If you’re a buyer, here’s what you need to know about our market in 2021.
What do buyers need to know about our Columbia real estate market?
For one thing, inventory is as crazy as ever and stands at just 0.9 months. It’s a feeding frenzy out there for every type of home that’s decently priced and in good condition. Also, interest rates are rising. There’s nothing to panic about, but they’ve gone from the low 2% range into the 3% range as of the end of March. As interest rates rise, home affordability decreases.
Conversely, home prices have increased anywhere from 6% to 10% compared to this time last year. Fortunately, this isn’t anywhere near the 30% appreciation we saw in 2008 before the market crashed, so there’s little chance of that happening once more. There will eventually be a correction either this year or next year, though, but that’s normal for the real estate market.
What does this mean if you’re trying to buy a house? You’d better be aggressive, and I’d act now if I were you instead of waiting six months or a year. If interest rates rise to 3.5% and this coming market correction is, for example, a 10% correction, rates will have basically risen more than 10%. Also, you’d throw away a lot of money covering your rent if you waited.
If you want the best home-buying experience possible, here are a few tips to remember:
1. Don’t try navigating the market on your own. Connect with an experienced agent who knows all the tricks of the trade to help you win potential bidding wars.
2. Be ready to move on anything that comes on the market. A good agent, for instance, will set you up with what’s called a ‘prospect email’ that feeds directly from the MLS so you’re the first to see new available properties.
3. Make sure your ‘must haves’ are really your ‘must haves.’ Now’s not the time to not buy a house just because it doesn’t have a fence in the backyard. If you find a house that checks every major box, you should go for it. Waiting around for the perfect home is a bad idea considering the crazy rental costs we’re seeing.
4. Make sure your financing is secure (if you’re getting a loan). For example, my team and I work with two great, trustworthy lenders we know will answer their phones at night and make our clients’ pre-qualification letters believable.
If you have questions about the Columbia market or want to start the home-buying process now, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to help you.