It’s the hottest Saturday of January, and I am sweating alone on the sidewalk on a street I’ve never seen before. I am here to see a house, but I am not the only one. Clusters of masked couples or small families litter the sidewalk, all looking at the modest three-bedroom in Vallejo, waiting their turn to go inside and see if it’s The One.
My partner and I have been searching for a home for a month without luck. We were so hopeful when we scanned the listings on Zillow and saw how affordable Vallejo was. But every week it felt like fewer listings came on the market, and they were more expensive. And there were more people looking to buy.