I admit it, I’ve been bad and have shirked my responsibility as a blogger. In fact, I may have lost the right to be called such. Obviously, I haven’t posted in ages… although the reason is actually quite positive. Things on the real estate front have picked up considerably, so much so that I have had little, ok, no time to devote here. Since I’ve been completely immersed in real estate and it is also a subject that is very important to many of you, I thought I’d take this opportunity to bring you up to date on our local market.
As I said, the market has picked up considerably, beginning around the first of the year. Typically early January is a relatively quite time in real estate, usually things start to pick up following Super Bowl Sunday (strange, but true). The media sings from the roof tops that it is still a buyer’s market, and while yes, this is true, there are some interesting things happening on the local level.
Interest rates are still unbelievably low and the inventory is still near record highs, but what kind of inventory??? Despite the glut of homes on the market, there is a serious lack of homes with the “WOW” factor. The majority of the homes on the market today are average at best, priced too high, a distressed sale, in poor condition or in a bad location (on a busy road, near train tracks, etc.). I’m not exaggerating when I say there are a lot of buyers out there looking right now; many of them just can’t find a home worth buying. It’s not as though these buyers are being unreasonable or picky, I understand their viewpoint 100%. This is pretty frustrating for a buyer who has finally decided to take the leap; they’ve mentally and financially prepared themselves, flown over the moon and back with excitement, and now they wait, and wait, and look and wait…
I think many home owners who don’t need to sell are holding off, thinking that the market is too soft and they’ll have a tough time. While this may be true for some, for those who have a WOW house, this is an amazing time. Buyers who have been out there in this market for a while are now able to recognize what a rare opportunity it is when the “total package” comes along. These homes are going under contract in weeks, many just days. Remember, what you hear on national TV and radio is just that, national news. If you’re a home owner or a potential home owner, it’s important to know what’s happening on your local level.
My suggestion to you as a Seller: Take the extra time to take care of the small details before listing your home, have someone lend a critical eye and be open to suggestions; it can make all the difference in the world. I’m not suggesting major improvements, as in this market they aren’t paying off in terms of return, however, they are paying off in that you home is going to sell, and sell in a shorter period of time.
As a Buyer my advice is to get out there and start looking, even if your purchase is months away. You don’t need to pound the pavement, but be aware of what’s available so when the time comes you’ll already have some experience under your belt. It could be the difference between finding and buying the perfect home or missing out on a great opportunity because you weren’t ready. Of course you should get pre-approved before you embark on this journey, as you want to make sure that you have set accurate and achievable expectations for yourself and your new home.
I work all over Montgomery County and some areas of Philadelphia, the conditions I’ve discussed above are prevalent throughout the area. As you know, Ambler is my specialty and I have to say if you want the quintessential Ambler house you need to give yourself more time than the average bear, as Ambler is less than one square mile so needless to say, these homes are few and far between!
If you are considering a move, but not ready to talk yet, feel free to stick your toe in and test the water here on my site! Buyers are welcome to search all available homes and Seller’s, you can take advantage of a great tool to help you determine the value of your home. Happy spring!