When Patty Riley and her husband began house hunting in Wilmington two months ago, they knew the real estate market was going to be competitive. But after touring more than a dozen houses and making three unsuccessful purchase offers, they’ve been left scratching their heads.

“We knew that the housing market was hopping here,” she said, “but I did not expect to look at something, put in an offer and not get something — not even a counter offer, nothing.”

The couple are looking to move out of their rental in Leland into a single family home near Myrtle Grove or Monkey Junction.

“We wanted to get closer to the water but knew that getting much closer than Myrtle Grove, Monkey Junction area would probably be too expensive,” Riley said.

The couple put in an offer at asking price for the first home they toured.

They later found out that house closed at $22,000 over asking price, Riley said. Riley said she doesn’t want to pay over the…

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