The housing market can seem daunting when you’re looking to buy your first home. With many options and factors, figuring out where to start takes time. This article will provide an overview of the current housing market in [city name], tips for researching available homes for sale, and what to look for when viewing potential houses. With the correct information and preparation, you can feel confident in finding the perfect home for you.
The Current Housing Market
The housing market is characterised by low inventory and high demand. Home prices have risen steadily over the past few years, with the median home price now sitting in the area. However, with mortgage rates also rising, affordability has become more of a challenge for buyers.
Competition for available homes is high, so a buyer needs to be prepared. Making an offer contingent on selling your current home is risky. All-cash offers are most attractive to sellers. Having your financing lined up beforehand and making your offer as clean as possible is recommended.
While it’s a seller’s market, opportunities can still be found. Being flexible on location and home style can help your search. Pricing your offer competitively and moving quickly when you find the right home for you is vital.
Researching Homes for Sale
With limited inventory, new listings will come on the market daily. Here are some tips for researching available homes:
- Set up custom searches on real estate sites. You can tailor your search by location, price, size, and features. Sign up for email notifications so you don’t miss new matches.
- Work with an experienced local real estate agent. They will have insider knowledge of homes coming to market. They can set you up to get information before the listing goes live to the public.
- Drive around neighbourhoods you’re interested in. Sometimes, homes are sold via yard signs only. If you see one you like, call the agent listed right away.
- Look for “coming soon” listings. Sellers sometimes list their home as coming soon 1-2 weeks before hitting the live market. Connect with the agent to get info and schedule a first walkthrough.
- Attend open houses. This allows you to view homes and meet local agents. Agents often know of listings becoming available before they are formally announced.
What to Look for When Viewing Homes
Once you’ve identified available homes to tour, here are some things to look for as you evaluate each property:
- Consider commute time to work, school, and other frequented places. Drive the route during peak times to gauge traffic.
- Check out the immediate neighbourhood. Is it quiet and well-maintained? Walk around and get a feel for safety and community.
- Are local amenities essential to your lifestyle? Research proximity to parks, trails, restaurants, entertainment and more.
- Note any repairs needed. Cosmetic fixes like carpet and paint are standard, but be wary of any more significant structural or roof issues.
- Inspect the quality and condition of kitchen appliances, flooring, windows and doors. These are extensive replacements down the road.
- Look for signs of damage like cracks in ceilings/foundation and water stains that could indicate flooding or leak issues.
Layout and Flow
- Test the floor plan layout. Are there enough bedrooms/bathrooms for your needs?
- Is there adequate storage and closet space? This needs to be noticed.
- Do you like the style and finishes? While you can make cosmetic changes, size and layout are not as quickly changed.
Outdoor Space & Amenities
- Having a yard is a priority for many buyers. Make sure it is sized and landscaped to your preferences.
- Note any outdoor structures like sheds, patios, pools, etc. Consider the costs of maintenance.
- Are home amenities essential, like garage size, basement space, laundry room, etc? Add these to your negotiation if needed.
The current fast-paced market, combined with low inventory, makes finding the perfect home a challenge. But taking the time to research listings, work with an experienced agent, and view homes like houses for sale in Chatham Ontario, thoughtfully will help you find the right fit. Being prepared as a buyer and ready to act quickly when you see the one that will give you the best chance in today’s competitive environment. Take the process step-by-step; before you know it, you’ll move into your dream home!