The spring is always an exciting time for first-time homebuyers, which can also mean that it can be rather stressful and even challenging as well. If you are thinking of buying a new home within the next few months or within the next year, you should be ready for some competition and a tough market. It is still possible to get into this market, but you need to be armed with information so that you will have a great chance at getting your dream home.
If you’re a prospective buyer and you want to land your dream home, you’ll have to be prepared – with the right expectations, with a compelling offer, with the right tools, and with some financial readiness.
So check out these 5 things to do today if you are thinking of buying a new home within the next year in Boston and Beyond.
1. Prepare for Low Inventory and More Competition
First, if if you’re thinking of buying a new home within the next year in Boston, you need to prepare for competition, because it’s pretty intense. If you find a reasonably priced house in good condition, chances are you won’t be the only one making an offer – even if it just hit the market. It is a seller’s market in just about every part of the country, esepcially in the suburbs of Boston.
Buyers are putting in offers on properties sometimes sight-unseen, minutes after properties are listed on MLS, and often waiving inspection contingencies (side note – the poor home inspectors might be losing a ton of business these days!)
When inventory is low – with more buyers than available houses – and competition is stiff, you’ll have to be flexible to gain a competitive edge, often having to make concessions to ensure yours is the winning bid.
It’s also worth noting that you will want an excellent agent on your side, skilled to help you navigate the uncertainty and downright insanity! To discover more, contact a Boston agent at (617) 657-9811.
2. Be Ready for Prices to Continue Rising
Another preparatory thing to do ahead of buying a new home involves the continuing rise in prices. Real estate experts expect home prices to go up in 2021, but not as fast as they did in 2020. Prices of existing homes are projected to increase 3.1% in 2021, compared with a 6.7% jump in2020, according to an average of forecasts from Fannie Mae, FreddieMac, the National Association of Realtors and the Mortgage Bankers Association.
And this means, of course, that you’ll need to plan your purchase and time it right, keeping in mind the following:
- Home prices vary by season, so when you buy is important.
- Homes are typically priced highest during June/July and lowest during January/February.
- Demand will remain high in all months.
3. Pay Off Debt and Build a Reserve Fund
With low inventory and ever-increasing prices, buying a new home in Boston within the next year almost demands that you pay down or off all your debt and build an emergency fund.
Owning a home is usually more costly than renting even if the monthly mortgage payment is about the same as (or even less than) your monthly rent. When you own your own home, you’ll be responsible for all the maintenance and repairs, as well as the many recurring costs such as property taxes, homeowners insurance, HOA / condo fees, and more.
4. Determine What You Can Actually Afford
Determining exactly how much home you can actually afford is another of the things to do today if you’re thinking of buying a new home within the next year in Boston. And this means primarily budgeting carefully and sticking to the budget to make this determination.
Some things to include in your preparatory budget are:
- Saving for the down payment
- Monthly mortgage payment
- Maintenance and repair costs
- Recurring expenses
- Saving for emergencies
Keep in mind that property taxes and insurance premiums vary from area to area and city to city. So be sure to check with your Boston agent in order to budget accurately for these.
5. Learn How to Use Digital Tools
COVID-19 has changed just about everything. And that includes the real estate industry. Take advantage of the volume of digital tools available, including virtual property tours, street views of the neighborhood from various times in the past, and data about the zip codes in which you’re considering.
So buying a new home within the next year in Boston means that you’ll have to master some digital technology. Buying a home became more challenging as the COVID-19 pandemic turned everything upside down. But real estate agents, lenders, buyers, and sellers figured out how to make the process work in an a socially distanced world. Virtual home tours, appointment-driven open houses, and Zoom meetings helped keep business going while keeping people safe.
And Find a Good Boston Agent
As you can see, then, a common thread running through all these tips is the value of an experienced local agent. Buying a new home within the next year comes with several challenges, a few of which have never existed before. And that’s where a good agent can really prove her worth. So if you’re in the market for buying a new home within the next year in Boston and want to do it in the best way possible, contact us at NextHome Titletown Real Estate today at (617) 657-9811.