There’s No Place. We Can’t Find a Home.

There’s No Place. We Can’t Find a Home.

Wanting to buy a house during the WORST time to buy a house is… uncomfortable.

It’s hard to settle down when our top priority is moving.

The pandemic has affected the housing market in very strange ways. We accepted an offer on our house in Denver, $20k over market comps, within 3 days of listing. We were the cheapest house for sale in our neighborhood. It was so easy to sell our house.

Now we are squatting in a two bedroom apartment 1/3 underground (for those who watched the movie Parasite, it’s basically a half basement apartment). I say squatting because it’s so small, that’s how it feels. We indeed pay rent on a lease for this place. Trying to decide what comfort items we required to live day to day life and what should be placed in storage was a challenge in itself. Even adapting to a minimalist-ish lifestyle, I feel like I’m balled up in the corner trying to conserve oxygen.


Many have followed our search for the perfect home. If you have not followed along, I have an affinity for 100 year old Victorian style homes, which are plentiful in Western Pennsylvania where we live now. They exist! Right now, there are exactly 4 on the market. Why don’t I buy one of those? Because they are nestled in the WORST areas with the WORST schools and are priced $200k more than every other house on the block. Plus, they have NO yard.

In hopes this will be the very last house we ever buy, we are being extremely picky with how we plan to spend the rest of our days. So, every single night I run a search on the housing market for something new. Looks something like this…

Search Criteria: Within 1 hour commute of DahnTahn (yinzer pronunciation of “downtown”) Pittsburgh = 7,812 Results

Then I narrow it down from there…

Single Family Homes= 5,628 Results

Houses not under contract already= 1,937

CRAZY RIGHT?!? Of all the houses on the market, 1/3 of them are actually available. It gets better (or worst, but I’m trying to stay positive here).

Enter desired MINIMUM yard size of 1 acre= 272 Results

Not even kidding.

Enter Maximum budget PLUS an extra $25k= 72 Results

Please note, I haven’t even put in how many bedrooms we want or how many square feet of house we want. 72 houses within an hour commute of Pittsburgh that have at least an acre in our budget.

Victorians in this area were built prior to 1930, but to widen the search a little I enter houses no younger than 75 years old= 31 Results

We NEED 3 bedrooms= 21 Results

Now we weed out the complete garbage houses and set a minimum price= 13 Results

How many are Victorians? 1 and the school rating is 3 out of 10.

We have not excluded homes that just needed a little work. We have a longer list of things we do and do not want in our home but even with this search criteria, there is just not much on the market.

We have the BEST agent. She’s been crazy patient with us, even with my job transition (another post for tomorrow likely). It’s not easy being a buyer in today’s market, and harder if you’re a buyer’s agent. I don’t envy any of my friends in this profession right now.

So, while we wait (im)patiently for our dream home to magically appear for sale, I spend hours pinning 1920’s house aesthetics to Pinterest. My “New House” board is where you’ll find my old-soul taste in houses. Soon I will be posting my own home aesthetics and transformations. I’d love it if you followed along my journey there too.

As always, thank you for hanging out with me again. I appreciate all the encouraging messages, they help me stay positive through all this. Feel free to reach out and tell me about the transition you’re going through right now. I’d love to hear from you. Cheers!


Dacia Arnold is an author that struggles to find a balance of work, motherhood, marriage, writing, and the occasional craft. Her first full length novel, Apparent Power, is in the works to be released December 2018. Dacia served 10 years in the U.S. Army as a combat medic and deployed twice to Iraq and often incorporates these experiences into her writings both fiction and non-fiction. She currently lives in Denver, Co with her husband, two children, and a fat beagle named Watson.

Reader Comments

  1. Hi, Dacia. I grew up (mostly) in PA, about an hour’s drive from Philly. I miss my old neighborhood and will eventually write a novel based in that area. My family lived in a two bedroom bungalow which my dad converted into three bedrooms and a den when my younger brother was born. Then the attic got turned into two bedrooms. Our yard was probably about 1/4 acre. We had a one-car garage, a short front yard, and enough side/back yard to run around in and have fun with my dog. I’ll be praying that God will open up a nice house in a nice neighborhood for you and your family. I really need to get back on CB. It’s been too long, but I’ve made so many mistakes in the rewrite (the one posted on Chpater Buzz) that I am almost starting from scratch again. Oh, well. Maybe I need to work on another project for a while, then come back to “Frienemies.”

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