Anyone thinking about buying a new home within the next few months or within the next had better be ready for some competition and a tough market. If you’re a prospective buyer and you want to “win,” 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 Atlanta.
1. Prepare for Low Inventory and More Competition
First, if if you’re thinking of buying a new home within the next year in Atlanta, you need to prepare for competition. “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 . . . ‘Seller’s market’ is a real estate term used when there are more prospective buyers than homes for sale.”
When inventory is low – with more buyers than available houses – and competition is stiff, two things typically come into play. First, you’ll have to be flexible to gain a competitive edge, often having to make concessions to ensure yours is the winning bid.
The second thing is that most buyers will benefit immensely from the services of a good local agent – especially her negotiating expertise in this seller’s market. To discover more, contact a Atlanta agent at 678-337-1165.
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.
- There will be more listings during warm months and fewer during colder months.
- Demand will remain high in all months.
So, again, to avoid paying too much during this time of rising home prices, be sure to lean on your agent’s expertise to get the best deal at the best time.
3. Pay Off Debt and Build a Reserve Fund
With low inventory and ever-increasing prices, buying a new home in Atlanta within the next year almost demands that you pay down or off all your debt and build an emergency fund. And here’s why . . .
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 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 Atlanta. 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/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 Atlanta agent in order to budget accurately for these.
5. Learn How to Use Digital Tools
COVID-19 has changed . . . well, just about everything. And that includes the real estate industry. Now and for the foreseeable future, traditional in-person showings and other common aspects of real estate transactions have nearly ceased to exist. Today, such things as virtual tours and remote closings are the norm.
So buying a new home within the next year in Atlanta means that you’ll have to master some digital technology. “Buying a home became more challenging in 2020 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 asocially distanced world. Virtual home tours, e-closings, smaller open houses, and Zoom meetings helped keep business going while keeping people safe.”
And Find a Good Atlanta 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 Atlanta and want to do it in the best way possible, contact us today at 678-337-1165.