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My Homeownership Journey + Orchard Homes Review

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Now that we’ve been spending a lot more time at home, I’ve been reflecting on our family’s homeownership journey. It’s such a great feeling to have a place that you can truly call your own, especially in these times. Buying a home was definitely one of the biggest decisions of our lives, but I’m glad to say it has benefited our family in so many ways.

As part of their mission to make home buying stress-free, the team at Orchard has asked me to share my personal home buying experience, plus my tips for navigating the Denver real estate market. Orchard has created a modern way to buy a home that lets you move into your new home before you sell your current one, and I’m so excited to share their service with you.

Orchard home with for sale sign

Why we decided to buy a home

Before my husband and I bought our current home four years ago, we were long-term renters. While renting was our best option at the time, I always felt like the money we spent on rent was going down the drain. Instead of building our own home equity, we were making rent payments that we would never see again.

Another downside to renting was that I couldn’t customize our living space to fit my family’s lifestyle. With three kids running around, I desperately wanted a big backyard and spacious bedrooms so we’d have some room to breathe. Our rental’s kitchen also left a lot to be desired, so we dreamed of having our own kitchen that we could tailor to our needs.

Calculating our home buying budget

When we first got serious about buying a home in the summer of 2016, I was pretty overwhelmed. While we had been saving up for years, I felt like I had no idea where to actually start. And the fact that the Denver real estate market moves so quickly added a ton of pressure to the search.

We first did some research to find a real estate agent that we could trust to guide us through the journey. I’d recommend interviewing a couple of agents before you pick one – the home buying process can definitely turn sour if your agent isn’t the right fit.

Our agent suggested that we should get pre-approved for a mortgage before doing anything else. Looking back, I’m glad we got pre-approved early on since it helped us better understand our financial situation and what kind of home we could realistically afford. Having an “official” home buying budget made it easier to narrow down our home search. Plus, we were able to include the pre-approval letter with our offers to show sellers we were one step ahead of the game.

House hunting in Denver, Colorado

For us, the most difficult part of buying a house was finding one that fit our wants and needs and was within our budget. There were a ton of neighborhoods that we really loved, but we often ended up getting priced out. It was definitely disappointing to see an amazing house online, only to realize that the numbers just weren’t going to work out.

Once we started making offers, we realized just how competitive the Denver real estate market was. Many of the homes we were interested in were selling very quickly and for way over the market price. We also saw that some buyers were making cash offers, which were tough for us to compete against. We even got into a bidding war with another home buyer on our current home, but luckily, we won out.

After a few stumbles with our mortgage that almost led us to lose the home (long story!), we finally closed on our new home. Once we unpacked the last box and were officially moved in, I couldn’t have been happier.

What does our future hold?

While we love our current home, I know the day will come when it will no longer fit our family’s needs. While buying our next home will definitely be exciting, there are a few things that make me nervous about the process.

For one thing, the idea of juggling the home buying process while selling our current home seems super daunting. Especially in a seller’s market like Denver, I imagine we’d sell our house quickly but then struggle to secure our next home because of all the competition.

How Orchard helps homeowners buy and sell

I recently learned that Orchard offers a real estate service that’s specifically designed for current homeowners looking to buy their next home. I was really interested to see if their service could help us when we’re ready to move.

So here’s how Orchard works. Orchard has a team of local real estate agents who will help you find and purchase your dream home. With Orchard’s help, you can make an offer that isn’t contingent on your home selling first. That means you’ll have an advantage in Denver’s hot market and be more likely to beat out other buyers to get your dream home. 

Orchard takes care of all the work of listing your house on the market after you move. Orchard also offers a free deep clean, professional photography, a 3D tour, and regular upkeep of your home. Basically, you don’t have to lift a finger or deal with the inconvenience of strangers touring your home while you live there. This is a major selling point for me since I know it would be tough to keep the house in perfect condition for showings with my kids around (and I’m sure most parents out there can relate!).

While it may seem too good to be true, Orchard’s real estate service costs the same price as a traditional real estate agent, so it’s a no-brainer option if you’re looking for a less stressful buying and selling process that still gets you top dollar!

My Orchard homes review 

Overall, I feel like a lot of my worries about buying and selling in the future will be made a lot easier with Orchard’s service. There’s a huge comfort in knowing that I won’t miss out on my dream home just because I haven’t sold my current one.

Orchard has teams of local agents in the Denver-Colorado Springs area, plus Atlanta, Georgia, and a few markets in Texas, including San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas-Fort Worth. 

If you’re thinking about moving, I’d suggest getting started with Orchard’s free home valuation to see how much your house could sell for on the market. You can click here to get started. 

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