It really isn't all doom and gloom out there in the world of real estate. I have had several buyers in the last two years that either had cash in the bank ready to buy, or did not have to sell the current home so they could buy the new one. The advantage for the buyer is positioning themseleves to find that perfect home, as long as they have the patience.
Last summer I was approached by some buyers. They wanted help with a house they were interested in that checked almost all their boxes. They did not want to have the listing agent help them, they considered it to be a conflict of interest and were really looking for some help from a buyers agent. About 80% of my personal real estate business is helping buyers. I love working with buyers so was thrilled to be able to work for them.
Our first attempt at buying their new home was the one they had already found. So had 2 other buyers, so we ended up in a 3 buyer race. Unfortunately we did not win the race. So for the rest of 2010 we kept looking, through sun and rain, wind and snow, but nothing was as good. Early 2011 we picked up the pace a little. Back out in the snow to much disappointment. In the spring I though we had it, he wanted to make an offer, she was not impressed. We moved on.
Finally in Septemeber we hit the jackpot. Remember that wish list, everything was checked off. Given that one of the items on the list was a garage big enough to store a pretty sizeable boat, it was the one thing we had never checked off, until now. The house was over-priced. We knew it's market value and tried to buy it at market value but the sellers would not budge. So we waited, one price cut, still not enough, second price cut and now it's within reach. It was still a tough time negotiating and took longer than usual but we did it.
We had looked far and wide for their home. My buyers started out looking for a house in the Barrington area, but that perfect house ended up being in Arlington Heights. Yesterday they closed their purchase. Congratulations, it may have taken 17 months, one failed purchase, and two attempts before you made it but I do believe you got the perfect house for you. It was worth the wait, the heartbreak, the need for patience and for sticking to your guns.
I know that your family, including the boat :) will be very happy. Congratulations!