The Real Estate Market, like the Stock Market, is always changing. Buyers looking to make a purchase in any market should look for long-term value. First, be prepared to buy. As in any market, before looking at homes, get your finances in order.
1. Talk with a mortgage lender about what type and size loan you would qualify for. If possible, become Pre-Approved for a Home Loan, not just Pre-Qualified. Lenders are tightening underwriting standards and pulling risky loan products from the marketplace. Gone are the days of buying with no money down and a stated-income loan application. Get a pre-approval letter from a lender to show the seller that you have the financial capacity to buy. You will be in a better position to act quickly when the right home comes your way. By being Pre-Approved a Seller will know that you are a serious Buyer and may favor your Purchase Offer over another.
2. Make a checklist of the features you want most. Consider your lifestyle in determining what area you want to live, and the size and kind of home to consider. Picture your activities and how you want to spend your time. Do you like to travel and don’t care much for maintenance? A gated community may be more your style. Do you love antiques or restoring things? An older home might be perfect. In considering what location and neighborhoods work best for you, look at your needs and preferences in terms of commuting, shopping, and recreation.
3. Take your time, but be ready to buy. In a some markets there will be a larger array of properties from which to choose, and in others a limited supply. Look at the relationship between prices and inventory. If the inventory of homes on the market is increasing or is far larger than usual then there should be flexibility in prices. The opposit also applies. Look at the long-term prospects for the local community. A growing population suggests more demand for housing. A growing job base indicates a larger pool of qualified potential buyers. If home construction is not sufficient to meet marketplace demand then supply is likely to tighten and home prices will be pressured to rise.
4. Negotiate with a compassionate attitude. A buyer who swaggers in and “low balls”, may find that sellers will harden their attitudes, making negotiation difficult. A better approach is not to be critical of either the seller or the property, but instead to explain that marketplace conditions limit your ability as a buyer to pay more money.
5. Be aware that no one knows what the future will bring. As they say on Wall Street, past performance does not guarantee future results. Whether the market is up or down we have no way of knowing where prices will be in the future. In any market it makes sense to buy with caution and care, to look not only for low prices but also for properties which have the best chance of lasting value and marketplace desirability. After all, at some point today's buyer is likely to become tomorrow seller.
If you know anyone who is thinking of selling, or purchasing a home, please contact me. I guarantee a service that will far exceed expectations.
Have an awesome week!
Real Estate Broker, Realtor ®
Certified Real Estate Specialist
Broadmoor Realty, Inc.
5500 E Atherton Street Suite 310
Long Beach, CA 90815
DRE # 00552325
Phone: (562) 857-4936
Fax: (562) 741-4624