I must say this is a statement/question that a lot of us (realtors) are hearing lately. This is also a question that a lot of you potential buyers have been saying lately. Many of you have probably put in several offers, only to have been outbid, sometimes severely. It can take the wind out of your sails and make you feel that the market is just out to get you. Maybe accomplishing your lifelong dream of home ownership is simply “not meant to be”. I say forget that. You can still become a homeowner, stop paying rent and paint the walls whatever color you want.
The first thing I think you should do….. shorten up your wishlist. In the beginning of my career I used to make the mistake of asking young couples to explain to me what they’re looking for. 90% of the time they would start listing all these things they want, going on and on about their dream home. My gut reaction is “that’s not going to happen”. Of course I didn’t have the courage to say that back then. I would just let them figure it out for themselves over a grueling 3 month process. However, it is possible and sometimes easy to shorten up a wishlist. A lot of times not getting something that you thought you initially thought you had to have isn’t that big of a deal. That fourth bedroom isn’t that bad when the house has a den or a living room and a family room. Sometimes deciding to purchase a home with a little bit less square footage isn’t that big of a deal if the house has an open and flowing floor plan. What if you really wanted a great view? Guess what? Everyone wants a great view, but they come with a cost, usually a very high one.
The way the market is right now, with multiple offers and very low inventory if you’re not aggressive you’re going to get priced right out of the market. This may have already happened to you. Locational differences are probably the most cost sensitive. What if you really wanted a 2 bedroom 1 bath in Westwood Knolls. You may be able to get a bigger house at the same price in San Mateo Village or Sunnybrae. If you have more than 20% to put down, consider buying something that needs a little bit of work. A little bit of elbow grease can go a long way in do-it yourself style work. It’s also a way for you to customize the home yourself and gain more of a connection with it. Keep your eyes out and be open to other options. It’s better to buy real estate and wait, then it is to wait to buy real estate.
Interest rates have also been so low for so long now, that people have almost gotten used to them and now think they’re the norm. If these rates start to slowly rise a lot of people are going to be upset that they didn’t pull the trigger when they had the chance. All I’m saying is that the people who are successfully purchasing homes right now are the ones that are willing to make a few sacrifices and pay for what they want. I believe that in the long run these people will be glad they did it.