In my opinion... if you're looking for homes in the under $200,000 price range, there are a few things that will help you acquire the home you want.
1. Don't look at homes at the very Maximum of your budget. Why? Because they're likely to have multiple offers and you better come in with your absolute best. If the bank says the top of your budget is $175,000... I'd stick to looking at homes $170k or lower. That way, you can come in with a good offer, and you're able to entertain a counter offer or two if you get them. Plus, you'll have a little extra money each month to make some updates if you want, down the road, eh?
2. Think about the things you have to have. For example, if you say you want 4 bedrooms, but don't really NEED 4 bedrooms, why not go with 3? An extra bedroom adds a lot to the value of a home. If you decide you can live with one less bedroom, now you can look at the nicer end of the 3-bedroom market instead of the shabbier end of the 4-bedroom market.
3. Be READY to make an offer! These homes are selling fast. There's a shortage of homes for sale under $150k for sure. If you're not really sure if you want to move or not... I'd wait until you're absolutely ready. You may be searching around for just the right home... and when you find it, you'll put your house up for sale. But most likely... there's going to be an offer on that home that isn't contingent on a home selling. They're going to take that offer over yours if it's a good offer. Does that mean I'm saying put your home up for sale now... and let the chips fall where they may? Maybe. That's up to you. Are you ok living in an apartment for a few months if necessary? You'll have a lot better luck with any offer you present to a seller if it's not contingent on your home selling first. It may not be your favorite option, but it might be your best. Depends on your situation.
4. Don't be so picky. Yes, I know you want everything to be perfect... but it's not brand new. There will be things that you're not 100% happy with. That's why it's priced a heck of a lot lower than it would cost to build a brand new home just like it. You'll have to settle with a few things that aren't perfect. To me... if I find a home that I like, with a layout that works, in a setting I like... then I can fix some of the little things over the years.
5. Ask your Realtor (wink wink), to be brutally honest with you. Tell them to be frank with you regarding everything. After all, we see what's going on with the housing market. We see how fast homes are selling, what percent of the asking price they're selling for, and how negotiations are being handled. It's not the same every time. It's important to know how to handle every situation as best as possible.
Are we perfect? No. But we're 100% on your side. We're here to give you the advice, confidence, and knowledge to make the best decisions you. Of course, it can be stressful. We will assess every situation thoroughly in order to provide smart solutions to any bumps in the road that may pop up.
We'd love to be your real estate team for your home selling or buying. If you want to discuss the possibility of buying or selling in the future... let us know. It's never to early to start the conversation. : )
Sioux Falls, SD
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I am a licensed real estate agents with Hegg REALTORS in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.