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Family lives in camper for months while struggling to find home in Utah

Posted at 6:28 PM, Mar 24, 2022

OGDEN, Utah — Brendan and Clare Vesce decided they wanted to move to Utah last November.

“We made the decision to leave Colorado and to be closer to family and just start our lives together as newborn parents and newlyweds.”

Their Colorado house sold immediately, but they found themselves virtually homeless in Ogden, where Brendan was already starting his new job.

“I would leave work and go up to my hotel room at work and it was just kind of like, not leaving work," said Brendan. "So I started to stay in my camper, at a campsite, just to get a break from being away from work and not being there.”

Read - Federal interest rate hikes will price buyers out of Utah housing market, realtors say

Clare moved herself and her newborn son up to her parents home in Montana, thinking her husband would find a house soon.

“He missed his son crawling for the first time and his first words because we were apart," she said.

Brendan was spending two hours looking at four to five houses every single day, putting in offers, along with 40 other buyers. It was too frustrating and exhausting, the couple said.

“You have to provide people places to live," said Clare. "Otherwise, you have people coming in buying second and third homes for investment properties. There are no employees to work at businesses. Who's supposed to work in Utah if no one can afford to live there?”

The only advice Terry Bailey can offer families like the Vesces is if you really want to buy in Utah, you have to think smaller, he said.

“You're not buying the same thing that you should be renting for," he said. "So you have a budget of $2,000, and you know that might get you a nicer townhome. But that can only buy you like, a condo. I would recommend buy the condo, and that way, you're actually in the game.”

Although rising home prices and interest rates are taking people out of the market, Bailey doesn’t see any sort of housing bubble bursting soon, he said. In fact, he thinks we’ll just see it level out.

“Typically, real estate has actually outpaced inflation just a little bit," said Bailey. "So I think that's what will continue to happen. Real Estate's just a very, very strong market. And I think people need a place to live.”