With the COVID-19 pandemic changing almost every aspect of our lives, more people are in a hurry to buy a new home to change their living situations. With interest rates at record lows, homebuyers are turning to mortgage companies to get a home loan while the housing supply is currently at its lowest level. All these reasons make the best recipe for a booming house market amid a pandemic.
In a hot housing market, it’s not surprising why many house hunters are struggling to find their dream home. From granite countertops, expansive gardens, and large guest rooms, every homebuyer has a clear picture of what they want for their house. The only problem is they haven’t found it yet. With the far-reaching implications of home buying, it’s not surprising why many people get emotional and frustrated at the same time.
Maybe you’ve been browsing house listings for months or searching for properties in regions with low inventory, but whatever your reasons are, there are plenty of factors why you haven’t found that dream home yet. Before you consider giving up, we’ll take a look at the two unpopular reasons why you’re struggling to find a home and ways to make your search less complicated.
High investor activity
Here’s a fact. There’s no way to avoid the competition when finding properties. This includes you, together with other buyers and also investors.
According to a report by CoreLogic, investors are taking a huge share of home sales and their activities are reaching an all-time high in the last two decades. These investors are buying properties in the starter-home tier and chasing homes in high rental markets, making it difficult for first-time homebuyers to secure a home.
Whether we like it or not, investors are part of the housing market, and they aren’t going anywhere. For this reason, you may consider avoiding certain markets where investor activity is high. These include Baltimore, Camden, Cleveland, Detroit, and Des Moines, among others. Finding homes outside these locations may not be possible or convenient, but what’s important is you don’t have to compete with investors.
Markets with the lowest investor activities include Sacramento, San Jose, Oakland, Boise, and Venture. Rest assured these places won’t give you a hard time finding starter family homes.
Unlisted homes, also referred to as off-market homes, are apartments and properties that are not included on multiple listing services (MLS), where brokerages and agencies advertise. These include homes that used to be on the list but didn’t sell, homes whose owners haven’t decided when to sell, or celebrity homes that don’t want to reveal that they’re selling.
Unlisted properties are common in areas with a seller market, meaning buyers outnumber sellers or the housing inventory is low. This happens when sellers refuse to list their properties but welcome the idea of interested buyers.
These sellers are often high-profile individuals and don’t want the public to know their property is on sale or don’t want their property to turn stale by staying too long on the market. They have agents who help them find interested buyers without putting the property on the listings.
If you have the budget for expensive property, then you may consider checking unlisted properties. This works for buyers struggling to find properties they really want, or they spotted a certain home or a piece of land that interests them. All you have to do is to find the owner or agent to make a compelling deal. Since the owner is not listing the property, you have a higher chance to land a home without competing for it or get bid out by other buyers.
Finding unlisted homes would mean you have to reach out to as many homeowners as you can. Send mailings or letters expressing your intention about their property. Basically, it’s like writing a love letter. Tell them a few details about yourself and your intention.
A great tip is to make it more personal but less transactional. Ask them to meet you in person to express your eagerness. You can also reveal some personal background about yourself and your family to gain their trust. Whatever your approach, your goal is to put yourself in a better light.
The bottom line
In today’s booming housing market, finding that dream home is no easy feat. But don’t give up just yet! There are plenty of ways to improve your chances of finding a property. If all else fails, renting is still a great option, which will give you more time to think and navigate your options. All you need is some patience and the right resources and you’re on your way to making that dream home a reality.