While the housing market is certainly cooling off from the sky-high prices of the past few years, rising interest rates may be keeping the market in a tricky position for the coming year.
Is a new home on the horizon for your family in 2023? Despite the ever-changing climate of home-buying, we’re here to help you navigate the coming twists and turns you may face along the way.
A Sellers Market
The first thing to understand, whether this is your first time in the home-buying process or your tenth, is that we’re currently still experiencing a seller’s market. A seller’s market is a real estate market in which there are more buyers than there are homes available, resulting in higher prices and increased competition among buyers. While we’re experiencing a cooling off of the intensity, homes will stay on the market for shorter periods of time and buyers may need to make more concessions – whether in the budget, location, etc.
Tips & Advice for Homebuying in 2023
If you are considering finding your dream home in 2023, here are some of our best tips for staying sane through the process:
1. Get Pre-approved First.
Before you start looking at homes, it is important to get pre-approved for a mortgage. This will give you a clear idea of your budget and will make you a more competitive buyer.
This critical first step also ensures that you’re ready to put an offer on a property as soon as you decide you’d like to purchase it, rather than having to go through the process of getting approved after finding an interesting house.
This step can ultimately make or break your ability to have a competitive offer on “the one”, so don’t skip out on this simply because you don’t think you’re ready to put an offer down. If you get pre-approved in advance, you can usually have your lender extend your pre-approval with no penalty to you as the borrower. This leaves you ready at a moment’s notice if you should find your dream house unexpectedly.
2. Work With a Real Estate Agent.
Put simply, there is no reason to not use a real estate agent. They’re low-cost or free to use as a home buyer (depending on the agent you work with), and home buying and selling are what they do for a living. Don’t stress yourself out about negotiating with the seller’s agent or researching every aspect of the purchase contract. Work with a seasoned professional and let them do what they do best.
When you work with a real estate agent that you trust, you’re able to not only stress less through the entire process but also gain insight into elements such as similar sales and the concessions that were made to benefit the buyers in those instances. As an outsider, those are things you simply may not be aware of on your own.
3. Be Flexible.
The current market is a challenging one, especially for those looking to purchase a home for the first time. The best thing you can do as a buyer aside from financial preparation is to be more flexible with your expectations and necessities. Many borrowers are paying nearly double what they would have in 2021 due to rising interest rates, and inevitably that is leading to less value for money overall.
You can absolutely maintain a deal-breaker list, but we urge you to consider areas, properties, and perhaps even types of homes that you may not have considered in an ideal situation. Boil your must-haves to the absolute essentials and broaden your search as much as possible. That’s not to say that you can’t find a home that ticks every box, but by expanding your search you’ll be more likely to find a home that meets your needs and is within your set budget.
Whatever the year brings, it’s important to be as prepared as you possibly can. A challenging housing market may be an inconvenience to finding and moving into your dream home, but with preparation and a solid real estate team, your dream home can become a reality for your family’s next chapter.