Balancing Your Wants and Needs as a Homebuyer This Spring
Despite the fact that there are more homes for sale now than at this time last year, there is still an undersupply, with fewer houses available than in more normal, pre-pandemic years. According to realtor.com's Monthly Housing Market Trends Report:
“While the number of homes for sale is increasing, it is still 43.2% lower than it was before the pandemic in 2017 to 2019. This means that there are still fewer homes available to buy on a typical day than there were a few years ago.”
The current housing shortage will influence how you look for a home this spring. Buyers who consider what is a necessity versus what is a nice-to-have will be more successful in their home search with limited options on the market.
What is the first step? Get a mortgage pre-approval. Pre-approval gives you a better idea of how much you can borrow for a home loan, which influences how you put your list together. You don't want to fall in love with a house that is out of your price range. Once you've determined your budget, the best way to prioritize all of the features you want and need in a home is to make a list.
Here's an excellent way to consider them before you begin:
▪ Must-Haves – If a house doesn’t have these features, it won’t work for you and your lifestyle.
▪ Nice-To-Haves – These are features you’d love to have but can live without.
Nice-to-haves aren’t dealbreakers, but if you find a home that hits all the must-haves and some of these, it’s a contender.
▪ Dream State – This is where you can really think big. Again, these aren’t features you’ll need, but if you find a home in your budget that has all the must-haves, most of the nice-to-haves, and any of these, it’s a clear winner.
Finally, once you've created your list and organized it in a way that works for you, talk to your real estate agent about it. They'll be able to help you refine your list even further, as well as coach you on the best ways to stick to it and find a home in your area that meets your needs.
Prioritizing what you require in a home is an important first step in the buying process. If you're ready to find the right one for you, contact a local real estate agent.
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