Heads up, if you haven’t purchased a home in the past few years: times have changed.
Whether it’s your first home, or if you’ve purchased homes in the past, you need to know the new rules of home buying. There are factors in this seasons purchase market that make it especially challenging. Across the nation and especially here on the west coast, inventory is less available. Combine that with steep prices and stiff competition have created a market that can be frustrating. We’ve created a quick guide for you to keep in mind as you begin your house hunt. Because, like we’ve stated these are the new rules of home buying!
Be prepared for a marathon house hunt.
Currently, there is low housing inventory and heavy competition amongst buyers. It may take six months to a year to find the right home in the area you desire. Our advice is to create your must have list and stick to it. Buying a home is a big decision and if you go into the situation making concessions on your must have list, you may regret it later. Be patient and find a Realtor in your target area who knows the ins and outs of that neighborhood. Make sure you interview the realtor as if you were hiring them for a job. Make sure that they are effective communicators and that you get along with them well. Buying a home can be stressful and making sure you have the right person on your team can go a long way!
Secure your financing before you start shopping for a home.
If you’ll need a mortgage to purchase your home, make sure you get your financing set up before you even step foot in a house. With the buyers competition being as strong as it is, you’ll want to have a pre-approval letter from your lender in hand while house shopping. Be careful to make sure you’re working with the right team, interview your loan officer as if you were hiring them for a job. Again, communication is key in the home buying process. Having a team that communicates well will keep stress levels down and make the process go a lot more smooth.
Keep the contingencies to a minimum.
Another way to make sure your offer get’s a better chance of being accepted is to keep your purchase contingencies to a minimum. Part of the new rules of home buying dictate that the least squeaky wheel get’s the deal. You don’t have to pass on the big contingencies like inspections and other deal breakers, but it’s a good idea to minimize the more picky small items that could get your offer passed over by the seller.
Don’t try to make lowball offers.
This is not the right market for trying to save a few thousand dollars on the home of your dreams. Our advice is to do a little homework, if the house is priced appropriately and you like it, present your best offer right from the start. In this market second chances are fewer and further between.
Keep your eye on the prize and don’t get discouraged.
I hope that we’ve been able to help you understand the new rules of home buying. Stay positive and don’t get discouraged, sometimes the perfect home is right around the corner and other times it may take a little longer to find. Persistence is the key to success in any endeavor.
Happy house hunting!