By Andy Meeks, July 10, 2020
By Andy Meeks, July 10, 2020
Buying a home in a global pandemic amidst national social upheaval with record low levels of local housing inventory? Yeah, it can be a challenging proposition at every level, but it’s also perfectly possible. In fact, in many ways, it’s a great time to be a buyer as 30-year conventional mortgage rates are at all.time.lows.
Bad real-world news generally has quite positive benefits for mortgage rates, as it causes a shift to more stable investments, like bonds and mortgage-backed securities, which has the effect of depressing rates. This is good news for buyers! Buyers simply have never had more buying power than right now. And while employment insecurity continues to sideline a portion of the available buyer pool, there are a lot of active buyers in the market right now taking advantage of these rates.
Beyond buying power, the drivers of this demand are the fundamental desires to make a commitment to long-term stability, financial well-being and personal safe spaces and family home bases that will provides shelter, comfort, peace and well-being. Those deep-seated desires and goals provide the backbone of stability for what can be a roller coaster ride.
Because the Portland housing supply is also at three-year lows, the laws of supply and demand dictate that prices will increase (and the competition will be fierce!). And this has been playing out with nearly every well-priced, quality new listing this summer — minimal days on the market, multiple offers, and winning offers going multiple percentage points over asking price.
Besides making the terms of an offer most competitive, choosing an established, experienced local lender can help make or break an offer getting accepted. A local lender who knows the Portland market is best positioned to meet the tight timelines in which transactions are being conducted.
I work hard to strategize with my buyers to ensure they’re ideally situated for success, and to understand what it will take to make a successful offer when *that* house comes along.
My buyer client Grace perfectly embodies this current market and how to successfully navigate it. We were connected through a past client of mine who is her friend and coworker, and we started working together in early May. We had several conversations discussing her goals and needs, as well as the steps involved in the process. I introduced her to a trusted local lender who has helped many clients of mine successfully navigate the complex financial path. We previewed dozens of homes, narrowed down her search criteria over the course of a week or two, toured several homes together, and then she quickly found *that* house. It’s a newer built, and classically designe, bungalow just one block from the Dekum Triangle in my favorite NE PDX neighborhood of Woodlawn.
Grace was well-prepared and she made a very strong offer with competitive terms that beat out at least a half-dozen other offers. The repair negotiations were a bit challenging, and the deal was almost lost, but with her conviction and confidence, we were able to negotiate a significant price reduction to keep things moving forward. At the end of the day, Grace’s determination and desire helped keep the deal together. Today, she’s the proud owner of her very first home, and I couldn’t be happier for her.