Yesterday I previewed the most incredible house. As a Realtor, I see between 15 - 30 homes per week as part of keeping up with inventory and staying knowledgeable about the market for myself, my buyers and sellers. Anyway, I suppose it was a good thing that I was an agent and not a buyer, because I just could not hide my excitement at seeing such a work of beauty in this modified 50's basement rambler on a hill with a view of Burien. It was right up my alley. From the crown moulding to the Swedish-finish hardwood floors, everything was done to perfection, and the simple yet elegant staging put me over the top. This was definitely my House Of The Week, probably the nicest home in its price range in Burien, and it literally made my day.
So, you may be asking, why don't I just buy it? Well, because despite my occasional desire to sell my drafty but cute 40's rambler, I still see a future for it; I am determined to put it on the market only when it is truly ready, because it is indeed a diamond in the rough. That will take a long time.
But you know what? Had I wanted to buy it, I could have...you know why? Because this obviously is a different market than that of the last few years. I wouldn't have to throw extra money at the seller. I wouldn't have to hire an inspector before my offer is even reviewed in order to waive inspection. I would even have an opportunity to negotiate for closing costs, points, a price reduction, the plasma tv. And, dare I say it? I would have a much better chance in this market of actually getting the first house I fall in love with; I wouldn't have to settle for the second, third, fourth or tenth. I would be in the driver's seat - imagine that! Those of you who have hunted for a home in the last few years can probably relate.
So, buyers, what's holding you back? The market has stabilized here, and while closed prices are still up in most areas of King County they are not rising at an astronomical rate like we've seen in the past. And interest rates are still good. Plus there are great first-time homebuyer options, and some options we haven't seen for a while are coming back. Finally, sellers want to sell, and for the most part have come to terms with the fact that they must price their home reasonably (and make needed improvements) if they hope to stay in the competition.
Hopefully those of you who are in the market for a home will find the home of your dreams during this time at the price and terms you want; the market has finally swung your way, so take advantage of it!