60 Minutes reported a shortage of 4 million homes across the county. We are seeing this trend in Northern Virginia as home shoppers are seeking homes and discovering that there is not a great deal of home inventory available.
Here are a few tips that will help you prepare to purchase a home in an environment where inventory is very low.
Speaking to a reliable real estate agent that will prepare you for what to expect and helpful steps along the way is crucial.
Find a temporary housing solution and give your set criteria to the agent in the meantime.
Have patience for good housing opportunities to arise.
Be Flexible. In a wait and pray situation, some flexibility will be required. For instance, what does your criteria list say? A home may come up that has a bigger yard, but the location is 10 minutes further than you hoped. Some criteria may be crucial while others may be negotiable. Finding compromise will help in these scenarios.
Forgive aesthetic. If you find a home that could almost work but needs $50,000 in home updates and repairs, consider it as a viable option. If the location is right and other criteria have been met, going with the home that needs updates may just work if you can forgive the cabinets and countertop in the meantime.
Consider building new. If building new is within your reach, it may be a way to tick more of the boxes that you seek. It certainly allows for you to plan for the space arrangements without having to compromise there.
Rent as an interim solution. Renting comes both ways. You can move out of one home and rent it out. You can move into another home to rent yourself. In some cases it can allow flexibility that is required in order to set the next goal.
All in all, there are options even in the stickiest of home purchasing environments. One more point of note about working with an excellent Realtor. There are many helpful elements about having your list of criteria in the hands of a capable agent. One of them is their access to the Coming Soon listings. Knowing what is available before it is actively listed online allows for further research into possibility before all the homebuyers know about it. Additionally, agents have many word of mouth avenues, and access to internal emailing that is incredibly helpful in these times.
If you are looking to sell right now, consult an experienced agent who knows how to position your home to achieve top dollar in the current market. As a buyer, remain hopeful and consult with an agent you trust. Opportunities will arise. Whether it's sooner or later is to be determined. But you will position yourself better if you do some planning ahead and remain patient and flexible too.
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