You know the fairy tale, “Goldilocks and the three Bears.”  Goldilocks is looking for the perfect circumstances–the porridge being just the right temperature, the chair being just the right size, and the bed being just the right softness.  However, she doesn’t own these items, the three bears do.  My job as a Realtor is to inquire whether the bears wish to sell their lovely forest cottage to Goldilocks so she can live happily ever after.

After a recent house showing, my client told me “it’s a nice house but there is something off about it.”  I completely understood what she meant.  She knows she’ll need to compromise as everyone does when buying a house.  There are usually three things that influence your choice:  price, location, condition.  You need to decide  which of these three is most important and which are secondary.  Can you live being close to an airport or on a busy street?  Can you ignore the funky floor plan with the only bathroom on the 2nd floor?  Can you afford to pay more for a desired location or a property in great condition?

I told her buying a house is an emotional choice.  You need to know when it feels right.  You need to imagine yourself living there.

But what you should NOT do is try to “fit a square peg into a round hole.”  It doesn’t work to compromise on something you will forever be unhappy with.

My client did put an offer in on a house where she compromised on the location.  When she didn’t get her offer accepted, we both agreed there was something better for her.  More homes will be listed within the coming months. Homes are bought and sold in every month of the year.

My client acknowedged it felt like a part-time job to look for a house.  I routinely send her just-listed properties that meet her specifications. However, it is still a “Sellers Market,” where there are fewer homes and many buyers.  The market has recently changed. The median price for a condo went up 14% from 2021 to 2022. There was a 10% median price increase on single-family homes from 2021 to 2022.  One prediction is housing prices will decrease slightly due to higher interest rates.  While interest rates are a bit higher than last year, they are still reasonable as compared to a few years ago.

“Now that the stock market is lower and inflation is higher, today’s buyers are more discerning and generally expect more for their money than buyers from a year ago. Today’s buyers don’t want to take on costly repairs and renovations, and they don’t want to take on the responsibility of finding and hiring good contractors. They would much rather buy a move-in ready home instead.” [Dan Miller, Realtor, Mad City Homes]

According to  U.S. News Housing Market Index

Key Findings:

  • After initial declines and adjustments, national housing prices and rents will mostly track inflation and wage increases, but there could be considerable differences between regions.
  • Remote/hybrid work and education could challenge the housing market status quo and threaten urban finances.
  • The traditional single-family home will become rarer in core urban markets.
  • More new single-family homes will be built in HOAs.

Be prepared for the spring housing market.  Talk with your mortgage broker and licensed Realtor to find your “Goldlilocks” home.

–Gina Newell, eXp Realty;  Direct:  608-345-9396