‘It is heartbreaking’: Warwick family struggles to buy their first home amid market surge

West Bay

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) ─ A Warwick family looking to buy their first home keeps striking out in Rhode Island’s overly competitive housing market.

Danielle Grant tells 12 News she and her husband have been looking for a home since January, but they’ve yet to land one.

Danielle Grant with her husband and son.

“We figured we definitely wouldn’t get the first home we looked at, and at least a couple months in we would be able to buy, but not 10 houses later,” she said.

Grant described searching for a home in this housing market as “down-right devastating.”

“It has been hectic,” she said. “It’s almost like you pull up to the house and you’re already discouraged because there is a line out the door, there are people waiting, looking all over. Now you’re like, ‘I’m not in competition with a couple buyers, but a lot of buyers.'”

Grant said they were just rejected for their 12th housing bid.

“We put a bid on a house in Coventry,” Grant recalled. “The asking price was $399,000. We went in with our bid at $424,000, we thought it was a solid bid, over the asking price.”

“The house ended up selling for $525,000,” she continued. “How do you compete with that?”

Aaron Niedzwiadak, a realtor with The Nathan Clark Team in Smithfield, said the Grants are not alone in their search.

He said the pandemic, paired with low inventory, is what’s feeding the wild bidding wars.

A line around the house at a recent open house in Warwick.

“We are coming off the skirts of a pandemic that did cause a little bit of a delay with people wanting to move forward with home buying or selling, but with restrictions [being lifted], you are seeing a lot more people coming out and a lot more people ready to make that move,” he said.

Niedwiadak said right now, its definitely a seller’s market, with many people bidding way over a home’s asking price or offering cash on the spot.

“In my office, we have gone over $100,000 for offers and have been denied,” he said.

For Grant, she said the process has not only been hard, it’s also been emotionally draining.

“It is kind of heartbreaking,” she said. “No matter how high we go over, we are still not being accepted for an offer.”

Right now, according to the Rhode Island Association of Realtors, the median sales price for a single-family home is $349,000, which is an all-time high for the state.

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