Category Archives: single family homes

Why Homeowners Are Selling Now

Some people believe there’s a group of homeowners who are reluctant to sell their houses because they don’t want to lose the historically low mortgage rate they have on their current residences. You may even have the same hesitation if you’re thinking about selling your house.

Data shows that as of this April, 51% of homeowners have a mortgage rate under 4%. And while it’s true mortgage rates are slightly higher than that right now, there are other non-financial factors to consider when it comes to making a move. Your mortgage rate is important, but you may have other things going on in your life that make a move essential, regardless of where rates are today.

As Jessica Lautz, Vice President of Demographics and Behavioral Insights at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), explains: “Home sellers have historically moved when something in their lives changed – a new baby, a marriage, a divorce, or a new job….”

So, if you’re thinking about selling your house, but hesitating, it may help to explore the other reasons homeowners are choosing to make a move. The 2022 Summer Sellers Survey by realtor.com asked recent home sellers why they decided to make their move. The visual below breaks down how they responded:

Top Reasons Homeowners Are Selling Their Houses Right Now | MyKCM

As the visual shows, an appetite for different features or the fact that their current home can no longer meet their needs topped the list for recent sellers. Additionally, remote work and whether or not they need a home office or are tied to a specific physical office location also factored in, as did the desire to live close to their loved ones.

If you, like the homeowners surveyed, find yourself wanting features, space, or amenities your current home just can’t provide, it may be time to consider marketing your house.

That’s what we did a few months ago. Our three bedroom, two bath Cape on a corner lot with a swing set in the backyard served us very well for 28 years. But, it had become too much space with too many stairs and a yard that was getting too big to take care of. (And the swing set was rarely used in a recent years!)

For us, the answer was downsizing to a ranch style condo in an over 55 community.

So, even if you’re concerned about mortgage rates, your lifestyle needs may be enough to motivate you to make a change.

If you’re interested in finding out what’s the best path for you, let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. We can help you walk through your options, so you can make a confident decision based on what matters most to you and your loved ones.

Talk soon…

Mari and Hank

Buyers Are Regaining Negotiating Power

If you’re thinking about buying a home today, here’s some welcome news. Even though it’s still a sellers’ market, it’s a more moderate now than even earlier this year. The days of feeling like you need to waive contingencies or pay drastically over asking price to get your offer considered may be coming to a close.

Today, you should have less competition and more negotiating power as a buyer. That’s because the intensity of buyer demand and bidding wars is easing. So, if bidding wars were the biggest factor that kept you on the sidelines, here are two trends that may be just what you need to re-enter the market.

1. The Return of Contingencies

Over the last two years, more buyers were willing to skip important steps in the homebuying process, like the appraisal or inspection, to try to win a bidding war. But now, fewer people are waiving the inspection and appraisal.

The latest data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows the percentage of buyers waiving their home inspection and appraisal is declining. A recent survey from realtor.com confirms more sellers are accepting offers that include these conditions today. According to their August study: 95% of sellers reported that buyers requested a home inspection, while 67% of sellers negotiated with buyers on repairs as a result of the inspection.

All of our recent sales have included home inspections.

2. Sellers Are More Willing To Help with Closing Costs

Generally, closing costs range between 2% and 5% of the purchase price for the home. Before the pandemic, it was not uncommon to see buyers ask sellers to help with some of their closing costs. This didn’t happen as much during the peak buyer frenzy over the past two years.

Today, as the market shifts and demand slows, data from realtor.com that uses the results of a national survey suggests this is making a comeback. A recent article shows 32% of sellers paid some or all of their buyer’s closing costs. This may be an option available to you when you purchase a home, although we have not experienced it yet with any of our recent clients.

Bottom Line

The extremely competitive housing market of the past few years seems to be easing a bit. The data suggests that the days of over the top offers with no contingencies are waning and sellers now have to negotiate with buyers. This is good news if you’re planning to enter the housing market.

For more information about buying or selling, please request our Fall Guides. The video below explains what you can learn.

…and to find out how the market is shifting, let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. We’ll share with you the latest data, as well as our recent experience as sellers and buyers ourselves.

Talk soon…

Mari and Hank

Should You Sell Your House This Year?

There’s no denying that the housing market is undergoing a shift as buyer demand slows and the number of homes for sale grows.

On Cape Cod, there were 231 homes for sale in January. In August, there were 563. This is nowhere near what we consider to be a normal market. But, what it does represent is a slow tick upward in the number of homes available.

So, here’s a look at the key opportunities you have if you list your house this fall.

Opportunity #1: Where Can You Go?

We often hear from those who are thinking about selling that their biggest concern is that they don’t know where they can go. But, one of the biggest stories today is the growing supply of homes for sale primarily because higher mortgage rates helped cool off the peak frenzy of buyer demand. But what you may not realize is, this actually can benefit you as a seller

If you’re marketing your house to make a move, it means you’ll have more options for your own home search. This gives you an even better chance to find a home that checks all of your boxes. So, if you’ve put off selling because you were worried about being able to find somewhere to go, know your options have improved.

Opportunity #2: The Number of Homes on the Market Is Still Low

Just remember, while data shows the number of homes for sale has increased this year, housing supply is still firmly in sellers’ market territory. To be in a balanced market where there are enough homes available to meet the pace of buyer demand, there needs to be a six months’ supply of homes nationally. According to the latest report from the Cape and Island Association of Realtors there’s a 1.9 month supply here.

While you’ll have more options for your own home search, inventory is still low, and that means your home will still be in demand if you price it right. On Cape, the Cumulative Days on Market Before Sale is 29 (YTD), still quick by traditional standards, but not the gone-in-a-weekend pace of even just a few months ago.

Opportunity #3: Your Equity Has Grown by Record Amounts

The home price appreciation that the market experienced over the past few years has likely given your equity (and your net worth) a considerable boost.

Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.comexplains: “Homeowners trying to decide if now is the time to market their homes are still in a good position in many places across the country as a decade of rising home prices gives them a substantial equity cushion…”

While there are no statistics available on individual equity, we can report based on our own personal experience and that of our sellers that this is true.

So, if you’ve been holding off on selling because you’re worried about how rising prices will impact your search, rest assured your equity can help. It may be just what you need to cover a large portion (if not all) of the down payment on your next home.

That’s what we did a few months ago. We used the equity in our home as down payment for our new one. So, we were able to secure where we were going before the For Sale sign ever went up in our yard.

There’s often never a “good time” to market a home: an unexpected job transfer, the loss of a loved one, or a family break up can make the decision hard and the process difficult. But sellers manage to get through it with the help of a knowledgeable professional.

If, however, the market is presenting you with an opportunity to benefit from your long-term real estate investment and make the change that you’ve been contemplating for years, why not move forward?

Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com to talk about your possibilities. We’re happy to help.

Mari and Hank

A Bit of What We Learned in Dallas

Like many of you, we were dodging the downpours last week. Only we were in Dallas where the torrential rains flooded parts of the downtown stranding people in their cars with many needing to be rescued by first responders.

We were attending our seventh Success Summit, sponsored by the Tom Ferry organization. Ferry is consistently voted the leading trainer in our profession. He’s also an FOM. (Friend of Mari)

With us were about 25,00 of our colleagues from the States and around the world. (About 6,000 in person; the rest on live stream.)

We had an opportunity to network with other professionals and learn about where they work and what has been successful for them in helping their buyer and seller clients.

The conference itself provided a wealth of information about the status of the market and its somewhat confusing behavior. Bad memories of 2008, worse advice from inernet “experts” and relatives who know “a few things about real estate,” and the charged political atmosphere with the mid-terms looming have many concerned about a possible crash.

But, one of the key reasons why the market won’t crash this time is the current undersupply of inventory. Housing supply comes from three key places; 1.current homeowners putting their homes up for sale; 2. newly built homes coming onto the market, and 3.distressed properties (short sales or foreclosures)

For the market to crash, you’d have to make a case for an oversupply of inventory headed to the market, and the numbers just don’t support that. So, here’s a deeper look at where inventory is coming from today to help prove why the housing market isn’t headed for a crash.

Current Homeowners Putting Their Homes Up for Sale

Even though housing supply is increasing this year, there’s still a limited number of existing homes available. The graph below helps illustrate this point. Based on the latest weekly national data, inventory is up 27.8% compared to the same week last year (shown in blue). But compared to the same week in 2019 (shown in the larger red bar), it’s still down by 42.6%.

Why Today’s Housing Inventory Proves the Market Isn’t Headed for a Crash | MyKCM

So, what does this mean? There simply aren’t enough homes on the market to cause prices to crash. There would need to be a flood of people getting ready to sell their houses in order to tip the scales toward a buyers’ market. And that level of activity simply isn’t there.

Newly Built Homes Coming onto the Market

There’s also a lot of talk about what’s happening with newly built homes today, as builders are actually slowing down their production. Ali Wolf, Chief Economist at Zonda, notes: “It has become a very competitive market for builders where they are trying to offload any standing inventory.”

To avoid repeating the overbuilding that happened leading up to the housing crisis, builders are reacting to higher mortgage rates and softening buyer demand by slowing down their work. It’s a sign they’re being intentional about not overbuilding homes like they did during the bubble.

But, with not enough new homes being built over the last several years, builder caution is not helping to increase supply as much as needed.

Distressed Properties (Short Sales or Foreclosures)

The last place inventory can come from is distressed properties, including short sales and foreclosures. Back in the housing crisis, there was a flood of foreclosures due to lending standards that allowed many people to secure a home loan they couldn’t truly afford. Today, lending standards are much tighter, resulting in more qualified buyers and far fewer foreclosures. The graph below uses data from ATTOM Data Solutions on properties with foreclosure filings to help paint the picture of how things have changed since the crash:

Why Today’s Housing Inventory Proves the Market Isn’t Headed for a Crash | MyKCM

So for those of you looking for a deal, your wait could be a long one.

The forbearance program during the height of the pandemic was a game changer, giving homeowners options for things like loan deferrals and modifications they didn’t have before. And data on the success of that program shows four out of every five homeowners coming out of forbearance are either paid in full or have worked out a repayment plan to avoid foreclosure. These are a few of the biggest reasons there won’t be a wave of foreclosures coming to the market.

With the real experts agreeing that, in general, prices will moderate, but not decrease, is it time to make your move? As many of you know, we did earlier this year selling our home of 28 years and moving to something that makes more sense for our current needs and lifestyle. You can, too!

Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. We’d be happy to share our experience as sellers and buyers, as well as more of what we learned in Dallas and how it can apply to your personal situation. Let’s talk soon.

With school beginning in many of our communities this week, please be aware of kids walking to school and waiting for the bus. Thanks…

Mari and Hank

Your Home’s Equity Can Power Your Retirement

Planning To Retire? Your Equity Can Help You Reach Your Goal | MyKCM

Whether you’ve just retired or you’re thinking about retirement, you’re no doubt considering all your options and trying to picture a whole new stage of your life.

And you’re not alone. 

Research from the Retirement Industry Trust Association (RITA) shows 10,000 Baby Boomers reach the typical retirement age (65) every day, but only 47% have actually retired.

If you are or are thinking about doing so, one thing worth considering is whether or not your current home will suit your new lifestyle. If your house is too big or doesn’t have the features or benefits you need, the good news is, you may be in a better position to move than you realize.

That’s because, if you already own a home, you’ve likely built-up significant equity, and that can help you fuel your next move. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR): “A homeowner who purchased a typical home five years ago would have gained $125,300 from just price appreciation alone.”

In fact, over the last twelve months, CoreLogic reports the average homeowner in the United States gained roughly $64,000 in equity due to home price appreciation.

You can use your equity to help you achieve your homeownership goals. Whether you want to downsize, move closer to loved ones, or buy a home in a dream destination, your equity can help get you there. It may be some (if not all) of what you’d need as a down payment on a home that better fits your new situation and goals.

The first step is determining the current valuation of your home. You can do that by visiting our website, www.makeyourmovewithmari.com/evaluation.

Then let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com to discuss current market conditions. We’ll provide you with the latest statistics, as well as share our experiences as we sold our home and downsized in June. (But we’re not retired. Realtors never retire!)

Together, we can come up with strategies to help you successfully make your next move. Talk soon…

Mari and Hank

What’s Next for Home Prices

Whether you’re a potential homebuyerseller, or both, you’re probably wondering: will home prices fall this year? So, let’s take a look at what the real experts are saying and why this matters for your homeownership goals.

Last Year’s Rapid Home Price Growth Wasn’t the Norm

In 2021, home prices appreciated quickly. One reason is because record-low mortgage rates motivated more buyers to enter the market. As a result, there were more people looking to make purchases than there were homes available for sale. That led to competitive bidding wars which drove prices up. CoreLogic helps explain how unusual last year’s appreciation was: “Price appreciation averaged 15% 2021, up from the 2020 average of 6%”

In other words, the pace of appreciation in 2021 far surpassed what the market saw in 2020. And even that appreciation was greater than the pre-pandemic norm which was typically around 3.8%. This shows that 2021 was an anomaly in the housing market spurred by more buyers than homes for sale.

Home Price Appreciation Is Moderating

Home price appreciation is now slowing (or decelerating) from the feverish pace the market saw over the past two years. According to the latest forecasts, experts say on average, nationwide, prices will still appreciate by roughly 10% in 2022 (see graph below):

What Does the Rest of the Year Hold for Home Prices? | MyKCM

On Cape Cod, the median sales price for a single family home was up 14.3% this July when compared to last. Year-to-date the median price is up 14.9% over 2021. That’s on the high end of what’s predicted, but within range of what the experts are saying.

Why do all of these experts agree prices will continue to rise? It’s simple. Even though housing supply is growing today, it’s still low overall thanks to several factors, including a long period of underbuilding homes. And experts say that’s going to help keep upward pressure on home prices this year. Additionally, since mortgage rates are higher this year than they were last year, buyer demand has slowed.

As the market undergoes this change, this year’s true price appreciation won’t match the feverish pace in 2021. But the rapid appreciation the market saw last year wasn’t sustainable anyway.

What Does That Mean for You?

Today, the market is beginning to move back toward pre-pandemic levels. But even the forecast for 10% home price growth in 2022 is well beyond the 3.8% that’s more typical for a normal market.

So, despite what you may have heard on your favorite cable TV news channel or from your mother’s cousin Gretchen, who had her real estate license 20 year ago , the actual experts say home prices won’t fall in most markets. They’ll just appreciate more moderately.

If you’re worried that the house you’re trying to sell or the home that you want to buy will decrease in value, you should know the experts aren’t calling for depreciation in most markets, just deceleration. That means your home should still grow in value, just not as fast as it did last year. Real estate remains one of the best long term financial investments available.

Bottom Line

If you’re thinking of making a move, you shouldn’t wait for prices to fall. Experts say nationally, prices will continue to appreciate this year, just at a more moderate pace.

Still on the fence about selling? With the market cooling, you’ve arguably lost money by waiting. You’ll still receive a very nice price for your home, but possibly not what your neighbor received eight months ago when there were bidding wars.

Curious about your options? Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. We’ll share with you the latest market data, as well as our experience this spring as sellers and buyers.

Finally, please be patient with our local merchants and their employees. Many businesses remain understaffed and are doing the best they can to serve you as efficiently as possible. Being told at a restaurant that there’s a 30 minute wait when you see open tables simply means they don’t have the staff to properly serve you. It’s better to not seat you, than have you sitting at a table getting frustrated over the “lousy service” and posting negative comments on social media. Thanks…

Mari and Hank

But Where Will I Go?

That’s a question we frequently hear from homeowners who are sitting on the fence about selling.

The answer: wherever you want.

That’s because today’s market is undergoing a shift, and the supply of homes for sale is slowly increasing as a result. That means you may have a better chance of finding a home that will meet your current need, whether upsizing, downsizing or moving to that “someday” community. Here are some options to consider.

Buying an Existing Home Can Give You That Lived-in Charm

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the supply of existing homes nationally has steadily increased since the beginning of the year. The graph below indicates inventory levels are rising, and that’s largely due to more homes coming onto the market and the pace of sales slowing:

Wondering Where You’ll Move if You Sell Your House Today? | MyKCM

As the graph shows, if you’re looking for a home with lived-in charm, supply is rising, and that’s great news for you.

There are several benefits to buying an existing home. Many buyers want to purchase a home with history, and the character of older houses is hard to reproduce. Existing homes can often be part of an established neighborhood featuring mature landscaping that can give you additional privacy and boost your curb appeal.

Plus, timing can be a consideration as well. With an existing home, you can move in based on the timeline you agree to with the sellers, rather than building a new home and waiting for construction to finish. This is something to keep in mind, especially if you need to move sooner rather than later.

Just remember, while more sellers are listing their homes, supply is still low overall. That means you’ll have more options to choose from as you search for your next home, but you’ll still need to be prepared for a fast-moving market.

Purchasing a Newly Built or Under Construction Home Means Brand New Everything

Census data shows there’s an increasing number of new homes available for sale. It includes homes that are under construction, soon to be completed, and fully built. As the graph below highlights, the supply of new homes for sale has also grown this year:

Wondering Where You’ll Move if You Sell Your House Today? | MyKCM

When building a new home, you can create your perfect living space and customize it to your lifestyle. That could mean everything from requesting energy efficient options to specific design features. Plus, you’ll have the benefit of all new appliances, windows, roofing, and more. These can all help lower your energy costs, which can add up to significant savings over time.

The lower maintenance that comes with a newer home is another great advantage. When you have a new home, you likely won’t have as many little repairs to tackle, like leaky faucets, shutters to paint, and other odd jobs around the house. And with new construction, you’ll also have warranty options that may cover portions of your investment for the first few years.

But, keep in mind purchasing a new home could mean waiting a considerable amount of time before you can move. That’s an important factor when making your decision and depends on your personal time line.

Anecdotally, the number of homes available for sale on Cape appears to be increasing based on the time spent at our office and company-wide meetings discussing new listings. We’re also receiving more emails announcing price reduction announcements. Sometimes they involve properties where homeowners waited too long to sell and, as a result, the sale price that a neighbor received six months ago — that the seller wants today — isn’t realistic.

So, is it finally time to make your move? We put our Sandwich home under contract at the end of April and last month moved to an area in Mashpee that we had been thinking about for years. You can do it, too!. (And we received no special consideration from anyone, because we’re realtors.)

We’re happy to answer your questions about the current housing market. Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. We’ll provide you with the most up-to-date marketing data, as well as our thoughts based on our experience as sellers and buyers. Talk soon…

Please continue to be careful in the warm weather and pay attention to the kids and adults, who are not familiar with water. Thanks…

Mari and Hank

The High Cost of Waiting

You’ve been thinking about buying a home, but the current economic situation has you skittish. As predicted, Interest rates have inched up. But, they’re nowhere near what you’re currently paying on your credit cards.

Well-meaning relatives, who “know a little something about real estate,” and not so sincere talking heads on your favorite cable news channel are saying you should wait because sales prices are going to drop.

Level off?

Possibly.

Drop?

No.

So, here’s what waiting is costing you.

If you already owned a home, your net worth likely got a big boost thanks to rising home equity. Equity is the current value of your home minus what you owe on the loan. And today, based on recent home price appreciation, you would be building equity far faster than you would have expected. Here’s why.

Because there’s an ongoing imbalance between the number of homes available for sale and the number of buyers looking to make a purchase, home prices are on the rise. That means a home is worth more in today’s market because it’s in high demand. As Patrick Dodd, President and CEO of CoreLogicexplains: “Price growth is the key ingredient for the creation of home equity wealth…This has led to the largest one year gain in average home equity wealth for owners…”

Basically, because home values have climbed so much, equity has increased too. According to the latest Homeowner Equity Insights from CoreLogicthe average homeowner’s equity has grown by $64,000 over the last 12 months.

While that’s the nationwide number, the map below shows that average equity for Massachusetts homeowners has increased $62,000.

The Average Homeowner Gained $64K in Equity over the Past Year | MyKCM

The Opportunity Your Rising Home Equity Provides

Thinking about marketing your home and upsizing, downsizing or moving to that someday neighborhood? Your equity can help you purchase your next home. When you sell your current house, the equity you built up comes back to you in the sale. In a market where homeowners are gaining so much equity, it may be just what you need to cover a large portion – if not all – of the down payment on your next home.

So, if you’ve been holding off on selling or you’re worried about being priced out of your next home because of today’s ongoing home price appreciation, your equity can help fuel your move.

That’s what we just did. We took advantage of the equity in our home to downsize and purchase something smaller in an area that we’ve been looking at for years. We had no home sale contingency when we made our offer. We then sold our house and received $45,000 over asking price! You can do it, too!

Curious about your options? We’re happy to answer your questions. Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. We’ll share with you current market statistics, as well as our experiences as both buyers and sellers. Let’s talk soon.

Enjoy your week. It looks like summer is finally here!

Best regards,

Mari and Hank

Is the Boom Over?

If you’re following the news, all of the headlines about conditions in the current housing market may be leaving you with more questions than answers. Is the boom over? Is the market crashing or correcting? Here’s what you need to know.

The housing market is moderating compared to the last two years, but what everyone needs to remember is that the past two years were record-breaking in nearly every way. Record-low mortgage rates and millennials reaching peak homebuying years led to an influx of buyer demand. At the same time, there weren’t enough homes available to purchase thanks to many years of underbuilding and sellers who held off on listing their homes due to the health crisis.

This combination led to record-high demand and record-low supply, and that just wasn’t going to be sustainable for the long term. The latest data shows early signs of a shift back to the market pace seen in the years leading up to the pandemic – not a crash nor a correction.

Home Showings Then and Now

The ShowingTime Showing Index tracks the traffic of home showings according to agents and brokers. It’s a good indication of buyer demand. Here’s a look at that data going back to 2019 (see graph below):

Is the Housing Market Correcting? | MyKCM

The 2019 numbers give a good baseline of pre-pandemic demand (shown in gray). As the graph indicates, home showings skyrocketed during the pandemic (shown in blue). And while current buyer demand has begun to moderate slightly based on the latest data (shown in green), showings are still above 2019 levels.

And since 2019 was such a strong year for the housing market, this helps show that the market isn’t crashing – it’s just at a turning point that’s moving back toward more pre-pandemic levels.

Based on our own experience and that of our colleagues we can say that not every Open House has lines of potential buyers stretching down the driveway, as was the case not that long ago. Appropriately priced homes still attract a crowd, but buyers have become a bit more discerning. Houses whose asking price aren’t realistic because of condition or location are getting less attention when they might have a year ago.

What we are seeing — and again, this is anecdotally — are some homes becoming available to see if they will sell at some crazy price, because buyers are thought to still be “desperate.” But, there’s not much interest.

Existing Home Sales Then and Now

The headlines are also talking about how existing home sales are declining, but perspective matters here, as well. Let’s look at existing home sales going all the way back to 2019 using data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) (see graph below):

Is the Housing Market Correcting? | MyKCM

Again, a similar story emerges. The pandemic numbers (shown in blue) beat the more typical year of 2019 home sales (shown in gray). And according to the latest projections for 2022 (shown in green), the market is on pace to close this year with more home sales than 2019 as well.

It’s important to compare today not to the abnormal pandemic years, but to the most recent normal year to show the current housing market is still strong. First American sums it up like this: “…today’s housing market looks a lot like the 2019 housing market, which was the strongest housing market in a decade at the time…”

Housing sales statistics for May have just been released by the Cape Cod and the Islands Board of Realtors and show that YTD the median sales price for a single family home is $690,000.00. (The YTD number one year ago was $607,000.00) New listings YTD are 1,613 compared to 1,836 in 2021.

New listings in May numbered 468. Last May there were 511. Months of housing supply in May is 1.4. In January it was 0.7 meaning more homes are coming on the market. This trend is expected to continue, but we have a long way to go to reach the more than five months supply we had pre-pandemic when good houses were available for sale for more than 100 days.

If recent headlines are concerning you and you’re thinking about buying, selling or both, look at a more typical year for perspective. The current market is not a crash or correction. It’s just a turning point toward more typical, pre-pandemic levels.

We’re happy to answer your questions. Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. It’s important that you have the correct information before making a decision.

…and remember, we just sold our house of 28 years and moved to a smaller property. So, we get it.

Have a great week…

Mari and Hank

Your Best Options as a First-Time Homebuyer

If you’re looking to buy your first home, you’re likely balancing several factors. Because both mortgage rates and home prices have risen this year, it costs more to buy a house than it did even just a few months ago. But that doesn’t mean you have to put your plans on hold.

Here are two tips to help you get started.

Prioritize Your Wish List

If you’re having trouble finding a home in your budget that checks all the boxes, it may be worth taking another look at your list of what you want and what you really need. 

According to the latest First-Time Homebuyer Metro Affordability Report from NerdWallet, your wish list can have as much impact on your search as your finances: “Your budget isn’t all that you need to be concerned about. Your wish list and desired location may carry just as much weight.”

It’s all about prioritization. If you’re serious about purchasing your first home soon, be flexible in what you’re looking for to open up your pool of options. Work with a local professional — not your Uncle’s cousin’s son from 50 miles away. Most properties come and go quickly. Local realtors have the best access to information about when homes become available. We also know what the current successful strategies are to have an offer an accepted.

Remember, making a concession on your wish list now doesn’t mean you’ll never have everything you want. After you’ve moved in, you can always add certain features to make the home your own. Countertops can be changed. Cabinets added. Basements finished. In many cases, there’s really no rush.

Increase Your Search Radius To Consider More Locations

Some areas may have more homes within your target price range than others, but it may require you to be flexible on your location.

For example, if you’re a remote worker, you may be able to expand your search radius. As Fannie Mae explains: “…continued remote work flexibility is likely giving many the ability to live farther away.”

The median selling price in the Boston area for a single family home in April was $845,000. On Cape, it was $675,000.

So, if you’ve vacationed on Cape for years and always wanted to live here full time, now could be your chance. Buying on Cape is less expensive and there’s a big difference between driving to Boston twice a week, as opposed to daily.

The Cape also offers more open space and lifestyle options.

If you’re serious about purchasing your first home this year, revisiting your wish list and desired location can help. Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com to explore all the options here on Cape – and beyond, if you’re interested – so you can achieve your homeownership dreams.


The move to our new home was very successful. (Getting our new furniture delivered is another story!) We chronicled the day for you on our YouTube series Mari Makes the Move. You can see it here.

Selling and buying was a new experience for us as we lived in our previous home for 28 years. We learned a lot that we’ll be sharing with you in the weeks ahead.

Have a great week…

Mari and Hank