Should I stay or should I go? How to Navigate the Spring Housing Market – Eagle News Online
By Brooke Gifford
Community Bank Mortgage Consultant, NMLS ID #1159638
Buy or wait? This is a question that many buyers ask themselves at this time of year. Spring is in the air and the surge in the housing market over the past two years has resulted in record home prices and record inventory.
According to data from realtor.com, the inventory of homes for sale fell by 53% between April 2020 and April 2021. And 2022 is shaping up to be another eventful year for buyers, especially first-time buyers. Buyer interest continues to outpace the number of homeowners eager to sell, making this year’s real estate game a perfect seller’s market, a continuing trend we’ve seen for months.
But like clockwork, spring always tends to be the most competitive time to buy a home. It may be the warmer weather and the end of the school year that is pushing buyers and sellers into the market.
The burning question: how do you navigate the spring real estate market?
First, understand your finances. You need to have a clear picture of your financial situation to help you determine a realistic down payment and how much you can qualify for.
The usual advice applies more than ever, like pre-qualifying for your mortgage. Especially in today’s hot market, every second counts. Follow the steps to get prequalified to get an estimate of what you might be able to borrow based on the important financial information you provide, as well as a credit check. During the prequalification process, your lender can help you discover and understand different mortgage options to meet your needs. Many estate agents and real estate agents will encourage you to pre-qualify before showing you a property. Being prequalified is a smart step to take and it shows sellers that you are a serious buyer and ready to take the next steps to get a mortgage.
Act quickly, but patience is key. Due to limited inventory, homes sell out before you even have time to see them online. You are in the same boat as hundreds of thousands of buyers. So while it’s important to be ready to see a listing and make a quick offer at any time, be prepared, review your contract with your attorney for contingencies, and be ready to go. Buying a home in a hot market is a marathon, not a sprint.
People are doing crazy things to buy their dream home in a booming market. Like buying a house without seeing it to make a quick decision. But don’t cut corners. It’s one of the biggest purchases and investments you’ll ever make. Don’t give up the possibility of a home inspection just to bolster your offer. Although a competitive market often requires quick thinking and a potentially higher purchase price to drive away a homeowner, that doesn’t mean you should give up information about the home you’re buying.