With interest rates under 2.5% it’s a great time to buy a home.   Summer is generally a slow time in the market for listing homes and this year is no different.  It is a Sellers’ Market with few homes on the market and buyers available to buy.  I live in a community of 1600 homes.  As I write this, there are only six homes on the market!   Normally there used to be 10% of homes on the market, and a five-month supply was a normal market. Now you have a month, or less of supply. Today, buyers are competing for a home that might have 5 to 10 other offers.  It is not unusual, if it is priced right, for a home to bring well over asking in a few short days. 

Historically, January to March are the biggest listing months in the year.  The winter blues brings the buyers out. Homeowners get tired of the same four walls around them and look to move.  They don’t have much to do except dream of upgrading their house and living situation.   Spring comes along with graduations, weddings, vacations, gardening, the Shore and sports activities and the listings numbers fall.  It’s a cycle that I’ve seen for over 30 years.  Realtors love the winter blues!   

Internet searches occupy indoor time.  You become an expert in your price range just by looking online. 

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I was living in North Carolina and wanted to buy a second home in New Jersey a while back.  After selling 100’s of homes in the area, I felt expert in all neighborhoods.  I could tell you exactly what floor plan and size certain homes were in various neighborhoods of Wayne, Pompton, and Lincoln Park among others. 

I decided to put an offer on a home without seeing it.  My partner thought I was crazy.  I said, “I know exactly what the floor plan is, the size and I know the neighborhood.”  The contract offer was accepted. My partner Gary did not let up; “I can’t believe you are buying this without seeing it”.  I caved and got in my car to drive to Jersey the next day. 

As I drove by the house, I saw a neighboring house that was a bi-level that had been stoned to the point of looking like it belonged in Greece somewhere.  A marble could have rolled down a slight tilt in the kitchen floor due to a physical default.  Contract canceled.  

The Internet is a good place to start, but a good agent will preview properties for you before you go. They know neighborhoods enough to say whether the home is across from a vacant store or on a busy street.  An agent will give you a price analysis so you know the house will appraise for a bank loan.  In short, your time is best spent with a realtor being your guide to your dream home.

Have a question about the buying process, ask Ro via TAPinto: jmeredith@tapinto.net