Post # 16
Our market is DEFINITELY a seller’s market right now and homes are going for 20-30k above asking. We could’ve sold our house for quite a bit more than it’s worth but we’ve decided to wait it out as the market is supposed to adjust in our area in the next 2-3 years to be closer to actual value rather than the inflated amounts that people are getting right now. I live in the midwest though so it definitely depends on your area. I don’t see the coastal markets slowing down anytime soon.
Post # 17
My husband and I bought a house not long ago in a seller’s market. We’d be looking at houses on Realtor.com, e-mail some likelies to our broker, only to get reply the next day from our broker saying those houses went into contract overnight!
How we ended up getting our dream house is to offer asking price a few days before the next open house. That’s what our broker suggested because after an open house, a house like the one we bought would’ve gotten hit with multiple offers and that’s how you get yourself into a bidding war.
Personally I wouldn’t try to time the market. Even if the house depreciates a little bit after we buy–like ours in fact has gone down a couple grand–having been able to start enjoying our dream home right away and for the past few months, has value to me.
If you choose to wait, then I would actually try to use that time to save so I can get into the next higher bracket. My husband and I looked in a bracket for a while and wasn’t having any luck, not even able to go look at houses because they were getting bought so fast. Seems like people are slapping down cash offers sight unseen the instant a listing goes up! It wasn’t until we started to look into a higher price bracket that things slowed down a little bit, enough that we could actually look around and think for a bit. Because higher price bracket = higher barrier to entry = less competition.
Post # 18
As someone who recently sold and purchased in a hot market it’s not just the offer, but the earnest money, down payment, etc. When we sold my husband’s house a few months before getting married we had multiple offers the first day on the market. We didn’t take the highest offer (but was still over list), we took one from a single mom with a large earnest money and an almost 50% down payment. We knew she was serious and her financing was solid vs having to deal with having to relist when financing was an issue with people putting 5-10% down.
When we purchased our current home we weren’t happy with homes in our original budget and increased our budget $150-200k so that we weren’t stuck in a home that was too small or needed renovations. Our home is already worth a good chunk more than when we purchased it less than a year ago. If we had waited we wouldn’t have been willing to pay what it’s worth now so there is a risk in waiting.
Post # 19
I would wait it out. I live in CA and the housing prices are ridiculous for the size house that you’re getting and the location. We live in an affordable city in our valley and I wouldn’t even consider the houses worth the value they’re selling for, nor would I even consider paying that much for one of them.
My parents stay pretty up on the housing market and my dad thinks there will be a dip again in 12-18 months. While owning your own home is great for tax benefits, being able to do what you want to your home, etc. I think buying at the right time and getting the house you want AND within budget is so important. If you can afford to expand your budget a little and it gets you the home you want, that’s not so bad but I don’t think it’s worth straining your finances just to say you own a home.
Post # 20
Nobody really knows how the markets will fluctuate… we bought our last house in a “seller’s market” and sold it in an even hotter market several years later for a pretty lofty profit. Unless this is an investment property (sounds like this will be your primary residence – which should not be treated as an investment) buy now if you’re ready, but buy what you can afford.
Post # 21
We bought in a sellers market twice. The first time we ended up looking at homes priced 30-50k below our max budget and offered as high as we could. We got the 3rd house we offered on. We got that house within 3 weeks of starting to look (there were TONS of houses on the market and we weren’t that picky being first time home buyers) The most recent time, we ended up looking for ten months. We were WAY more picky this time having already owned a house and had more specific needs. Over the ten months we put offers on 4 houses (ended up getting the last one). Out of all the ones we offered on, this is by far the best one for us. So it all worked out but boy it was a very trying year!!! Being a buyer in a sellers market is tough.
We stuck to our budget both times. I think the first time we adjusted our expectations a bit and the second time we looked for a really long time until we found something in our budget.
Post # 22
Don’t go over budget, but hopefully a responsible bank won’t approve you for more than you can afford. But to get the right house, you may need to bid more than you think you should have to. I would have regretted it terribly if I’d lost out on our house, even though I had to bid over the zillow estimate. The only thing to watch out for, is if the bank doesn’t appraise the house as being worth what you bid for it – in that case you’d have to cover the difference as part of the down payment. Your realtor can advise you on this.
Shop smart: if you’ve tried and failed to compete for the perfect house, think about some factors that might make a house undesirable to other buyers, but that you’d be ok with. For example, we encountered less competition on our house because it has no A/C and only a one-car carport – since we never turn on A/C and only have one car, that was great for us.
Be vigilant: like a previous poster said, just some weekend rain can be enough to drive away casual shoppers. Don’t let your guard down. We were bidding and negotiating during Thanksgiving week, offer accepted on Black Friday – I’m sure there were other potential buyers who weren’t paying attention during the holidays. Be ready to pounce and the “houses fly off the market in 3 days” situation will work in your favor.
Post # 23
We bought in the Seattle area and were able to get our home for under asking price. We got lucky, our previous home owners took very poor pictures of the house and it didn’t seem like it would be a good fit. We went and checked it out anyway (us pushing our realtor) and it was immaculate and beautiful with amazing detail work. It was the week of Thanksgiving, and we got our keys New Years Eve. Typically the market slows in the winter.
Post # 24
We bought our home in a sellers market. It was tough. We were looking for about six months, and we lived on realtor.com, zillow, and the regional real estate sites and databases. We decided to look below our max budget, that way if the house went into a bidding war, we wouldn’t stretch ourselves too thin. We put offers on several homes before we had one accepted. We got our house by (what I consider) a stroke of luck.
As I mentioned, we were on the real estate sites constantly. We had seen our home come on the market, but it was at the top of our budget which went against our buying strategy, so we opted not to see it. As time passed, my husband and I got more and more desperate, and began to second guess our decision to look below our max budget. Then we noticed that our house had dropped 30k and was now well below market value. We caled our realtor, got the first available showing, fell in love with it, and offered full price, taking it off the market within 24 hours.
My advice is this. Come up with a plan and stick to it. Scour every possible real estate site, and ask your realtor if there’s an online database that you can look at that’s not realtor or zillow. Most importantly, do not give up hope. Your house is out there and you will find it. I promise.
Post # 25
We bought our house for asking price in a seller’s market, and so did a friend of ours.
Basically what we did was bid on houses that had too-high initial asking prices with another more attractive home (in my case, more tastefully updated; in friend’s case, one further away from train tracks) nearby being offered at a lower initial asking price.
All of the buyers will flock to and get into the bidding war over the cheaper, more desirable house and drive the price up, while you slip into the perfectly good house with some quirks you are willing to deal with (my home has a 1980s kitchen with the ugliest pink tile countertops and a visually offensive guest bathroom with mint green bathroom tiles, but everything works and the house is in a superb location, backing up onto a nature preserve. My friend’s house is right next to some train tracks but is soundproofed and gorgeously updated).
Good luck with your search and don’t give up!