*Full disclosure, in Minnesota, we are allowed to write letters to sellers. In some other states, it is illegal. As I know this is a controversial topic, I want to mention that this is a personal choice to write a letter as it is a personal choice to read the letter. For some sellers, it can affect their reasoning on what offer they choose, and for others, they simply pick the highest bidder.
Why did we write a letter?
With the way the market has been, we were desperate and needed to buy a house before the end of the lease. No way was I going to sign another $1700/month lease to fight for parking spots and deal with landlords! Plus, we had a dog who deserved a backyard.
When we started telling people that we were looking to buy a house, we found ourselves listening to many personal testimonials from those who wrote letters and those who received letters.
It was the cherry on top of the offers sent by young couples like us. Little stories about why we felt the house was the best fit and another way to make this journey even more personal. For families selling their homes, it gave them comfort in knowing who would be taking over the home their babies took their first steps in.
How did we write a letter?
I’m not going to write a tutorial or send any encouragement/discouragement in doing this. But when we did write our letter, here are the factors we considered-
I needed to avoid overwhelming the sellers with our emotions because this is also a big step in their lives. From what we concluded when touring, this might have been their first house. First, they flipped many parts to it as it was 80 years old. Second, it was clear had their babies in this house and were starting to outgrow the space. Lastly, they too had a dog!
So this is what I wrote minutes after touring the place and sitting in my car.
Dear House on ________,
Everyone will tell you how much they want to buy your house, but I will tell you our reasons why.
I could start with the oversized puppy dying to chew on sticks in the backyard or describe the cats that will sunbathe on its porch. But instead, I will tell you about the room I hope to turn into a nursery.
As another young couple, we are searching for a home but a place to start a family. After looking around, little hints gave me the subtle notation that a little wooden gate would keep that future safe.
My name is Nicole, a lifestyle/wedding photographer, and my partner is Gabe, a software engineer. I met Gabe 2 weeks before I was about to backpack in SE Asia, and for the first time, I did not want to leave. But, just as before when we first met, my heart had stopped the second I saw your house. It’s that gut feeling all over again when the word “home” finds its new meaning.
It starts with the front porch light, a symbol to let our loved ones know that we will leave the light on. Next the backyard swing, as our two nephews will take turns swinging while the other plays in the sandbox. A kitchen counter with enough space to display my beloved Kitchen Aid- which I honestly use twice a year. But lastly, a second bedroom, barely a few feet from the master- a simple room that can change our lives forever.
This home is filled with character- which we are so eager to add more to its story. Yet, after seeing the place, all I can think about is our future unraveling itself as we walk into each room.
As I scramble to write this, moments after we’ve left, I want to say that this is the place I want to call home. It’s because it’s that gut feeling that tells that this is the one. This must be the place.