So, you've been pre-qualified by a lender and you're all ready to buy a house.......maybe even your FIRST house...in Northern Colorado. You've been searching online for available properties, driving by houses, picking out your favorite neighborhoods while waiting for the final GO from the lender. But, if you're purchasing below $275,000 in Larimer or even Weld Counties, you are likely finding that there aren't a lot of properties to choose from. Of those available, many are condos or townhomes and not single family residences. What's a buyer to do?
Since we have been experiencing this phenomenon for a few years now, especially during the summer months or the "selling season," most buyer agents prepare buyers to make quick decisions about seeing a property as soon as it comes on the market and then also be prepared to make an offer just as quickly if the property meets their needs. With multiple offers on most lower priced properties comes disappointment for all but one purchaser. This can create frustration, weariness with the process, and a sense of hopelessness.
What's the best remedy? I always ask my clients to come up with a Plan B. Such as, can you remain at your rental or in your current living situation for several more months? By being willing to extend your home search into the fall/holiday season you will usually find less competition and more motivated Sellers. If you have to move right away for whatever reason, would you consider renting someplace else for another year? The market is likely to shift somewhat and that could be more favorable to buyers. During that year you could focus on saving for a larger down payment or increasing your income to qualify for a higher mortgage (if that's comfortable for your family). Finally, unless you're really attached to Northern Colorado you might consider waiting to purchase someplace that's more affordable.
Home buying can be stressful, uncomfortable and unpredictable at times but it is usually worth it in the end!