Are you interested in buying your first home, moving up or downsizing, or acquiring a vacation home?
Are you nervous about doing this, given the pandemic and all you’ve read in the media and online about the housing market?
I get that completely. It’s a challenging housing market in our area for buyers, given the limited inventory, the competition because of buyer demand and supply of homes, and dealing with the issues of looking at homes because of the Covid-19 restrictions.
Let’s talk about these one at a time.
The inventory is low when you look at supply (how many homes are on the market) relative to the demand (how many buyers are looking and want to buy) and the rate at which homes are selling. That’s been true for quite some time. Simply put, there aren’t enough homes coming on the market to meet the demand, so there is competition for most listings, depending on area and price point, and this favors sellers.
That also means what we have seen for quite some time…rising prices. When supply is low and demand is high, prices rise. And it also means…
Because of demand and supply, the low interest rates, and pent up demand for homes, there are lots of buyers out there right now looking to buy and take advantage of the market conditions and housing affordability, despite the pandemic. Even though prices have risen, because of the interest rates homes are actually more affordable now than they were last year.
Competition means several things for buyers: (1) you have to be prepared to move quickly and tour homes that appeal to you, are in the right location, and meet your needs and budget; (2) if you see a house you like you have to make a decision about moving forward with an offer quickly or you might miss out; (3) you can expect there will be multiple buyers vying for the same property, and quickly; (4) many homes will sell at asking price and above – a low offer will NOT work, and you cannot assume you will get a second chance; and (5) there’s a possibility you may have to bid on more than one home to be successful.
LOOKING AT HOMES DURING THE PANDEMIC
We have all been dealing with lots of restrictions on our daily lives as a result of Covid-19 since March – if affects shopping, dining, work, school, recreation, and the list goes on. The pandemic has impacted how we sell and buy homes, too, and there are some good procedures in place to help protect buyers and sellers.
Some sellers simply do not want to deal with buyers coming through their homes and, unless they MUST sell, are opting out of selling right now. No doubt there are buyers who would like to buy a home but are concerned about the risks in touring properties, and some are probably holding off.
But if you do want to purchase a home, it can be done these days given the technology (virtual home tours, 3-D tours, virtual open houses) for viewing properties before you even decide to tour them, and the procedures Realtors and their clients have to follow for touring a home in order to protect buyers and sellers, especially homes that are occupied.
For more information being a buyer in this market, read the 8 things to know about buying a home during the pandemic.
If I can help you get prepared for buying a home – getting pre-approved for a mortgage, thinking through your housing needs not just wants, planning a home search strategy, understanding the local market conditions – and assist you in the purchase process here in Carlsbad or nearby, please reach out to me at (760) 840-1360. I’m happy to talk and answer all your questions, and perhaps some you weren’t aware you had!