Homeownership remains the foundation of wealth for almost every family. The Federal Reserve reports that households who own a home have a net worth 36 times that of a household that rents.
However, regions across the country are seeing greater divides between homeowners and renters, and affordability is largely to blame. Western North Carolina is seeing home prices appreciate to record numbers. This is a boon to home sellers, who are easily able to capitalize on record high median home prices and inventory levels that haven’t been this low in 16 years.
As a regional real estate thought leader, the Asheville Citizen-Times went to Beverly-Hanks President Neal Hanks for his perspective.
Hanks noted that in the first two quarters of 2015, 2,888 homes sold for less than $300,000, according to Multiple Listing Service data.
“This year 2,741 have sold, a 5% decrease,” Hanks said. “When we compare the number of homes available for sale, there are 50% fewer homes for the same number of buyers. Competition is the force driving home values up.”
But what are buyers—especially buyers searching for affordable homes—to do in a market like this?
1. Know Your Neighborhood
First of all, buyers need to become familiar with the market in their neighborhood. Inventory across the region is down significantly, but variations exist across counties and price ranges. Check out the infographic below to learn more about the current market in Buncombe County, or contact your Beverly-Hanks agent for a copy of our latest seven-county Quarterly Market Report.
2. Shop Smart
Despite the low inventory, there are still ways to find affordable homes across the region. Current homeowners also have several unusual opportunities to sell high and buy low in the current market. Discuss your home purchase goals with your Beverly-Hanks agent. He or she will help you prioritize your short and long-term real estate goals to narrow your home search.
3. Keep Calm and Carry On
There are many factors that have led us today’s low inventory. Builders’ reluctance to construct “spec homes,” limits to Asheville’s sewer and water infrastructure, and rising construction costs have all made mountain building more expensive and kept available inventory down. It may be hard to hear, but this trend will not reverse anytime soon. Work with your Beverly-Hanks agent to find the best avenue into the real estate market that works for you. If you’re feeling down, remember that there are near-record low mortgage rates working in your favor.
Use these 3 Tips to Begin Your Home Search Today!
Homebuyer demand continues to remain high, but you don’t have to jump into this competition alone. Your Beverly-Hanks agent is backed by a company that’s served as WNC’s market leader for more than 40 years. Led by President Neal Hanks, our valuable homebuyer resources and strategic partnerships with mortgage and title insurance services are designed to work in your favor.
Watch Neal Hanks’ full report of the Q2 2017 real estate market and read more from the Asheville Citizen-Times: Real estate sales breaking more records, but inventory at record lows. Then, contact us today to speak with a Beverly-Hanks real estate agent about buying homes and land in Western North Carolina.
One Response to “What Should Homebuyers do in this Real Estate Market? Here are 3 Tips:”
One additional tip to add to the three you cite is to be prepared for a competitive market. Get a mortgage preapproval in place before you begin to look at homes; even if there isn’t anything suitable for you at the moment, you’ll be ready to move quickly when something you love comes onto the market.
Keep your income, asset and debt-related paperwork handy and up to date. Your mortgage preapproval doesn’t generally last more than 30-60 days, and you may need to update your documentation with your lender in order to refresh or extend it.