Home buying is typically a stressful experience in itself. Add on the pressure of buying a home in a seller’s market and the difficulties can seem even more overwhelming.
Tips for Buying a Home
There are plenty of things to consider when entering the real estate market. The time of year can be a major factor as to what may be available to you, but even more important is the concept of supply and demand. In a seller’s market, demand in an area is higher than supply, therefore, leading to increased interest and the possibility of bidding wars.
Luckily, there are ways to combat the negative feelings one may face when encountering these obstacles. If you’re looking for a game plan when entering the real estate market, keep reading on about these top tips for buying a home in a seller’s market!
Check Up To Date Real Estate Sites
Being a proactive buyer will certainly help in your house hunt. Keep an eye out for local listings and houses for sale by signing up for an account on popular real estate websites. Then, you can save your favorites and receive notifications that let you know when houses become available in real-time.
There are also various metrics on each site that will aid in your house hunt. Pay attention to added costs such as property taxes, neighborhood ratings with walkability scores and any other hot ticket information that might be available on the house, including the age of the roof, furnace or the hot water heater.
Don’t forget that some homes or statistics may be listed on some sites, but not others. By keeping a vigilant watch on multiple sites, you may be more likely to find your dream home in a much shorter amount of time.
Get Pre-Approved For A Mortgage
Even if you’re just browsing homes rather than actively searching for them, getting pre-approved for a mortgage should be a top priority. In a seller’s market, many owners won’t even allow potential buyers to look at the home in person without being pre-approved in hopes that a quick sale will ensue.
The easiest way to get pre-approved is by boosting your credit score and reducing your debt to income ratio. As you improve your credit score over time, more financial opportunities become available to you.
For example, if you bought your first home with an under-qualified credit score, stricter terms may have followed due to budgeting habits or poor spending decisions like an excessively large down payment. Now that you have grown older and wiser when it comes to personal finance, your credit score has probably improved significantly allowing for you to better weigh your options.
Your debt to income ratio is also an important indicator to lenders as to the type of borrower you will be. Reliable borrowers make payments on time in the right amount and have various types of credit they are capable of balancing. One key component of getting a mortgage is to ensure you don’t take on too many other types of debt while you’re waiting to be approved as this could negatively affect your chances of authorization.
Remember, buying a house is a big responsibility and likely one of the biggest purchases you will make in your lifetime. Be conscientious of your spending habits well ahead of time to guarantee that everything will run smoothly when it’s time to get approved.
Work With A Realtor
Realtors offer many benefits to you as a buyer, especially if this is your first time entering the market. They have access to their own listings, the MLS database and are able to speak on your behalf so you can avoid chasing sellers around. While you may be hesitant to negotiate on terms and conditions, real estate agents are usually very knowledgeable as to when you’re getting a good deal or when you might be getting ripped off.
On top of that, working with realtors can also give you more information on what you qualify for. Oftentimes, loans come with certain stipulations that may affect your ability to buy. For example, FHA loans are a great option for first-time buyers, but it’s unlikely that you will be able to purchase a home under construction.
Alternatively, if you’re a seasoned veteran in the real estate market, there may be more options like a home equity line of credit that will allow you to make plenty of renovations. While it’s vital to go over your options with a lender, realtors will be able to narrow down your search based on your specific needs.
Grieve Your Losses
No one tells you about the range of emotions you may feel when home buying. In fact, you may feel several different things all at once, especially when you lose out on the house of your dreams.
Curiosity, excitement, exhaustion, anticipation, frustration, fear, joy and disappointment — these are all common feelings to experience while looking for a home. At some point during your house hunt, you may miss out on a home that you felt was the one. When this happens, your motivation can hit an all-time low. Fortunately, the market is ever-changing, so when you feel like you’re prepared to step back into the ring, do so with gusto! Take the time to grieve your loss of the home you could have had, then get back on your horse and move on.
Whatever the outcome may be, it’s essential to persevere through your house hunt without losing sight of the final goal. While you may have to compromise on some things, one thing you should never bargain on is your overall happiness. Sometimes, a home just feels right. And, in that case, it’s time to make an offer.
No matter your situation, buying a home is a big commitment to yourself, your family and your finances. While a seller’s market can be a stressful situation to be in, take charge of your search by applying these simple tips to your house hunt! For more helpful info on home buying and moving, check out the rest of our blog articles here.
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