Photo by Mei-Chun Jau.

Real Estate

This Couple Looked at 174 Houses Before Scoring Their Dream Home

Just in case you thought the housing-market heat level was exaggerated.

Over the past three years, I’ve collected more than 100 homebuyers’ stories for the “How They Did It” feature in D Mag’s July real estate issue (go get the current one, on stands now). And in that time, I’ve heard some doozies, but I’ve never heard anything as unbelievable as June and Jacob Haldeman’s tale: before securing a home of their own, the couple saw 174 houses in a hunt that dragged on for 46 weeks and 4 days. And I’m not talking about 174 gallery clicks on Zillow. I’m talking about 174 real, in-person home viewings. That’s 174 thresholds crossed, 174 kitchens to consider, and 174 floor plans to argue over.

It’s not that June and Jacob were picky. They put down 21 offers and three back-up offers over the course of their search. It’s just that the market was, and still is, hot. Bare-thighs-on-a-black-leather-car-seat-in-August hot. Or, forgetting-to-slip-on-an-oven-mitt hot. Maybe even licking-Satan’s-Blood-off-Ricky-Martin’s-six-pack hot. Super hot—at least in the Haldeman’s price range, which was under the $200,000 mark. Affordable houses move fast.

To make matters more complicated, Jacob works nights as a graphic designer at NBC, so the couple had limited opportunities to look at houses together. Almost every weekend, they would meet their real estate agent Candace Whitsitt, offering her a bag of pastries before setting out to look at another round of homes. “There were more than a few times we would like a house and by the time we got back to the car, we would find out there was already a cash offer on it,” Jacob told me.

I won’t go into detail on how they finally nailed down a house in Garland’s Camelot neighborhood. You’ll have to click this link here to read more about their tale and to check out the other four homebuying stories in our July issue. But I will note that realtor Whitsitt is a big fan of the Camelot neighborhood. It’s in North Garland, and therefore the prices are more reasonable than neighboring Richardson streets. However, it’s in the Richardson school district and home values are shooting up. “The price on the low end has sky rocketed from $95,000 to $184,000 in just a little over two years,” notes Whitsitt.

So if you’re in the market for an affordable house with an appreciating value in a good school district, Garland’s Camelot ’hood might be your, you know, Camelot. Just check it out now, before prices get too steep.