OL Buyer Story: Barry and Rosemarie

Homebuying experience: Not their 1st rodeo
Buyer lifestyle: retired and loving it
Home: 1 floor, 2 beds, 3 baths, 180 (panoramic) views of the ocean
Location: Santa Barbara
Biggest obstacle: steep competition

When you think of retirement, it’s not uncommon to associate this life transition with endings. For Barry and his wife Rosemarie, however, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. The end of their work grind marked the beginning a new one: looking for a new home. Even in the face of stiff competition and ever-climbing listing prices, the process of buying their third home turned out to be easier than either of them could have ever imagined.

For Barry and Rosemarie, the struggle to buy a home in Santa Barbara was very real.

The pair knew what they wanted. They were on the hunt for a lake view property in Santa Barbara, California where they could officially kick-off their life of retirement.

They scoured the web for more than a year, even making the occasional three hour trek north from Los Angeles in search of a dream home to call their own. What they initially encountered was an already competitive market that was, then, experiencing an influx of buyers (with seriously generous budgets) who had been displaced by recent wildfires and mudslides. So what kept them going in the face of what looked like insurmountable odds?

“We knew what areas we wanted to live in, so we were pretty picky,” Barry said. “Also, we wanted to be reasonably affordable, which in Santa Barbara, those are two mutually contradictory things.” For Barry and Rosemarie, reasonably affordable was in the ballpark of $1 million.

Foregoing the “traditional” route

In an effort to maximize their budget, Barry and his wife decided to look into Open Listings. This would mark the first occasion that the pair would embark on the homebuying process without a traditional real estate agent.

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“Houses are so expensive, and real estate fees have gotten so high,” Barry said. “We really had nothing to lose, so we figured we'd give it a shot and if it didn't work, we’d just go to an agent.” So, did it work?

“The experience couldn't have been better.”

“The people that we dealt with were first-rate.”

In the end, the experience was one that Barry hailed as “astonishing.”

“It's hard to get a real estate agent that's available all the time – and you can't blame them. They’re doing the marketing, they’re trying to get new listings. Ron [the couple’s Open Listings agent] was available all the time. Whenever we needed to get him, he was there. The experience couldn’t have been better.”

Leveraging their commission refund

The couple’s decision to forego the traditional method delivered more than just a convenient, more streamlined buying experience.

Their Open Listings commission refund increased their buying power by allowing them to expand their budget. Factoring in the estimated $15,000 they’d get back after closing, they broadened their search to include properties listed at a higher price point – and just like that, the perfect home emerged.

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“It’s got a great view,” Barry gushed of the pair’s new digs. “It's got a 180-degree view of the Harbor, the islands, the Santa Barbara skyline, and it's beautiful.”

Barry’s advice to other Open Listings users? Expand your horizons.

“Spend the time and look at a bunch of places -- even a few places that maybe you don't think you're going to end up buying. You might be surprised.”

Ready to expand your buying power like Barry and Rosemarie did? Learn more about Open Listings’ commission refund of up to 50% and start the search for your dream home today.

Buyer stories are based on interviews with Open Listings customers. Participants in Open Listings buyer stories have been compensated with a $100 gift card for their time. Their quotes have not been altered, except for brevity or grammar.

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