Tips for first-time homebuyers in 2021
2021 has continued to be frustrating for first-time homebuyers in Boston as well as many of the metro markets in the state. While some areas are showing signs of the market weakening popular metro areas are continuing along the same vein as 2020. So how do you navigate the Boston real estate market as a first-time home buyer in 2021?
As a first-time homebuyer 2021 understanding what is currently going on in the market is the first step in successfully purchasing your first Boston condo for sale.
We have seen exceptionally low housing inventory the past few years. There are more buyers entering the market than there are homes for sale.
Boston condos are selling at 98% of the list price. Many homes are going over asking and in half the time in 2021.
What A First-Time Home Buyer Should Be Doing in 2021
The data shows that there is much competition among Boston real estate buyers. Buyers are fighting for good homes. Let’s look at some steps you need to take to be successful.
A good buyer’s agent can make the whole first-time buying experience go so much smoother. Interview several agents and find one you will be comfortable working with.
A buyer’s agent can help you buy your first home from the very start. They can help find a lender that is best for you and bring you right to closing. If you ever heard the statement you don’t know what you don’t know…. It could not be truer. But a buyer’s agent knows!
Get pre-approved before looking at homes. Understand your finances inside out and backward. You don’t want to put an offer in on a home and have a surprise later.
Make sure your agent gives you a good overview of the home buying process, so you have a basic understanding of what is ahead of you.
Knowing what type of market you are in determines many aspects of the buying process. It dictates how you look for homes, structure an offer, negotiate and how you renegotiate after the home inspection.
In many markets today, or what is a hot seller’s market, the sellers are in the driver’s seat and have the advantage.
Understand what is happening in your local real estate market. Many first-time homebuyers are not aware of what it takes to get a good home and get frustrated, with some leaving the market.
You need to realize you are competing with other buyers to get home. If you do not act quickly and step up, there is another group of buyers who will. Buyers need to react quickly and stand out among the buyer competition.
The best of homes go under agreement in 3-7 days. If you think you like a home, you must visit it immediately. It will be gone a week later. Most homes are getting snatched up immediately by buyers.
Get on your real estate agent’s system that sends you listings daily. Review daily and schedule appointments immediately. Find out if there is an open house and when offers are due. Waiting a week to get into a home will just mean it is no longer available.
Many homes in hot seller markets can go well over asking. When it comes time to write an offer step up your game. Offer a competitive price and keep your contingencies and requests to a minimum.
Offering 10% below the asking price will only lead to disappointment. Your buyer’s agent can help you structure a winning offer. It is not unusual for a home to get 12+ offers within days of listing. Make sure yours catches the seller’s attention.
Unlike a buyer’s market a seller’s market puts the seller in the driver’s seat. Be very reasonable about your repair requests. If you ask for the moon, the seller will just tell you to step aside there is another offer behind yours.
Do not accept a sub-par house. But just like buying a used car, you need to accept some dings and scrapes. You are not usually buying a brand-new home.
Being prepared financially and being educated about what is ahead of you will make the buying process much easier for you to begin with. That all starts with hiring a good buyer’s agent who can help you navigate the 2021 real estate market.
Ford Realty – Boston Luxury Real Estate Professional – Call Today! (617) 720-5454
We go beyond the fundamentals of effective pricing and marketing and help you make decisions to get top dollar for the sale of your home or top value for your purchase. We focus on Boston luxury condos for sale and offer a variety of comprehensive luxury real estate services in the following Boston neighborhoods, but not limited to
Buying a home will likely be one of the biggest and most important purchases you make during your lifetime, and it’s still part of the American dream. Investing in a home can also be a smart way for younger generations to build wealth over time.
Over the last year, we’ve seen interest rates drop to historic lows, making it possible for many people across the country to buy a home earlier than planned. And while you might be willing to make big compromises to score a home you love in a hot real estate market, there are a few important things I wish all first-time home buyers knew while looking for their first property.
While you might win a bidding war or save money in the near term by skipping a home or termite inspection, having them done is a smart move that can save you from making an expensive mistake. Once your offer is officially accepted, schedule a general inspection and a termite inspection as soon as you can.
With the general inspection, an inspector will visit your property and spend a few hours looking at key areas of your home. These include the roof, foundation and even smaller items like cracked tile or leaky faucets. Your inspector may recommend a specialist if they see issues with something more specific, like a fireplace or the swimming pool system.
Though sellers may reveal termite damage upfront, an inspection is the only way to know how extensive the issue may be. While significant termite damage can be terrifying and costly to fix, having an inspection done is typically inexpensive. In addition to reporting on the state of the home and any problems, your inspector can also share preventative treatments to keep termites away in the future.
2. Don’t panic when you receive your inspection reports.
Though it’s daunting to think about uncovering a list of items that need attention after making an offer on a home you love, first-time buyers should remember that all inspections turn up a long list of issues — and it’s important not to panic.
The purpose of having a home inspection is to show you the condition of the home and eliminate any surprises before you’re the owner. Typically, most items are minor and aren’t costly to maintain. And some might not require immediate repair. For example, I often see inspectors recommend changing the A/C filter. This is incredibly easy to do yourself, and it only costs about $10 to buy a new filter. If there are bigger problems on your report, I suggest working with a professional who can help you understand what needs to be fixed and how much it will cost.
If the inspection turns up results you’re not happy with, or if you can no longer afford to pay for the home and its necessary repairs, you can choose to renegotiate your offer or walk away. Major red flags such as mold, structural problems or other expensive issues may indicate it’s a good idea to move on. You should also pay close attention to the real estate deal-breakers and anything that presents a risk to your health or safety.
3. Your lender will help you navigate the appraisal process.
Much like with home inspections, many first-time home buyers are unfamiliar with appraisals and how to navigate them. While mortgage lenders require an appraiser to visit the home, they’ll also work with you closely during that part of the process. Having a home appraised is a quick process. The appraiser will only spend a short amount of time inside the home. Following their visit, they’ll complete the appraisal by comparing similar homes in the neighborhood.
Your appraiser may find that the home is worth exactly what you’ve offered, or even more than what you’ve offered. In these cases, nothing will change and you’ll be set to continue moving forward with your home purchase as planned. In the event that the home is appraised for less than you’ve offered, you’ll be asked to pay the difference between the appraised value and your offer price as a cash down payment to the seller at closing.
If you can’t afford to pay the difference, you can choose to cancel your purchase. Alternatively, you can also try to work with the sellers to negotiate the price. Your third option is an appraisal rebuttal, or asking for a correction on value. It’s important to remember that appraisals are an art, rather than science, and the exact value of a home is difficult to define. I had my current home appraised by two different appraisers within a week, and they each came up with very different values. Consulting with your agent can help provide you with clarity on the best next step.
Buying your first home is a major purchase. Working closely with industry professionals — from your agent and lender to inspectors and appraisers — will help you avoid costly repairs and financial errors. This will not only save you unnecessary stress but also set you up for happiness in your new home later on.
We provide our clients with exceptional customer service and are there to assist you throughout the transaction. Please call, send us an email or fill out the online contact form, and let us know how we can serve your Boston Luxury real estate needs!
Updated: Boston Real Estate for Sale 2021