Chloe and Daniel Lis open the door to their first home, after a whirlwind journey in the real estate market. (Courtesy Photo)

Chloe and Daniel Lis open the door to their first home, after a whirlwind journey in the real estate market. (Courtesy Photo)

First time home-buyers report the whirlwind journey was ‘totally worth it’ | Real Estate

Eager to become first-time home buyers, Daniel and Chloe Li started their search for a home on the Eastside with a mixture of hope, trepidation, and a sense of urgency. The Lis welcomed their first child, a girl, in May and while they had been casually been looking for a home for a while, they decided to step it up a few notches in August.

Since the local headlines referred to the local market as “frenzied” and “red hot,” they knew they needed to find the right person to be their guide. Enter local broker, Angelina Wallent of John L. Scott.

Daniel said a mutual friend who had worked with Angelina introduced them. “We intended to interview a few different people, but we hit it off from the start with Angelina and we knew she would do everything she could to help us get the house we wanted.”

Chloe and Daniel had a clear idea of what they wanted in terms of house size, lot size, neighborhood, and school district. What they discovered during the process, were a number of nuances they were unable to anticipate.

Chloe explained, “Angelina helped us consider things like how much light would be in a room during various parts of the day, the size of the basement in relation to the rest of the house, and walk up garages.”

As new parents, they were also mindful of how their daughter would grow up in each house they considered. As they toured more homes, Chloe said their thinking started to shift.

“By the time we got to our house, we had already trained ourselves to temper our excitement on what we liked,” Chloe said, “and focus more on questioning our ability to live with the things that we didn’t like. What made our house ‘the one’ is that we had to nitpick to think of things we didn’t like. It was clear this was the best house we had seen.”

Wallent said a past client described her role in the process as part coach and part fairy godmother.

“The coach in me is focused on setting realistic expectation such as what constitutes a good offer on a house in this competitive market,” she said. “The fairy godmother in me goes the extra mile for my clients to make things as easy as I can.”

For Daniel, Wallent’s magic was evident in two forms: Gathering critical information and timing. “The house was listed on a Thursday morning and Angelina offered to meet us at the house that same day to do a walk-through,” he said, “and this was two days before the scheduled open house.”

As soon as they saw the home, Daniel said they knew they wouldn’t be the only ones interested. Angelina scheduled an inspection for the next day and also reached out to the seller’s agent for insight on what they were hoping for.

That information helped shape the details of the Li’s offer. Additionally, they used their previous experience of bidding and losing on a home to give them extra confidence.

“We knew we had a limited time to make an impression so we went for it. Paying for the inspection up front was risky, but we knew it’d be worth it for peace of mind,” Daniel said.

Angelina agreed. “In this market, you don’t get a second chance and submitting an early offer before the review date doesn’t always work.”

Upon receipt of the offer, the seller accepted within a few hours. Daniel believes that if they had waited one day, they wouldn’t have gotten the house.

For those still on the hunt for their home, he offered this advice: “You have to be willing to make tough choices or else you won’t be competitive. It doesn’t always feel fair, but you can take steps to make as many reasonable decisions as possible.”

The Lis were thrilled to become first-time parents and first-time homeowners in the same six-month period.

“We honestly talk bout how much we love the house at least once a day. We still see what pops up on the market, but we have yet to see one house that even close to our home. It was a whirlwind journey, but totally worth it in the end,” Daniel said.

Wallent is baesd in the John L. Scott office in Redmond. Her email addressl is angelinaw@johnlscott.com.