House hunting woes

Saturday, 9 April 2016
Almost two years ago, I bought a little one bedroom flat in Southampton, all on my own. It was always to be a home for AJ and Archie too, but we weren't yet in a position to buy a property together. People told me it would be stressful and it was a big deal, but it really wasn't.
I bought directly from the developers, bargained with them on the price and moved in when the builders had done their thing.

Inevitably, we've now grown out of the flat and the natural next step is to buy a house together. To give us a bit more space, to have a project together and to get some outside space for those rare sunny Southampton days.
This time, it is stressful.
I was prepared for having to view lots of houses that weren't right; houses that were overpriced, in not quite the right area, houses that seemingly hadn't been cleaned for months even though people were still living there (gross) and houses that we just didn't like. I couldn't prepare myself for that awful feeling in the pit of my stomach when you make an offer on a house that ticks the majority of the boxes and you lose out. Ouch.
We've done everything we can; set up Rightmove and Zoopla alerts, signed up with every estate agent locally to us, attended open days, taken last minute viewings and spent hours (and I mean hours) scrolling through property websites desperately trying to find anything that vaguely fits what we want.
To date, we've viewed 15 houses in person and made offers on 5. Now, I have to admit that some of those offers were cheeky "why not" offers and in hindsight, probably not that serious. But some of them. Some of them were hours of deliberating between us; what we can afford, what work we'd need to do. An offer that isn't too low but doesn't start too high.
This week, we lost the one. And it was heart-breaking. It made me cry. It's completely my own fault; I had convinced myself we could get it. It was a probate sale that ticked every. single. box. There was so much interest, we even made an asking price offer without viewing the property (level with me here, we'd seen a lot in the same area, we knew what it was going to be like inside).
The agent was impressed with our savvy and my very carefully worded offer email. But they said that nothing was going to be finalised until the following day, so we could come and view it anyway. And it was amazing. (NB. by amazing, I mean the potential was amazing). We re-confirmed our offer and had accepted an offer on my flat the same day, from a chain free first time buyer. I thought that was enough.
The next day, they asked if we could increase because there had been another similar offer. The agent even gave me a heads up that our increase really didn't need to be much; she must have smelled the desperation on me!
And then. Our offer was the highest. But even though we were in a good position and had a chain free buyer, they took a lower offer from someone else. The agent was sorry and surprised. I was crushed. Not because I had stupidly moved in mentally, but because we came so close
I spent most of the evening crying over a damn house. A HOUSE! And after a lot of persuading from AJ, had a word with myself and refocused (while quietly hoping the house is damp ridden and it costs them thousands to fix.. ahem).
I read this post from The Cardiff Cwtch this morning and it made me realise that we'll find another. Somehow. And, it'll be even better (maybe).
We have another property to view today, which might just be a rebound, but there's only one way to find out.
Is anyone else experiencing house hunting woes?