Home Buyer Trends and Tips for 2021
With “home” taking on a whole new meaning this year, we are looking to the next year with the newest in home buyer trends. In 2020 homes went from the place people returned to after work , schooling, working out, vacationing, to the place where families do all of the above, creating some of these new must-haves:
- Outdoor Living. Outdoor living spaces have always been known to reduce stress and now more than ever home buyers are looking for spaces with additional amenities such as garden spaces, outdoor fire pits or fireplaces, specialty lighting, outdoor kitchens, audio systems and patios or decks.
- Home office. As work from home takes on new meaning and becomes the new normal, home buyers are now looking for dedicated offices that will allow privacy and comfort away from the daily activities in their home. These home office might feature a “Zoom” wall, making a nice backdrop for video conferencing, built-ins, good lighting, and strong wifi.
- Home gym. With gym closures, a record number of people have moved to create a home gym, so it’s no surprise that a home gym is on this list. Workout and home-gym opportunities will be a big factor when it comes to choosing a new home.
- Repurposed spaces. Maybe this is a spare bedroom room turned craft room turned home schooling space or a hallway nook turned playroom. With virtual school, having the kids spread out throughout the kitchen and dining room is not ideal, but having a bonus space for the kids to work or play would be a huge selling point.
- Smart Homes: Requests for smart features in the home are on the rise. These technologies include smart thermostats for heating and cooling efficiency, motion sensor lighting, voice activated control of appliances or use of touchless devices like shades, faucets and toilets.
Now is the Time to Buy!
Low interest rates, low inventory, covid migration, and vaccines in a non-election year will fuel 2021
• For every 1% interest rates fall, a buyer can afford 13% more home. This means a Jan 2020 buyer looking at $750,000 homes can now afford $850,000 without increasing their payment. Adding to demand are buyers no longer tethered to commuting to the office everyday and in a new influx of tech
employers coming to the area
• The supply of listings has been somewhat restricted by sellers reluctant to put their homes on the market during covid. This should change in 2021
• Econ 101: When demand is stimulated, and supply is restricted things go BOOM
• What to Watch: Keep and eye on interest rates and listing inventory. They will be the main drivers in 2021.
Here are some Home Buyer Tips to remember as we enter the home buying season.
1. Always talk to a lender first to see what you qualify for. It is very disappointing to look at homes you can’t afford first.
2. Get pre-approved, not pre-qualified. Pre-approval allows you to make an offer as soon as you find a home.
Note: Lender’s will give you the highest amount you can afford, not what you are most comfortable with. They can also educate you on closing costs and down payment requirements.
3. Pick your community and factor in additional cost such as HOA fees and amenities or toll roads. According to the US Census, the average person commutes 30 minutes from their work. Buyers should start looking at communities within 30/45 minutes within their employment center. Here are some neighborhood guides for communities 30/45 minutes from major employment centers:
4. Schools and boundaries are a big factor in resale. Check out the ratings on the local schools.
5. Educate yourself on the market by visiting at least 5-10 homes in your target market. Drive to them at different times of the day to get a sense for traffic and community habits.
6. Always ask the ages of the big ticket items before making an offer. You will most likely have a home inspection, but you need to factor this in your original offer.
7. Before making an offer call an insurance company and make sure the property is not in a flood zone or has had any major claims made on the property.
8. Always use a licensed realtor, this is the biggest purchase you will make. Why would you spend $100’s of thousands of dollars without advice?
9. Find the best top producer who works in your area of interest.
10. Start house hunting!
Our team can offer powerful benefits to home buyers with our Expert Buyer Program. We have a long list of properties lined up, ready and waiting to hit the market in 2021. Contact Casey Samson today at 703-508-2535 and start house hunting!
New construction home buyers beware. New home builders are going to do two things. One, they will talk you out of using a realtor and two throw things by you like no appraisal contingencies. When buying a new home, having a realtor by your side is key! Your realtor can help you build an appraisal model, build a pricing model off tax records and secure a local lender/appraiser right away. The last thing you want is an unwelcome surprise the day of settlement that could cost you thousands of dollars.
Are you on the fence and not sure if you should rent or buy? Follow our flow chart and see if buying if right for you…