There are so many positive aspects to living in the DMV- culture, events, jobs, economic stability, history, just to name a few. But when it comes to buying property you may find your dream home harder to obtain due to the demand on inventory in our very popular area. There are several factors that can make buying a home in the DMV frustrating such as budget limitations, comparing to other areas, obsession with aesthetic’s, low inventory, and competing against other buyers. If you find these factors are preventing you from getting a home, we recommend stepping back and resetting some of your expectations. We always recommend a consultation so we can discuss your goals- financially and your must have’s for your next home. To be successful you must have a plan! Today’s blog will help give you some tools to assess if you need to alter your game plan to get your dream home!
BUDGET: I’m sure there are people who shop for homes with no budget limitations….I don’t know those people. Everyone has financial limitations and everyone feels the constraints of that. There will always be that dream house hovering just outside your budget. Don’t give into that feeling because after all, it is just a feeling, and buying a home should be a financial investment first. Speaking to a lender is the most powerful thing you can do to set yourself up for success, they will help align your buying power with your budget. Once we have an ideal mortgage payment figured out, we can start to build a plan based off of your interest, lifestyle, and commute.
BE PRACTICAL: I know it seems like everyone is buying a beautiful, newly renovated home, but they aren’t- trust me. Watching HGTV gives a false sense of what is normal for our area’s affordability. Don’t focus on others, it will only make your process feel negative and like you are settling. Keep in mind, while affordability gives other areas more to work with, homes in the DMV have a high rate of return, better resale value, and will help build wealth for your future!
AESTHETIC: In my professional opinion this should be the lowest on the list of priorities, because it is the easiest to fix. You cannot change location, school zone, or layout as easily as you can paint, remodel a kitchen, and replace flooring. Funny enough (probably thanks to our obsession with HGTV), this is the area I find buyers focusing on the most. The tough question to ask yourself here is would you like a turn key property or fixer upper? I would personally much rather have a better commute, bigger house, or nice lot than a fully remodeled home to start with. When the spring market comes, the turn key houses go the quickest, and for the most money. Keep in mind this is emotion evoking a response. Make sure to take a step back and look at the financial outlay long term. Ask you realtor’s opinion of the value, and make sure you get a Comparative Market Analysis, or CMA. This will lay out the homes that have sold to make sure you aren’t overpaying.
LOW INVENTORY: The lack of available homes within our market can be incredibly frustrating to buyers. Start your search early, beginning only a few months out can lead you to either overpay or scrambling to commit to a home you aren’t happy with long term. Be prepared, have an educated real estate agent who is able to tell you what the average turn over in a neighborhood is year over year. Go through as many properties as possible in the month’s leading up to narrow your search area criteria.
COMPETITION: There is nothing more heartbreaking than finding your dream home and not being able to lock it down. Since our area is so starved for good inventory, once those homes become active there is a rush from buyers to be the accepted contract. This is where working with a professional becomes CRITICAL! There are a lot of ways to make your contract more competitive and win out against multiple offers. If you are working with a good realtor, they will have these discussions with you ahead of time. Buying in the spring time proves the most difficult as it pertains to multiple offers, as your realtor we are here to protect you from overpaying, but also to get you the house you want.
If you find yourself losing out on house after house, I suggest sitting back down for a consultation with your realtor, and going over these topics. If it doesn’t seem like your realtor cares, or is giving VALUABLE advice maybe consider switching it up. You should be working with someone who is YOUR advocate. It isn’t always possible to win the deal, but having the right professional in your corner should significantly increase your odds.