So, you’ve decided to leave renter life in your financial rearview. While you may have buffed out credit score blemishes and taken a heaping bite out of hard-to-swallow student debt, a competitive housing market can leave buyers second-guessing (and even rethinking) their decision to become homeowners.
But how is one to know they’re a stone’s throw away from the lava plain that is a competitive housing market? Take a quick look around. Are local sellers swarmed with a mob of buyers seconds after the property hits the market? Do you find yourself fighting tooth and nail just to place an offer the property owner will give a second glance? Do buyers cushion their offers with tens of thousands of dollars over asking? If you find yourself counting “sold” signs like one might count sheep, consider yourself a contestant in a competitive housing market.
Much like a game show, not every buyer will come out victorious in a cut-throat market. In some cases, a competitive housing market can run a home buyer ragged with bidding wars aplenty and less-than-favorable strategies to buy properties sight unseen.
For those homeowners up for the challenge, remember that rowing through a real estate hot spring requires a marathon pace. Otherwise, tensions are bound to run high, boil over, and leave prospective buyers tipped over in scalding hot water. Rest assured, with the right cool-down strategies, buyers can navigate a piping hot housing market—without getting burned.
Don’t procrastinate your property search
While some buyers boast an unparalleled ability to thrive under pressure, a competitive housing market will put that cool-calm-collected demeanor to the test. With low property supplies, finding the home of your dreams can take months longer than initially forecasted, which means buyers can find themselves hotel-bound when the clock runs out, and the new owners come knocking.
To avoid delay-ridden disasters, kickstart your house hunt into hyper gear as soon as the seed to relocate is planted. Otherwise, the house of your dreams could slip through your fingers. But how much time will you really need to dig up your dream digs?
If you know your way around a search engine, finding a real estate agent can take virtually no time at all. Regardless of your Google savvy, this process typically takes a few days to a week after accounting for the time it will take to screen candidates and conduct interviews. From there, it’s time to house hunt, which can take an average of two to three months. Be sure to expect delays if you’re battling on the frontlines of a competitive housing market.
Realize you can always build custom if all else fails
Should your house-hunting experience prove to be an arduous search for buried treasure (sans map), don’t lose hope. Consider custom.
By building custom, you can opt out of stress-inducing bidding wars and cut the line of buyers wielding cash offers. Additionally, you can customize every square inch of your property—from the cool-toned wood floors to the vaulted ceilings.
Where to begin? Make headway by deciding between a custom vs. stock house plan. While custom home plans enable buyers to craft one-of-a-kind, never-before-seen properties, these custom plans come packaged with hefty price tags. Not to mention, drawing a custom plan can prolong the home building process and sabotage your strict schedule.
Unlike a custom plan, a stock floor plan keeps moving stress to a manageable level, given that they’re pre-designed and easily accessible. If the convenience factor isn’t enough to calm your raging nerves, the lower price tag of a stock house plan might be enough to quell financial anxieties occupying the back of your mind. Ready for a chaos-free custom home build? Partner with stock house plan providers like Monster House Plans.
Partner with a professional
No first-time homebuyer wants to thrust themselves into the mosh pit of cash-in-hand homebuyers without professional guidance. To ensure you make it out of a competitive housing market unscathed, arm yourself with a professional real estate agent. Not only will these real estate insiders handle the nitty-gritty negotiations, but these professionals also play a pivotal role in the house-hunting process.
By tapping into their professional network and utilizing the Multiple Listing Service, your agent can locate open houses, new listings, and hidden gems that would have fallen under your radar—soothing the stresses characteristic of house hunting.
Don’t settle for uncertainty
While homeowners in the throes of a competitive housing market may not have the pick of the lot, settling for a property that you’ll quickly outgrow—or grow to resent—will prove a waste of precious time and resources. But what are the tell-tale signs you’re about to buy the wrong house?
If the prospect of signing a mortgage agreement on the property in question leaves you feeling indifferent and defeated rather than jumping for joy, it may be time to withdraw your offer. While the home-buying process does require a knack for crunching numbers and logical thinking skills, your gut instinct plays an equally fundamental role.
If the first tour of the home rolls out the welcome mat for doubts and disappointments, rather than visions of home offices arranged around bay windows and built-in custom cabinetry lining the front hallway, explore these hesitations. Remember, the right home will grease your inner interior decorator’s gears and get your mental wheels turning. By contrast, the wrong house will fail to meet your family’s needs and send you (and a long line of future homeowners) packing before you even hit the one-year mark.
Make an unbeatable offer the first time around
While offering thousands over the asking price can send any first-time buyer into a cold sweat, don’t make the mistake of making a lackluster offer. In the end, tightening your purse strings will only leave your lowball offer to be trampled by competitive cash offers.
If you can’t afford to compete with over-asking offers, scour the web for more budget-friendly properties. That way, you can save yourself the disappointment and the spiked stress levels of another rejection.
If your House Hunting has gone cold in a too-hot-to-handle market, feeling hot-headed is to be expected. Luckily, with the right approach, you can combat stressors rearing their heads.