As my family grew, I was looking for a home that better fit our needs. I spent months searching during the height of the market, and like so many others, I was frustrated with the lack of inventory. I knew that I had to move quickly once something came on, so I set myself up on a saved search. I expanded my search into neighborhoods I hadn't previously considered and kept an open mind. Since one of my sons was young and the other is in private school, public school districts weren't a concern for us. We looked at a ton of houses and lost out on offers. But we kept the faith that the right house would come along. One morning, I got a notification for a new listing in my saved search and I knew I had to go look at it that day. So I dragged my husband along. I knew when I drove up to the house that it was the one.
We made a full price offer on the first day with an inspection contingency but no mortgage or appraisal contingency, which essentially made it a cash offer. We did this only after seeking the advice and recommendation of our lender and attorney.
Our offer was accepted and we moved quickly to inspection. During that period, we uncovered a few minor issues with the home and we were able to negotiate seller credits. Even though I didn’t have a mortgage contingency, we still went through the standard mortgage process and ordered an appraisal, which came in slightly above purchase price. All of this meant instant equity in the home! On top of that, this was a home I planned on renovating. I knew I wasn’t going to get a deal in this market, so I wanted to create value by updating the home.
Here’s some advice for people who are worried about losing out on an offer: If you can pay in cash or have extreme confidence that you will get approved for a mortgage, you may be able to drop the mortgage contingency (always consult with your agent, lender and attorney before making any decisions). According to Redfin, the number one strategy for winning a bidding war was a cash offer, improving odds nearly 300%. When not feasible, the next best option was waiving the financing contingency, improving your odds 66%. This means you can still obtain a mortgage but failure to do so will not allow you to back out of the deal. Worried about rising home prices? Even if you drop the mortgage contingency or pay in cash, you can keep an appraisal contingency, which means you can back out of the deal if the house doesn’t appraise for the full purchase price. Each situation and offer is unique, so always consult with your agent.
While renting may be a good option for many, we both prefer homeownership because of the equity it offers. Even though home prices are increasing, mortgage rates remain historically low which means homeowners can save hundreds on their monthly mortgage payments. Here's what I paid for rent when I lived in Brooklyn compared to my current mortgage payment:
During the week of April 9th, the phrase “how much should I pay over asking price” rose 350% from the previous week (CNBC). But this complex question can’t be answered by a simple Google search. Right now is one of the most competitive markets to get involved in as a buyer and the right price to pay for a home is based on a thorough analysis of the neighborhood, the property and a buyer’s personal situation. As agents, we understand the inventory and pricing trends and can guide you through the process with market expertise and innovative Compass tools and technology. From generating AI-powered CMAs to crafting a competitive offer that protects your interests, we’re here to help you navigate this unprecedented market.
If buying a home is one of your immediate or long term goals, we’re here to chat through some strategies that may be best for your personal situation and timeline. Schedule a call on our calendly link.
THE URSINI TEAM AT COMPASS
As former city dwellers, we appreciate the qualities that make city lifestyle so unique-- from the convenience of walking to your favorite restaurant or corner store to the vast and diverse cultural and entertainment activities. But we’ve also experienced the challenges and frustrations that might be motivating you to seek change. During our transition from the city to the suburbs, we had the same thoughts, concerns and questions, prompting us to create a better way to navigate the suburban home buying journey for others.
"Wholeheartedly recommend Christa and Brittany! As first time home buyers relocating from the city to the suburbs, we didn't know much about the buying process. Christa and Brittany were wonderful each step of the way. They were incredibly knowledgeable and came up with creative solutions to navigate a tough buyer's market. They listened to our preferences, were always available and responsive, and helped us find just what we were looking for. I can't say enough good things about Steps to Suburbia with the Ursini team!"
-BUYER, THE RIVERTOWNS
The Ursini Team is a team of real estate brokers affiliated with Compass. Compass is a licensed real estate broker and abides by equal housing opportunity laws. All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only. Information is compiled from sources deemed reliable but is subject to errors, omissions, changes in price, condition, sale, or withdrawal without notice. No statement is made as to accuracy of any description. All measurements and square footages are approximate. This is not intended to solicit property already listed. Nothing herein shall be construed as legal, accounting or other professional advice outside the realm of real estate brokerage.
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