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The Real Estate Story: Not Buying It

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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Families trying to buy a home are getting tough competition from investors.

The family you’re about to meet thought it would take them six months to find their perfect place.

Their search has now hit the two year mark and now, they’re changing up their game plan.

In this rapidly changing housing market, Kimberly Escobedo’s family has dreams… dreams now on hold.

Looking for a place to settle and put down roots, they’ve hit the brick wall familiar to most homebuyers right now.

Four bids, outbid every time.

“Often when we go look at homes, there’s people waiting at the front yard, it’s a mad rush to get in the door and put in an offer,” said Kimberly.

With their realtor, Kimberly spends hours scouring internet listings.

They’re looking for anything near their criteria. Armed with good credit and able to make a cash offer thanks to family help, they thought it would take mere months.

It’s become so bleak, with home inventories still low, that the Escobedos took drastic measures.
Instead of paying rent, they moved in with Kimberly’s dad.

By packing five people into pretty close quarters, they can stock away cash to sweeten any future offer.

I asked her, “Along the way have you re-evaluated your standards?”

“We have looked at fixer uppers, looked at condos, expanded our search into the greater Sacramento area,” said Kimberly.

It sometimes seems like house hunting has become a full time job for this stay at home mom.
Investors have flooded the greater Sacramento market, with Wall Street-based buying strategies.

In the past eight months, Invitation Homes, with capital partner Blackstone, has snapped up more than 1,600 houses around the capital city for an estimated $200 million.

It’s sending prices soaring, with final prices coming in $5,000 to $20,000 over asking price. Those prices are outpacing appraisals and putting families like the Escobedos in a pinch.

“I’m sure there are investors out there who are used to buying houses without ever looking at them, in fact I have one such investor, they’re just buying priced per square footage, they’re used to buying it and flipping it,” said Mona Gergen, Dunnigan Realtors.

“I guess I can’t blame them, if I had the money to invest, I’d definitely by a house as an investor but it makes it very hard to compete as a young family,” said Kimberly.

Like all buyers out there, the Escobedos don’t want to overpay. But at the same time, seeking out the value deals doesn’t seem to be leading to their street of dreams.

I asked her, “Where do you see your family six months down the road?”

“Ideally more houses will be on the market, that we’ll be ready to go and moved into our house,” said Kimberly.

Tomorrow, we’ll share six secrets to help you get a leg up on your competition, when bidding on a home.

That’s tomorrow on the CBS13 News at 10.

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