Great points here for all buyers to think about.
It used to be that internet savvy buyers would spend a few weeks looking and learning, and then once they targeted their desired area/price/style, they’d view a handful of homes, maybe 3-5, submit an offer, get into escrow and actually close escrow within about a month.
Now if you’ve done your pre-homework and gone to see 10 homes, and still haven’t found what you want, it’s time to change your criteria and your expectations. This number includes homes you’ve scoped out from the outside, then found out there are multiple offers over list price.
A few ideas on how to tweak your search and achieve success:
1. A huge number of people want a 3 bedroom, 2 bath. What about 1 ½ bath, or even 1 bath with a floorplan which would allow you to add a 2nd bath? Many of these homes are overlooked and therefore the competition for these is lower.
2. What about 2 bedrooms with a den, or a larger dining area which could be converted? Do you really need a 3rd bedroom or would another arrangement work just as well?
3. What is it about the neighborhood you’re looking in that you like so much? What other areas or pockets within other neighborhoods could be just as nice?
4. Can you live without a garage, or build one later? What else can you really live happily without?
5. If you’ve been asking for the seller to pay your closing costs and keep getting beat out on offers, STOP! Think of another way to get that money or spend a few months saving up. If you’re a VA buyer, we Americans appreciate your service to our country but the reality is, you’re up against cash and conventional offers who are NOT asking for closing costs. Same holds true for FHA buyers.
6. Ask yourself: do I want a deal or do I want a house? The “sale” is nearing an end in many locations and the discounts have already been taken. Be glad that prices are 50% off the high of the market!
7. How much fix-it work can you reasonably do yourself? Have you considered an FHA 203K rehab loan? That way you can start looking at many of the cash-only homes, and bypass lots of the competition.
If you’re looking for the perfect home, it doesn’t exist. Ask anyone who’s built their own—they still wish they’d done a few things differently. If you can get 80-90% of what you want, that’s terrific. Happy home searching to you!
San Diego, CA