In a competitive market, having frenzy take hold and light fire under a buyer’s decision making is a true risk. Not only does a low inventory market promote a sense of “there’s not enough” that can create a survival mode mentality, but it fosters an environment of uncertainty that can lead buyers down a “don’t want to, but feel like we have to” path. If buyers succumb to the frenzy or are not partnered with wise and stable counsel, this can manifest as buyers offering over what they can comfortably pay for a home, settling on areas of a home that don’t line up with their core values, and investing in inspections unnecessarily on a home that ultimately will not be the right fit. We try to instill a sense of empowerment and stability in the midst of uncertainty. The reality is that nothing is certain, but what we can control is how we respond.
Here are a few simple tips:
1. MAKE A LIST of the top three things you do not want to compromise on. There is no perfect house, but if you are able to hone in on the areas you are willing to compromise on and take the time to get in touch with your non-negotiables, this will make for a more empowered search and you will feel clearer on when to walk away. If you are buying a home with someone else, make these lists separately, then discuss where your lists overlaps and make a new list together.
2. THE FINANCIAL GUT CHECK. This can be difficult because the reality of the market, your needs in a home, and your financial comfort all need to be considered and valued collectively. Taking the time to see if what you want in a home lines up with the reality of the market is step number one. There is nothing worse than chasing a unicorn to the point of disappointment months later. We will provide support as you test the waters and get a sense of what homes are within reach so you can make an educated decision for your life and financial future. If what you are seeing in the market at your price point lines up with your needs, we can move forward with realistic expectations and healthy boundaries around when (if ever) it makes sense to stretch your price point goals.
3. BUY LOCATION AND LAYOUT. Remodeling a kitchen is easier than moving a house. When we say “buy location,” we mean buy a home in a location you will be happy living in. Even if walkability is not one of your priorities, liking your neighborhood is important. This may seem obvious, but many people have fallen in love with homes in otherwise undesirable locations only to find themselves wanting to move a few years later. If you like where you live, you are buying longevity in the home. Simple as that. Of course, we need to balance this against your tolerance for home improvement, but the bottom line is paint can always come later. Likewise, it is much easier to change the cosmetics of a home than it is to change the layout. Look past the aesthetics to the fundamentals of a home’s layout to see whether it has the potential to meet your housing needs for years to come.
There is a lot of news right now about the instability of the housing market. While the market will always fluctuate, if you buy a home that can adapt to your life long-term if needed (regardless of your short-term plans), your satisfaction with your home and investment has a greater chance of outliving any market volatility.