After five years of carefully saving money for a down payment on their first home, Christine Rodriguez and her husband, Oscar, hoped to finally move out of their rented trailer in Des Moines, Iowa.

The pandemic made their need more urgent. While five of their six kids were studying online from home, the three-room dwelling started to feel untenable.

The children, ages 6 through 17, couldn’t even freely play outside.

“When you live in a trailer, your neighbors are so close,” says Christine, a waitress at a sports bar. “We have a yard, but it’s not too much. We just wanted them to be able to go out and just be kids, like, you know, screaming and yelling and just having fun playing and not bothering other people because we’re so close.”

Christine Rodriguez’s real estate agent, Tiffany Ehler, right, says she’s never experienced such an overheated housing market in Des Moines, Iowa.
Tiffany Ehler

After contacting a real estate agent…

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