The home-buying frenzy of 2020 has continued into 2021 and shows no signs of slowing down. Many Americans have taken the opportunities of working from home full time (or even permanently), rock-bottom mortgage rates, and huge equity gains in the last 12 months to buy a home somewhere else. This large influx of buyers into the Boise area real estate market has created a highly competitive market. Because of this, we have identified the 3 considerations that homebuyers need to make in order to have the most success when buying a home in 2021. These became the norm for the second half of 2020 and are not going away anytime soon.
Have your finances ready before you start looking for a home in earnest
Getting your finances in order is always the first step in a buyer’s home search journey. In Boise’s tightly competitive market it is more imperative than ever to have all your ducks in a row before you start looking. Speak to your financial advisor, and get pre-approved for a mortgage. Since sellers usually receive multiple offers in a short time, they have a lot of decisions to make. Buyers who are not pre-approved, have lower credit, or have too many contingencies can easily be pushed aside in favor of cleaner offers.
Finally and most importantly, find and sign a rep agreement with an agent you can trust. Make sure you can build a relationship with your agent to make the home search process easier. Most importantly, make sure your agent has a trusted network of connections in the industry and a track record of success. A connected and experienced agent can help you get your foot in the door with a new home builder or even find off-market listings you can snap up.
Virtual tours are the future and here to stay
The lockdown period in March and April 2020, and subsequent stay-at-home orders in many states across the country through the rest of the year made it hard to tour homes, and it made buyers wary of going into other people’s houses. This gave rise to the popularity and necessity of virtual tours.
At this point, many listings have virtual tours that allow buyers to see every inch of the house from the comfort of their homes. Build Idaho uses Matterport virtual tours on every listing we get. These immersive tours provide a 360-degree, 4K UHD scan of the house that allows you to look around the home as if you were there in person. Here is an example of one of our Matterport tours.
Virtual tours helped Build Idaho agents sell homes to buyers who never actually set foot on the property. In spite of that, they felt confident in their purchase because they still got to tour the home and trusted their agent.
Expand your home search radius
Boise and the surrounding cities in the Treasure Valley are a hotspot on the national real estate map, which draws buyers from around the country. Because of this, buyers are purchasing homes as fast as builders can construct them. Because of this, buyers may not be able to find a new or existing home in their preferred area. However, you can build the same size house in Star that you can in Eagle. If you want to live close to the Boise city center, consider Kuna or East Meridian. Even today, commuting from Nampa to Boise or Eagle for work takes less than half as much time as in larger cities across the nation.
Even if you want to buy a house in Boise in the next week. it is worth taking a breath to evaluate your financials, wants, and needs, and expanding your search to fit your criteria. Plus, new homes pop up on the MLS every day, so your perfect home will come along. Since your financials are in order, you can jump at that opportunity and secure the winning bid.