Choiz Home (Choi’s Home) is what we’ve been calling our home for years. Choi is Allen’s last name in case you’re wondering where that came from. If you look on Instagram and look up #choizhome, you’ll see posts from all the different homes that we’ve lived in since Allen and I have been married. We’ve packed and moved about 11 times together and I’ve personally moved over 26 times before marriage and that’s not including childhood. Needless to say, we’re pretty tired of moving and we’re ready to plant our roots somewhere.
After Casey was born, our desire for a permanent home grew stronger. We really want the girls to grow up in a home that really shapes who they become in life. We want a neighborhood that was safe but also a place where we would be present in unlike the countless other neighborhoods we never really got to immerse in because we were about to move again. We want the girls to know the neighborhood park so well that they know every tree there. We want a home where we can invite friends and family over so we can bond more. We want a space where Allen and I can build and renovate together so we feel ownership and pride over what we were able to accomplish together as partners. The dream has always been there. When we were dating, our favorite pastime was driving around neighborhoods and look at homes as we drove by. We always wondered, will we ever own a home one day? I still ask myself that question today.
We had many reasons for moving so much. Raised rent, school, clinical rotations for Allen’s optometry school, home-break in, unsafe neighborhood, and terrible neighbors (They would smoke marijuana constantly and it would go into our home’s vents. They also fought like cats and dogs all the time and would keep us up. Police came several times too.). The odd thing is, Allen and I are still so happy about where we lived. We made such good memories in all of those places and they were in fact our homes at one point and we tried our best to make it our own.
Today we are renting a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home. The landlord recently raised the rent and has been encouraging us to just buy the house but we’re not happy with the way the home is built as it would limit the way we could renovate and also, it’s just a little small for our family. Allen and I started looking at open houses when I was pregnant just to learn more about the kind of homes people were selling in our area. While we were looking at a particular house, we met Rebecka, the selling agent there, and decided to work with her in our home buying process. Turns out she was a gift from God to us because she’s absolutely amazing as a person and of course as a real estate agent and we love having her on our team. She’s been a real estate investor herself since age 19 and also started her own successful financial planning business which really wowed us. Not only is she excellent in communication (which is so important guys!) and incredibly knowledgeable about the makeup of homes and neighborhoods, she has an incredible heart for people. Rebecka volunteers at senior centers and homeless shelters and serves as a member of an organization that locates permanent housing for people suffering from homelessness in Orange County, California. I mean, how can you not want to be around her?? Also, Joey thinks she looks like Queen Elsa!
So we’ve been looking at homes in several different locations and after a while we found THE HOME. The home we desperately wanted. Even Allen’s parents fell in love with the place as they would go visit and drive around the home for a closer look repeatedly. It basically had everything we really wanted including a gorgeous view, a bright kitchen space, an open space interior, large windows and a beautiful yard.
We put in an offer right away (a little more than the listed price) but found out a couple days later that the owners decided to go with another offer which was all cash (listed price) with no contingencies. I mean, you can’t really beat that offer. It pretty much means that the buyer with that offer was “confident” enough that even if a thorough home inspection were to find something terribly wrong with the house or any other reason comes up that would prompt them to back out, they would lose all their earnest money deposit. They must’ve fallen really hard for that home. More than us! Usually buyers come with various contingent offers because lenders and home appraisals are involved and you just never know what the home could really be like (like mold growing under the framework of the house, which happened to a friend of ours!).
Our hearts really broke when we found out about that offer. Never thought this home-buying process could be so emotional. I think it’s because we were imagining what it would be like to live there. We dreamed about our furniture in the place. We pictured the girls growing up there. We prayed about it! It was just really heartbreaking to hear about that other offer.
So the current update of our Choiz Home search is that we’re still looking. Rebecka tells us that many more homes will start popping up this summer so we’re going to wait and see. Meanwhile, I’m still mending my broken heart as I scroll through Zillow….
More updates to come!
Good luck! We live in the Bay Area, had a decent budget and had to put in about 20 offers on homes until we were accepted! The all cash, no contingency offers always trump everything else. It can be frustrating, but something perfect will come up!
If you prayed about it, rest assured that this was not the perfect home for you, even though you felt it was. The most beautiful and perfect home for your lovely family is still out there waiting for the perfect timing to be found. Can’t wait for you to share the good news! Love and peace
My husband and I wanted to move to an area with better school district but the houses were double what we could afford or they would be barely within budget and still need a ton of work and $$ to fix up. We ended buying a new development no where near our desired location but it’s the house we want in a good, up-and-coming area with decent school. If we win the lottery, I would still try to move but we did have prioritize what was important to us and what we could afford.
No one really prepares you for the challenges and emotional toll of searching for a home. With every offer you put in, you get your hopes up because you naturally need to envision your family living there. My husband and I searched for a home in the Bay Area for 9 months before landing on the house we live in now. Thanks to our real estate agents and loan officer, we were able to come through with a competitive offer (no contingencies though) and beat out 21 other offers, including an all-cash one at the same price. We think it was our letter to the seller, which my husband creatively put together! If they were to see your Instagram/blog and get to know your beautiful family, I’m sure they would have chosen you 🙂 good luck on the search! You’ll find something perfect soon!
I put in at least 7 offers a few years ago while searching for a condo in seattle and was devistated every time my offer was passed up- almost always by an all cash offer. Looking back, I am so thankful that those fell through because I ended up in the perfect place for me. I truely think everything happens for a reason and even though it may not seem like it now, the perfect home for your family is just around the corner 🙂
We just sold two of my mother-in-laws homes in the Bay Area after she passed away (at 97 years old!). The homes were old and in need of repairs but in good locations. We were shocked at how competitive the real estate market can be in the Bay Area (but also in SoCal!). What made the difference in which offers we accepted were the personal letters that the buyers added to the offers. Those letters made the buyers real to us and helped us envision how they would care for and build their futures in the homes. It made all the difference in the world in selling her homes (which was an emotional process too). I’m sure your realtor has encouraged you to do this. But, a letter from you and your precious family would probably seal the deal. Will pray for you in this emotional journey!
don’t worry god has an even better place lined up for you guys! we looked seriously for 5 months (while pregnant with 3rd) and it was heart break after heart break. alas we found one we liked, it’s older but we knew we could make it our own once we started to reno it (we are going SUPER slowly bc, owning isn’t cheap haha). I sort of had buyers remorse here and there bc i want to change everything NOW NOW NOW. But after reading on one of home reno blog you can get over buyers remorse by working from room to room that way it’s not so stressful and you atleast have one room you love.
anywho don’t get too upset, god has great places for you and your family!
When you find “your “ home, you’ll wonder how you ever considered these others. It is emotional (I call it a marriage) but when you two meet, the rest will be history or Choiztory!! Enjoy the ride!
Wow, you want to feel a lot better tho? your current place and other places you’ve lived in are way way way better than any rent houses in south east asia (im pretty sure lol) you’re living in an american dream kind of life. Be grateful, Embrace it, and enjoy the process :))
Justine Choi says
We just went through this process last year and it truly is heartbreaking to feel like your dream home was snatched out of your hands. After several heartbreaks, we realized everything happened for a reason. Looking back, those homes really weren’t meant for us. Even our first baby girl (who is the same age as Joey) walked right into our new house for the first time after we closed and ran around like she knew it was her home. That one moment made it all worth it in the end. Hang in there. Best of luck to you and your beautiful family.
Buying a house is mix of excitement, and disappointment but in the end, everything will be worth it. We were over bid 5 times when we were in the process of looking for our new home in california. And it is also a tough competetion here in cali. There are times that i am losing hope and would always tell my husband, I dont wanna expect anymore because it will just upset me. Im at the verge of giving up and thinking maybe it’s not the right time. We were the second choice of the seller and never expect that we would still get it. But.. prayers really work and can move mountains. 😉 the time that we least expected it, was the time we got an email, that the seller’s 1st choice suddenly back out, and finally we got the home that we love 💕 so hang in there momma… never give up. Keep on praying, in the end, everything will be worth it. For sure the right home is just waiting for you, it’s like searching for your true love 💕😄
Best of luck to you guys! I bought my first home- a condo- 2 years ago and it was the hardest thing I’ve done in my life to date. Such an emotional roller coaster. I live in the LA area as well so I know how tough the market is. I won’t give you any advice since I’m sure you’ve gotten plenty. I will tell you though to be patient and the right house will come along! Hang in there!
You are such an inspiration. We recently moved as well. Rented a house with more comfortable interior and better neighborhood for our two year old. It is such a nerve wrecking process though. Hopefully our little one can make lots of friends in this new place. And after reading the blog, I feel that one-day, in future, we will be able to own our dream house as well. Please keep us posted of your journey. And all the best to you. For sure you will get the best house soon.
thanks for sharing ur guys journey so open heartedly! it IS heartbreaking especially after imaging how it would be like if that was ur home. but i truly believe that things happen for a reason and this home just wasnt meant to be ur forever home. im sure everything will fall into place 🙂 interesting how things work!!