In normal times, winter is generally a “buyer’s market.” As we are all far too aware, these are not normal times. The reality is that many home buyers put off purchasing a home when COVID began hitting the United States hard and put off looking for housing. To use an analogy we are all probably familiar with, imagine people who usually go to the grocery store at 8AM deciding to go at 9AM because the first hour is for seniors; when they arrive at 9AM, there is a massive line comprised of the 8AM shoppers who delayed and the shoppers who always shop at 9AM. This winter’s housing market will have the 8AM and 9AM shoppers vying for the same extremely limited inventory of homes. At the Chernov Team, we never say never, and neither should you. This article will briefly discuss how you can increase your odds of getting your dream home.
It’s always a good idea to get your financial house in order before attempting to buy a home, but it’s even more important under these circumstances. As an initial matter, getting a pre-approved mortgage tells you exactly how much you can spend on a home, and it allows you to make an offer as soon as you find that home. Time is of the essence, as most homes are selling within weeks of going on the market; you cannot afford to dawdle. There is another, more subtle, benefit to getting a pre-approved loan – mortgage rates are at historic lows (2.8% for a 30-year FRM as of October 22, 2020); locking that rate it now will save you thousands of dollars on the back-end.
Since time is of the essence, it makes sense to get a clear picture of exactly what you’re looking for before you start your hunt. Under normal circumstances, you could view a house and think about whether it’s really what you want for awhile before making an offer; that’s just not the case in a market where you have limited time to snag a house you like. To maximize your efficiency in this mad-dash house hunting season, dig deep and figure out exactly what you want in a home. Once you know what you want, relay that to your agent so they can give you a very specific list of homes that fit the bill; looking at 25 homes wont do you any good if you don’t know what you want.
Finally, make your offer quickly and make it memorable. If you’re noticing a theme here, then we’re doing our job; this is not your standard market, and homes are flying off the shelves so-to-speak; homes were on the market an average of 54 days from list to close in September 2020 (they were on the market 66 days in September 2019). The fact of the matter is if you wait in this market, there is a good chance you won’t get the house you want.
At the Chernov Team we understand that knowledge is power, and knowledge of the realities of the current housing market is powerful indeed. At the Chernov Team we are intimately familiar with the available homes in Studio City, Sherman Oaks, Encino, and Tarzana and can guide you to homes that meet your criterion, thereby maximizing your chances of getting that dream home in what has been a nightmare of a year. At the Chernov Team we know that whoever comes to the table most prepared leaves with the most, and the Chernov Team always leaves the table with the most.