The Seattle real estate market was not a friendly place before the dotcom crash. It was competitive—even more competitive than now—and houses sold quick and they sold high. A perfect seller’s market. A terrible buyer’s market.
Katie tried to find her first house in the middle of that market. A young, single woman looking for her first home.
“I was naïve,” she now admits. “I had no money, and I had no idea what I was doing, but I wanted a house.”
Katie heard about Johnine through word-of-mouth. She approached Johnine and explained her situation, and Johnine agreed to help.
“You have your idea of perfection—your ideal house,” Katie now says, “but if you aren’t a bazillionaire, you have to make trade-offs, and that’s a learning process. Johnine was direct and upfront about those trade-offs, but she didn’t push them. She showed me the houses I want to see—the houses that, realistically, I could never afford, but the ones I still thought I wanted. Johnine was incredibly patient.”
Katie made six offers. With each one, she thought she would get the house. It was first-time buyer’s optimism, but—especially in this dotcom seller’s market—that optimism was not tied to reality.
All of Katie’s offers resulted in multiple-offer scenarios, and all of those turned into bidding wars. The bids quickly rose out of Katie’s price range.
“We must have looked at a million houses,” Katie said. “But Johnine respected where I was financially, and she always stayed relaxed. She found the balance between being direct—telling me how the real estate market really is—and letting me learn on my own. She wanted me to come to those insights myself, and eventually, I did.”
The search continued, getting more and more realistic.
“It was an intense and emotionally confusing process,” Katie said. “But Johnine stayed positive throughout the whole thing. She focused on my needs, not her needs, and I never felt like she was selling. Working with her felt natural—as natural as this process could feel, anyway.”
They ended up finding a West Seattle bungalow. It was not Katie’s ideal house—but it was close. Katie lived there for six years, then flipped it and partnered with Johnine to buy a new home.
Katie has money, now, and a family, and experience with the real estate market. And this past Thursday, her family moved into a third house—again, bought with the Real Estate Gals’ help.
“One of the things that impressed me most,” Katie said, “was seeing that Johnine has a real investment in helping young women get a leg up. It’s an intense process, especially your first time, but Johnine was a steady head and steady hand throughout the whole thing.”