When Kurt and Christi Ohlenbusch bought their first home in north Dallas nine years ago, they were newlyweds who only needed space for two.
But then they had a daughter, Madison, now 6. They wanted a playroom for her, and they wondered if their parents would eventually need space to live with them.
“Both my mom and his parents are getting older, and we thought, well, maybe we should try to have space in case they need to move in,” says Christi, an account manager for the American Heart Association.
Their first home arose in an unusual way — while researching wedding venues. They visited The Tribute, a master-planned community with two golf courses, miles of hiking and cycling trails, and a lake. Kurt, an accountant with IBM, had played golf at The Tribute and thought the facilities might make a great wedding locale.
They chose a different wedding venue but decided to start their lives in that community. They worked with a builder to create a custom 3,000-square-foot single-family home.
But after nine years, they realized they wanted a larger home with additional features, including a swimming pool.
“That’s what kicked it off,” Kurt says. The couple began searching for other homes in the area.
Timing is Everything
They stumbled across their dream home before they were ready.
“We found a house, but we hadn’t done any preparation for selling [our current home],” Kurt says.
The couple made an offer, but were two days late. The seller had already entered into a contract with someone else.
The experience showed them the importance of timing. Kurt and Christi also realized that coordinating two transactions — selling one house while simultaneously buying another one — would be tricky. What if they couldn’t find a buyer?
“We had one neighbor that took nine months to sell the house,” Kurt says.
What if their buyer backed out during the inspection period, experienced financing delays, or needed more time before closing? Kurt had closed on two homes in the past, and “we always had some kind of hiccup,” he says. “It was extra stress.”
“That’s when our Realtor suggested Opendoor,” Kurt says.
The agent, who was also a close friend, told the couple that Opendoor offered a quick, hassle-free closing with flexibility on the closing date.
Neither Kurt nor Christi had heard about Opendoor, and at first, they were leery.
“When Opendoor says ‘smooth close, pick your date’ — it sounds too good to be true,” Kurt says. He researched the company and cautiously requested an offer, wondering if he’d encounter hidden fees or excessive repair requests.
But the transaction unfolded smoothly. The home assessment revealed that the couple would only need a few hundred dollars of repairs. He worked closely with an Opendoor Home Advisor named Morgan, who impressed Kurt with professionalism and knowledge. She answered calls and emails quickly, and always had answers.
Relieved, the couple resumed their home search. They found a beautiful 4,600-square-foot home with a 2.5-car garage located less than a mile away — their daughter wouldn’t even need to change schools.
Thanks to Opendoor, they submitted an offer without a home sale contingency, and negotiated a lower price in exchange for a faster close.
“I think we got the price down a little bit more [on our new home] because we were able to close faster,” Kurt says.
They also avoided the stress and hassle of preparing their home for showings.
“Our neighbors had just sold, and every open house they did, they had to figure out what to do with their dog, they had to keep their house tidy,” Christi says.
Today, the Ohlenbusch family is enjoying their new home, although there’s still one feature missing.
“We pretty much got everything we wanted, except for the pool,” Christi says. “Maybe one day.”
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