Though there are more homes for sale now than there were at this time last year, there’s still an undersupply with fewer houses available than in more normal, pre-pandemic years. The Monthly Housing Market Trends Report from realtor.com puts it this way:
“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 has an impact on how you search for a home this spring. With limited options on the market, buyers who consider what’s a necessity versus what’s a nice-to-have will be more successful in their home search.
First Step: Get Pre-Approved.
Pre-approval helps you better understand what you can borrow for your home loan, and that plays an important role in how you’ll put your list together. After all, you don’t want to fall in love with a home that’s out of reach.
Second Step: Make a List of Needs and Wants
Once you have a good grasp on your budget, the best way to prioritize all the features you want and need in a home is to put together a list.
Here’s a great way to think about them before you begin:
Must-Haves – If a house doesn’t have these features, it won’t work for you and your lifestyle. Features that usually land on this list are the number of bedrooms and/or bathrooms, the location and property size, and the type of home.
Nice-To-Haves – These are features you’d love to have but can live without. You’d definitely consider buying a home without these features. If you find a home that hits all the must-haves and some of the these, it’s a real contender. Nice-to-have features might be a finished basement, an updated kitchen, wood flooring, or an attached garage.
Dream State – Now you’re thinking big. These aren’t features you 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. Dream State features might include an inground, heated pool, a luxury fireplace, or, depending on where you’re looking, an acre of land.
Third Step: Ask a Realtor®.
Once you’ve created your list and categorized it in a way that works for you, ask a Realtor® to help you review your ideas. They’ll help you refine the list further, coach you through having realistic expectations, and find a home in your desired area that meets your needs.
Want more on how to compromise and balance your wants and needs when shopping for a home? Read more by clicking here.
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