Once you’ve taken all the steps to secure your financing, you’re ready to begin the house hunt. But what happens when you’re out scouting neighborhoods you love…. and you realize there aren’t many homes for sale?
Finding few options, or maybe even nothing for sale in your price range is increasingly common for many home buyers. The number of homes available nationwide to first-time homebuyers has dropped 12.1% since 2012. But hang in there. You can buy a starter home, even if your market has low housing inventory. Here are some tactics to help you snag the perfect home.
Increase Your Budget
It’s supply and demand 101: Prices rise when inventory is low and demand is high. It’s often recommend to go in with your best and final offer immediately. Offering a higher price can be tricky when you’re buying a home. You’ll need to make sure you can afford — and get — a bigger mortgage, or offer more cash upfront.
Practice Patience.. But Be Ready To Act Fast
Landing a home in a competitive market can mean a lot of “hurry up and wait.” Be ready on a moment’s notice to make an offer on hot new listings, because your timing will often influence whether or not you get the home you want. But be prepared: although you need to be ready to pounce on a home as soon as it becomes available, the deal might not be right for you… or your offer may be turned down. So it’s important to be patient, as well.
Personalize Your Offer Letter
Many sellers, especially those who plan to keep in touch with their neighbors, care about who will buy their home. So craft a letter explaining who you are and why you love the house and neighborhood. They want to see their pride and joy go to someone they like.
Ask Local Landlords If They’ll Sell
Here’s a think-outside-the-box idea: Approach landlords who are advertising a home for rent. Ask if they’d be interested in selling. You might be turned down, but you never know. Not all landlords want to be in the rental business. Some reluctant landlords who can’t find a tenant would be happy to entertain your offer.