash buyers, having to increase your price range triple to what you had originally budgeted for because you don't want to live in a mold-filled hovel that is sliding down a hill and with a collapsing chimney. Oh and roof rats! Don't forget those charming roof rats!
Most homes in Marin are very old and have either been updated (and therefore out of our price range), or have been neglected (in our price range but need $200K in foundational work). It's frustrating and time-consuming, and makes you feel poor. I keep imagining the amazing garden I could grow, or the kids I don't have playing in the sprinklers in the summer while the dog rolls his back all over the lawn, cooking my family and friends dinner, and having my husband barbeque on the deck overlooking something beautiful (if I can get over my fear of barbeques).
Our realtor, John Skinner, has been the most patient font of real estate expertise we have encountered. He is easy to work with and doesn't force any property on you. His website is: www.jskinner-realty.com. He has kept me calm. He has comforted me when I cried (multiple times) over lost opportunities, sump pumps, vapor barriers, financing, etc. He hasn't pressured us to buy the wrong property. John is eternally optimistic and I thank God he is helping us through this process! Thank you John Skinner of the Madison Company Realtors in Kentfield and Mill Valley.