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First-time Buyer in Cedar Rapids, IA

by Dave Martin
(Cedar Rapids, IA)

Being in a committed relationship, my girlfriend and I decided it was time to buy a house together. We went to open houses every single weekend in Cedar Rapids, Iowa where we live and the surrounding communities. We looked at a variety of houses to see what was available in our desired price range, under $225,000.

Besides making the “Open House” circuit we also checked the MLS listings using the websites of local real estate agencies. We asked friends for agent references. When the same name came up from several different friends, we decided to check this agent out.

We met Ashley at her office. She listened to what we were looking for and took notes about our needs. She asked about financing and explained why we need to consider financing instead of paying cash.

We viewed the MLS listings and selected three houses we wanted to see. She said she would contact the listing agents and call us later that evening to confirm a viewing time. Upon getting home there was a call from Ashley confirming our viewings telling us she had emailed information on a couple of properties of interest.

One of the listings we wanted to see ASAP so we called her cell and asked for a showing. It turned out the property was vacant so she asked if we want to see it right away. It was love at first sight and we told her we want to make an offer right away.

Listed at $219,995 it had been on the market 176 days. Ashley advised us to offer $184,000 cash since the sellers were motivated (they were making double mortgage payments).

The seller countered at $204,995. Ashley suggested we counter one more time. We countered at $189,900 with a $50,000 escrow upon acceptance. Seller countered at $192,500 and we accepted. Sale closed 8 days later.

Our first-time buying experience was a good one!

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