Are you struggling to find your new home in Atlanta? It’s no secret that right now in 2018, the housing market is HARD for buyers! As a real estate agent, I work with tons of buyers and have seen or heard time and time again about how buyers are getting frustrated.  Frustrated that they’ve made 5+ offers on homes and don’t win and frustrated that there isn’t a lot of home options to choose from.  First off, this market is NOT easy.  I repeat, NOT EASY!  So keep this in mind as you go out and search for homes. Many buyers tend to forget that they are not the only ones out looking for a home.  And the lower the price bracket you look in, the harder it becomes as there are tons of first-time buyers out there swarming the latest and greatest listings.

I wanted to put together some tips to buying a home in a difficult market.  Are you one that has been searching for a home for over a year?  If you said “yes”, then it’s time for you to do something different.  Something in your home searching formula is not working and it’s time to adjust it.  To be brutally honest, what you want in your budget is not a reality & it’s time for you to accept this. Here are some options to turning your home search into a success:

  1. Change your budget – This is probably the most obvious switch to make but for most of us, not a viable plan. (If only money grew on trees right?) Obviously, if you can increase your budget you might be able to open a few more options and find some homes with the perfect countertops you’ve always wanted.  Another point I should make is that sometimes I have buyers that are actually pre-approved for more than they set their initial budget for.  Sometimes this is out of fear of a higher monthly payment but keep in mind that with every $10K increase in your home mortgage, your monthly payment may only change by roughly $50.
  2. Change the location of your search – Stop scouring the neighborhood you love for the unicorn house you hope will pop up! If it hasn’t happened over the past year, it probably isn’t going to.  Figure out other neighborhoods that might offer a similar feel but cost less. Your real estate agent can help you come up with alternative locations.
  3. Change your want list – Do you really have to have a rocking chair front porch? Or do you really have to have the large backyard? You could be passing up on some really great homes because it’s lacking a few features that most likely you could live without.
  4. Consider a renovation – Most people these days don’t want to bother with the time/effort of doing a renovation.  However, you could be passing by some opportunities where the home is 80% perfect except for maybe a bathroom or kitchen remodel.  If the home is in a desired location, within budget, & offers the space you need – then don’t let a small project turn you away. It could be the only way you get into your dream neighborhood.  There are renovation loans out there too that can assist you with the renovation cost (ask your local lender for more details).  However, keep in mind that in really HOT markets, you might not be able to get a seller to accept an offer tied to a renovation loan as they take longer to close.

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Or are you curious to know how the home buying process works? Read more in detail about the steps in buying a house.

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