Not too long after Hurricane Sandy, a worker from my utility company stopped by to check on our power and to make sure everything was okay. It was.
Then before he was leaving, he turned to me and asked, "If I offered you a million dollars for your house, would you sell your property to me?"
Now I doubt this utility worker has enough cash in the bank to write me a check on the spot for a million dollars, but it's not the first time someone has told me they want to buy my home.
Just recently a neighbor of mine remarked that if we were thinking of selling our house in the near future to help pay for college tuition or downsizing to please speak to her first. "I'd like to consider buying it for my kids so we could all live on the same street," she told me. Given the stately stone house she lives in, on the big plot of land at the beginning of my street, I do believe she would have enough cash in the bank to write me a check.
So why does everyone want to buy my home? Well, it's a lovely white colonial, which is nothing special, but it sits high up on a hill, overlooking woods and a creek on the other side of my street. You fall in love with the place from the sound of the creek first.
Also, speaking of my street, it is a dirt road—a pain in winter, to be sure—but it's right off a main street in my walker-friendly, touristy hotspot downtown. It's like having a slice of the country on our road while living just five minutes from the thick of things.
It seems this phenomenon of people asking if they could have the honor of buying my house could be part of a trend. The Wall Street Journal has an article today, called "Can I Buy Your House, Pretty Please?" about a similar topic—homes in popular areas with people asking, pleading, begging to be allowed to buy that house. Here's what the article had to say:
In an echo of the last housing boom, ardent pitch letters from eager home buyers are popping up again in hot U.S. real estate markets like Silicon Valley, Seattle, San Diego, suburban Chicago and Washington, D.C.
What this basically means is, as a home seller in a desired area, you may not have to price your house a certain way to sell your property. You just have to have flocks of people who are willing to pay anything to convince you to sell your property to them.
While I live in none of those places that Wall Street Journal mentions, I do live in a small school district with some of the best scores in the entire state of Pennsylvania. In fact, last year U.S. News ranked our high school of fewer than 500 students number seven in the state. Also, our property taxes are much lower than New Jersey just across the Delaware River. And we are a popular tourist town for artists, bikers, families, and drag queens—I kid you not.
Experts say that potential home buyers coming out of the woodwork and targeting popular destinations or specific homes is a sure sign that the housing market is bouncing back—the first time in five years. Add to that the fact that home inventory is at its lowest in a long time and then, well, you get bidding wars and begging letters for homes that may have sat unsold just last year.
All I know is this: if my husband and I do have to sell this house in the next two to five years to pay for college tuition, I sure hope that this trend is alive and well, and that my neighbor who wants to buy my home for her kids still lives here and still has deep pockets.