As a buyer in a Boston condo for sale market, sometimes it can feel like you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. When you’re ready to make an offer on a Boston midtown condo, remember these five easy tips to help you rise above the competition.
Knowing your Boston condo budget and what you can afford is critical to your success as a Boston homebuyer. The best way to understand your numbers is to work with a lender so you can get pre-approved for a loan. As Freddie Mac puts it:
“This pre-approval allows you to look for a home with greater confidence and demonstrates to the seller that you are a serious buyer.”
Showing Boston condo sellers you’re serious can give you a competitive edge, and it helps you act quickly when you’ve found your perfect home.
Condominiums are selling quickly in today’s Boston’s competitive housing market. According to the Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR):
“Eighty-three percent of homes sold in November 2021 were on the market for less than a month.”
When homes are selling this fast, staying on top of the market and moving quickly are key. Your agent can help you put together and submit your best offer as soon as you find the home you want to buy.
No matter what the Boston housing market looks like, rely on a trusted real estate advisor. As Freddie Mac also notes:
“The success of your homebuying journey largely depends on the company you keep. . . . Be sure to select experienced, trusted professionals who will help you make informed decisions and avoid any pitfalls.”
Boston condo agents are experts in the local real estate market. They have insight into what’s worked for other buyers in your area and what sellers may be looking for in an offer. It may seem simple, but catering to what a seller needs can help your offer stand out.
According to the latest Realtors Confidence Index from NAR, 40% of offers today are above the list price. In such a competitive market, emotions and prices can run high. Having an agent to help you submit a strong, yet fair offer is critical in these situations. Your agent can help you understand the market value of the home and recent sales trends in the area.
When putting together an offer, your trusted real estate advisor will help you consider which levers you can pull, including contract contingencies (conditions you set that the seller must meet for the purchase to be finalized). Of course, there are certain contingencies you don’t want to give up. Freddie Mac explains:
“Resist the temptation to waive the inspection contingency, especially in a hot market or if the home is being sold ‘as-is’, which means the seller won’t pay for repairs. Without an inspection contingency, you could be stuck with a contract on a house you can’t afford to fix.”
Today’s competitive landscape makes it more important than ever to make a strong offer on a home. Let’s connect to make sure you rise to the top along the way.
Tips for millennial Boston condo buyers
Some millennials have accumulated less wealth than older generations, and they haven’t had as much time to build a strong credit history. To overcome these obstacles, it’s important to get your financial house in order.
Here are some tips to prep your finances for homeownership:
Work on your credit score. Solid credit history and higher credit score shows lenders you know how to manage debt. Work on improving your credit score by making on-time payments and keeping your spending in check.
Pay down your monthly debts. Another factor lenders look at is your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio, the percentage of your gross monthly income that goes toward recurring debts. Maximum DTI ratios vary by the loan program, however, so it’s a good idea to keep your total DTI ratio (which includes your monthly mortgage and all debt payments) at 36% or less.
Boost your savings. Whether you plan to buy a home next year or several years from now, you’ll need enough cash for a down payment and closing costs. Create separate savings account for your homebuying expenses, and make regular deposits each month so you’ll have a cushion when it’s time to make your home purchase.
Know your loan options. It can be a challenge to build credit quickly or come up with a significant down payment. But don’t stress — there are specific first-time homebuyer programs designed to make homeownership more affordable. For example, borrowers with a credit score as low as 580 and a down payment of only 3.5% may qualify for a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan. Plus, many local and state agencies offer down payment assistance programs to help bridge the gap between your savings and down payment expenses.