The housing market is seeing a rise in sales. National new home construction in May was up 34.9 percent from May of 2020, and existing home sales are continuing to rise (pdf).
One couple in St. Peters, Missouri, opened up about their personal experience putting their house on the market and just how quickly properties are being sold. The Handleys have lived in their house for ten years and have two young daughters, a 5-year-old and a 3-month-old infant. When asked why they decided to sell, Mr. Handley told The Epoch Times: “Because we have plans to move out in the countryside, regardless, and the market is hot.”
Mrs. Handley noted, “Having the market the way that it is, we couldn’t NOT do it right now.”
When asked if the pandemic had anything to do with the final decision, Mrs. Handley nodded. “It is for me. I don’t want my daughter wearing masks anymore and I want to put her in a community where that’s not a requirement.”
Mr. Handley elaborated, “I would say that concerns about us having to restrict our lives because of that is a problem.”
Missouri never had a mask mandate, but many businesses and schools implemented their own safety practices based on national trends. But this wasn’t the only factor in the Handleys’ decision. “We had food and supply line disruptions as part of COVID,” said Mr. Handley.
The couple has plans to move out to Bourbon, Missouri, as soon as their current home is sold.
Mrs. Handley then noted, “The end goal is some sort of a homestead. Not just a rural house, but a homestead where we grow food and (raise) meat, agriculture.”
They both expressed a desire to own a greenhouse and keep bees. Then they went on to describe their belief that self-sufficiency is better achieved in small communities with schools they can trust. “Being in St. Peters, we had her [thier eldest daughter] in a private school because we were concerned about what was being taught in the public schools.”
She then added, “But in Bourbon, she will go to a public school. Because I’ve already called them and talked to the administration about various issues that concern me, and I am satisfied with their answers.”
Their diligence over the health and well-being of their children has been a major reason for this move, but the Handleys also expressed how hard it is to leave after living there for a decade. “This is the only home that my eldest has ever known.”
Mr. Handley chuckled, “The littler one probably isn’t going to remember anything about it.”
But Mrs. Hanldey continued, “Leaving behind her [the eldest] school … and her friends … She’s excited. I don’t think she understands what it means to move that far away.”
‘The Market Is Hot!’
The Handleys’ realtor told them “the market is hot!” and that she gets about thirty viewings a day. Many houses get sold within four days of being put up for sale. But the Handley’s house is in the upper income level, and so they only experienced one viewing a day. They currently have a pending offer, and Mrs. Handley spoke about the stress that led up to it.
“It was day five that we got the offer. And on day four, on day four we were stressing out that we would never sell the house.”
Realtor.com reported that the average home currently spends about 37 days on the market in the United States. But with the June housing rise, those numbers may soon need to be adjusted.
June is a big month for home sales. Mrs. Handley said this was an important reason for going on the market when they did. “People want to be settled into their homes and know what school their kids are going into to register them, just like we want to. So, it was important for us to have it on the market before June was over.”
Because buyers are afraid of getting into bidding wars, and houses are going so fast, many people are offering above asking price. Mr. Handley confirmed that they were offered above asking price, and that the people who sent them the offer also waived the appraisal. “They’re not going to use the appraisal’s value … basically if the appraisal comes below the asking price, they’ll just pay the difference and accept that on the mortgage.”
Because things are moving ahead with their pending offer, we asked if they’re packing yet. Mr. Handler sighed. “Barely.”
Mrs. Handley said, “We packed to stage the house. We haven’t packed much since then.”
She then noted the anticipation to close. “If this one falls through, we have to re-stage everything, have people coming through again.”
When offering advice for first-time home-sellers, Mr. Handley said, “sell now.”
Mrs. Handley added, “Do it fast! We had spoken with a couple that moved into the neighborhood last year, and they said that even last year, before all the talk about this market, they were being outbid on every house, that the only way they got theirs was finding … they found a listing that was coming soon, hadn’t gone on the market yet. They offered, to those people, we’ll take the house off your hands. You don’t have to show your house, no people coming through, no viewings. And that’s how they got the house that they did.”
Mr. Handley nodded, “attempts before that, they were getting into bidding wars and being outbid.”
“So this market started last year,” Mrs. Handley concluded.
The Handleys are expected to close at the end of the month, along with countless sellers across the nation. They are just one of many families entering the market.