How My Parents Bought a Home During Covid

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My parents move often for my Dad’s job, but I was shocked in October 2020 when I found out they would be moving back home to Orlando. When my parents closed on a home in January 2021, I asked my mom if she would write an article about her experience, as well as help explain to my audience of Buyers why she didn’t hire me as her Realtor! Here’s her take:

My parents new home on half an acre!

Why We Had to Move

“Central Florida –  we’re coming back home!  Orlando is the community that helped us raise our children and navigate life as a young couple. We have so many shared memories of belonging to a community that embraced us before all the moves, from Texas and beyond.  

Recognizing changes are a constant in the workplace, we understand that relocation is part of remaining employed.  With all our relocations, we have evolved, experienced other perspectives and grew as human beings.  We came back changed, but Central Florida is (and always will be) our home of choice, even during a Pandemic.

Sam, my husband, and I were asked to move back to Orlando. This time, moving from Tampa over the 2020/2021 new year.  Sam had tried the ‘commuting from Tampa to Orlando’ thing for a few months on I-4 and knew that was not sustainable. I was a little concerned, being a real estate agent myself, as I had been watching the real estate market become almost too hot to handle.   

House Hunting

“What would our home sell for?” “Would Central Florida homes be impossible to secure at a reasonable price point?”  “How would all of this affect our relocation?” were all questions I asked myself.

Sam’s work provided a relocation company to help, so we were required to follow certain rules: No family, including myself, could provide the real estate service. That meant that our son, Eric Gross of Magical Moves, would only be able to advise from a distance. We used the help of a company picked agent.  It was very difficult to view homes, only to discover they went under contract during the showing or quickly after. It was also difficult opting to see (and wrapping your mind around) a home that you normally wouldn’t consider because of very limited inventory.

Traffic has definitely increased since we had moved, and that changed some of our search areas as well. We had become a little frustrated over the fruitlessness of it all.

Over Christmas dinner, Sam and I asked Eric’s advice on a house that had just gone live on the MLS that very day.  We had visited the neighborhood years ago when attending a party, and also had friends a couple of blocks away from the listing.  

The Offer

We knew it was a great house by location, but the MLS pictures had turned out very blurry so we weren’t too sure about the interior.  Eric suggested a strategy tailored just for us if we were really interested:  have a company agent schedule a showing after Christmas Day at 9am (be first on property), offer 5k over list price, submit a  pre-approval letter from a reputable lender, waive the appraisal contingency up to a certain amount, and provide proof of funds to the sellers confirming we were financially able to make up the difference between appraisal and selling price.  It was an aggressive offer and it paid off!  

Our Thoughts 4 Months Later

We beat out 6 other offers! We moved into our new home January 29th, 2021, and feel like we won the house hunting lottery! Even though we paid over the appraisal at time of purchase, today, only 4 months later, we know our home would sell for at least the same price that we “overpaid” for in December.  We also didn’t like living in an apartment. We were happy with the contract price if that meant our money was going towards our mortgage instead of to a landlord.  It was all the more special because the savvy professional advice from our son helped us win our offer.

It feels like a full-circle moment moving back to the community that embraced us before our many moves. Remembering all the bittersweet moments watching our children grow up to be the best sons we could ever hope for.  Milestones made and savored. We feel so lucky to have made lovely memories and finally, make the magical move ourselves.” 

Eric Gross

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