Do you want to become a homeowner in 2022?
The housing market in 2022 looks very similar to 2021: Bidding wars abound, houses are expropriated in record time and demand still exceeds supply.
How Can Home Buyers Succeed Despite the Obstacles?
Get creative, say the experts.
Following the status quo when shopping at home and making an offer is simply not enough in today's market.
Read on for pro tips that can help you hit a deal, outmaneuver your rivals, and realize your home dreams.
Check your eligibility to buy a home. Start here (January 10, 2022)
In this article (continue to …)
Interesting facts about the housing market in 2022
Sure, the market is tough. It's not a secret. But in 2021 homes were selling at record speed – meaning millions of buyers have been successful.
So how did you do it? What tactics can you use to compete with many other home buyers?
"If you want to own a home and believe home ownership is a tough financial move for you, you must be ready to battle for the inventory available," said Glenn Pizzolorusso, a licensed real estate agent with Compass in Connecticut. "Winning a situation with several offers today requires creativity."
"Rising house prices require buyers to be smarter about what, where, and when to buy a home."
Jay Zigmont, a certified financial planner at Live, Learn, Plan, based in Mississippi, confirms these thoughts.
“Rising house prices are demanding that buyers be smarter about what, where, and when to buy a home. This may, for example, require looking at smaller houses and other locations or buying with a partner in order to keep the house affordable, ”says Zigmont.
But being inventive and resourceful doesn't mean you have to go it alone.
Work closely with a trusted real estate agent, or at least a real estate attorney, who can help you develop the right approaches to help you find and claim the right home. Once you have a strong representation, explore each of the strategies below.
Check your eligibility to buy a home. Start here (January 10, 2022)
Creative savings for down payments and closing costs
You don't need a 20% discount to buy a home. In fact, many buyers can get into a home with as little as 3% or even zero.
But saving for a larger down payment can increase your chances of winning a home in today's competitive market. Remember that the more money you deposit, the better your offer will appear to a seller, and the more motivated they are to take it.
If you're struggling to raise funds for your down payment and closing costs – or want to increase your existing savings – try these tips:
Tighten your financial belt
The possibility of reducing your expenses depends of course on your current income and your financial situation.
However, experts recommend that you stop eating out whenever possible, cancel unnecessary subscriptions, look for cheaper insurance, choose a cheaper grocery store, and cut unnecessary expenses as much as possible.
This may feel like sacrifice in the short term, but even small changes can make a huge difference in your long term home ownership goals.
Check out a deposit support program
There are thousands of Down Payment Assistance Programs (DPAs) nationwide and locally providing grants, loans, and credits to qualified homebuyers. To help find DPA programs, check out these links:
Ask your loved ones for help
Most mortgage loan programs allow you to cover part or all of the down payment with free money from a loved one. Note that the donor must write a gift letter to the lender confirming that the money is a gift and not a loan that needs to be paid back.
Use a loan with little or no cash amount
If your primary goal is to buy a home sooner rather than later, your best bet might be a low down payment mortgage. By lowering the down payment bar, you can often buy much sooner than if you had waited to save 20%.
Compliant mortgages – the most common type of home loan – have flexible down payment requirements: you can set aside 3%, 5%, 10% or 15% if you don't have the full twenty.
FHA loans are another great option with only 3.5% less. And qualified buyers should check out the state-sponsored VA and USDA loan programs that offer a 0% reduction.
Compare the home loan options. Start here (January 10, 2022)
Creative ways to find an affordable home
“Finding affordable property in an area of your choice is the top box on the list,” says Pizzolorusso. "My advice? Find the worst house on the best street and take the time to turn it into your own oasis."
Evan Rosenblum, a real estate agent at JMG Realty in Los Angeles, has simple advice.
"Look for houses that you can make perfect, not houses that are just perfect that everyone else is fighting for," he says.
"Find the worst house on the best street and take your time to transform it into your own oasis."
Keep in mind that home prices tend to drop the further you are from a city center or similar location. So it doesn't hurt to broaden your horizons and broaden your map.
"Look for houses that are technically farther away, but only a short drive away or close to public transport," suggests Zigmont. "You can achieve significant savings if you lengthen your commute a little."
Working from home allows you to be more creative with the location.
“Living in the countryside further from a city can save you significant savings while still allowing you to visit the city for fun occasions. Just make sure the rural location you choose has adequate infrastructure, resources and amenities, including broadband access, ”notes Zigmont.
Creative ways to get the seller to accept your offer
This is where you need to be extra clever and have the right timing.
"Choose a real estate agent or agent who knows about game theory and benchmarks," said Nik Shah, CEO of Home.LLC, based in San Francisco. "A good quality real estate agent can mean the difference between closing and losing the deal."
“Speed and simplicity will help you with your offer. In this market, you can't wait weeks or even days to make an offer for something you love, ”warns Zigmont. "Know your math, and then once you've found the right house, you can make informed decisions."
For best results, consider the following suggestions:
Only focus on the houses that you really want to buy. “Don't make offers for every house just because they weren't accepted,” says Rosenblum. "Tighten your criteria and concentrate on your search"Use an escalation clause. This clause states that you will offer the amount "X" but beat any higher offers presented for the amount you specify. “You can always try to present the highest offer,” explains Rosenblum. "Just make sure you limit your escalation to the maximum price you are willing to pay for the property"Consider avoiding important contingencies. “In a competitive marketplace, you may want to reconsider how many contingencies you are including. Eliminating your funding, evaluation and / or inspection emergencies will help you win the offer, ”suggests ShahObtain an evaluation waiver from your lender. “If you drop at least 20%, see if your lender can confirm that the property is eligible for a valuation waiver; You can therefore do without your assessment contingency, ”says RosenblumAsk your lender about tightening your terms. "Can you shorten the duration of the trust period? Can you get the loan pre-signed so that you can shorten the funding deadline or eliminate your funding risk entirely? ”Rosenblum asksAsk your agent to reach out to the listing agent and build a stronger relationship. "By building a relationship, your agent can help you put a face to the name of the offering," recommends RosenblumWrite a love letter to the seller. Explain who you are and why you love this homeDiscover an all-cash offer. Companies like Ribbon, Knock, and FlyHomes can loan you the money to come up with a cash offer that should convince the seller to choose you
For more information, see How to Make a Successful Listing on a Home.
Creative alternatives if you can't find the home you want
Still out of luck finding the right house or closing a deal? Drastic times call for even more creative measures.
Buy a fixer upper for a cheap price
“Find yourself a fixing top. You can buy at below market prices and upgrade to above market prices, ”says Pizzolorusso. "If you can modernize an outdated home, you will be way ahead when it comes to selling."
To make this strategy easier, there are special loan programs that allow you to finance the home purchase and repairs with a single mortgage. If you're considering the fixer-over route, check out the following:
Build a house instead of buying it
Alternatively, explore the hunt for a plot of land or a landfill site and build a new home on it.
The advantage here is that no one else is bidding against you on your new home. And you can have it built to your exact specifications.
“The problem with this tactic, however, is that building prices are still far too high to make this a smart choice in most markets. You don't want your mortgage to be upside down when you close it, ”continues Pizzolorusso.
Split the purchase cost
Or, have a partner invite you as a co-borrower or co-signer of the cost of the home loan.
"Buying a house with a friend or someone else you're not married to is an option, but you need to make sure you have a good lawyer to help you with the paperwork," says Zigmont.
Begin your home buying journey
Are you ready to seriously buy a home in 2022?
If so, it is time to get in touch with a mortgage lender and get pre-approved.
Every prospective homebuyer needs pre-approval to see how much they can afford, what types of mortgages they are eligible, and what their payments will be. Not to mention your pre-approval letter gives you the power to get a serious offer on a home you love.
Ready to start?
Confirm your new plan (January 10, 2022)