Should you put your house buying plans on hold?
"Is it still crazy competive for buyers right now?" and "Is it possible to get a deal on a house for sale?" are common questions from home buyers these days. My answer to both questions is, Yes!
According to new September 2020 data from the Maryland Association of Realtors, in 2020 the active inventory meaning the houses for sale through the Multiple Listing Service is 10,117. In 2019 there were 25, 146 homes for sale.
In addition, the average days a house stays on the market for sale in Maryland in 2020 is 8 days. In 2019 the average days a house was on the market was 24 days.
And the real kicker here is the average sales price of a home in 2019 was $346,631 and in 2020 its $402,747. That's an increase of about 16%.
So what's a home buyer to do in these conditions?
- Save your money-When you buy a home, if you can put down 20% you can waive the PMI or private mortgage insurance on the loan. This can save you thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. Talk to a mortgage professional about this option and other loan plans that may work for you.
- Visit a house of interest as soon as it comes on the market-Our home buyers have been successful just being the first solid offer the seller receives. Being first may not matter if the seller and listing agent have already set a deadline to review offers.
- Consider a pre-contract home inspection-A pre-contract home inspection means you do an inspection before submitting an offer for the property. You and your experienced exclusive buyers agent tour the house and closely evaluate the details. Check the slope of the yard and look & smell for moisture in a basement. Look under the stairs, to see if water has wicked up on the wood. Check the age of the HVAC, roof and other major systems on the property. IF all of these details look okay, call in a professional to give you an evaluation. If the home inspector finds no major issues and you're comfortable with the findings, you can submit an offer without including the home inspection contingency.
- Wait to buy a house-If you plan on living in a house for a couple of years, you may want to wait for the market to shift a bit before buying a home. If your home buying plan is 5+ years, get out there are start checking neighborhoods and properties.
- Consider the less than perfect house. We all love bright shiny new kitchens and bathrooms but these features attract home buyers in droves. What about the house that has good bones, a nice lot and maybe a newer roof but the kitchen and bathrooms need updating? In other words, the house that's been loved but doesn't look like a model home. I've had many really happy home buyers, including myself, who bought the less than perfect house and turned it into their dream home.
- Finally, we've had other creative options in this competitive market but each one matches the unique needs of our home buyer. If you have questions about how this process works and what you need to do to get started, give me a call. I'd love to help you navigate the home buying process!