The pandemic changed our daily habits and forced us to rethink our lives. More people are working remotely. The confinement brought the need for more space at home (more bedrooms, a backyard and why not a private pool?). Some people suffered financial losses and are looking to downsize. Even big brands and companies are considering moving out from congested urban neighborhoods, following the steps of their employees, and building satellite offices. People and companies are moving! All these changes brought a lot of activity to the Real Estate market.
Add to all these changes historically low mortgage rates and low inventory in some real estate segments.
The result is buyers competing with each other!
If you are searching for a new home, consider reevaluating your strategy. Sellers won’t waste their time if you are not qualified and ready to buy.
Here are a few tips that will help you in your purchase process during this particular moment:
1 – Get pre-approved
First, let’s explain the difference between been pre-qualified and been pre-approved.
Getting pre-qualified means the mortgage lender will analyze creditworthiness, giving buyers an idea of the amount of money they can borrow from the lender. The creditor will review information such as the buyer’s income, assets, debts and credits. Most of the time pre-qualification does not require presenting any documents. It is a less rigorous process compared to pre-approval.
Be aware that, although been pre-qualified is the first step and helps the process of pre-approval, it won’t guarantee the buyer gets approved for the loan. That can only be achieved through the pre-approval process.
That is why been pre-approved in a hot market is fundamental! An offer based on a pre-qualification is not as strong as an offer based on a pre-approval, once the first one is less accurate.
This is very important at this moment. Depending on the kind of property and segment of the Real Estate Market in Florida, most sellers won’t even allow you to visit the property if you are not pre-approved.
And realtors, of course, have to do their homework as well. It is their job to understand how ready are buyers before presenting them to sellers.
Why waste time in such a seller market with the risk of inviting strange people to show the house during the pandemic?
Getting pre-approved also saves time in the purchase process once it shows buyers the exact budget they can work with, and also gives a better idea of how much closing costs will be.
Remember: you are competing with lots of other buyers and. A pre-approval gives you a great advantage once it increases the seller’s confidence that you are ready and able to buy. It can be a great differentiator when trying to win a bid.
2 – Home Buyers: Is there such thing as a Perfect Home?
Of course there is! But in a seller’s market you have to be aware that the perfect home may not be there when you buy it, but you can always turn it into a dream house. What does it mean?
If you are house-hunting you probably want to find the perfect home, move-in ready and relocate to new neighborhood as soon as possible, with no extra effort.
In the article 4 reasons why move-in ready homes are easier to sell I describe, on a seller side, why you should prepare your house to sell so potential buyers can move immediately. Especially in this time of the pandemic, many Americans from the North wants to buy a move-in ready home. They don’t want to waste time remodeling, or spending time in another place while the property gets ready, plus there is already a lot of stress during relocation, etc, etc.
Although finding the perfect move-in ready home is what most of the potential buyers want, we have to face reality! Especially on single-family homes, the inventory is very low (historically low). There are just a few houses for sale on the market and everybody wants them.
This scenario is much different when we talk about the condo market in Miami.
So, let’s rethink that a little bit. What are your priorities?
I’ve been helping many clients from out of state for more than 20 years and I’ve never seen such a strong flow of Americans moving to Florida the away I’m experiencing now. Most of them have the same priorities:
- I want a larger house with a big backyard
- I want to live in a place with good weather year-round
- I want to live in a less congested place (less risk of contagion and easier mobility)
- I’m looking for tax incentives (I pay a lot of taxes in New York)
- I need good schools for my children
Although all these necessities can be resolved with an affordable large single-family home in suburban areas of Miami and Orlando, they can also be resolved with a luxury condo in a less congested neighborhood near Miami. This is the opportunity today! At the same time the market is unbalanced for single-family homes it is also unbalanced for luxury condos. The first segment is a seller market with rising prices and few options. But the luxury condo market in South Florida is very favorable to buyers now, since everyone is aiming for single-family homes. You might find a very nice, large, close-to-the-beach condo with discounts of 40%. They can be in residential neighborhoods near the city, but still far away from the downtown congested areas. Northern neighborhoods in Miami, such as Aventura or Sunny Isles Beach are great. Even in the suburban areas there are nice condos to search for.
But what about my backyard with a pool?
Well, although in a condo you don’t have a private backyard, there are plenty of options in Miami with huge balconies. Some of them offer a private pool with a barbecue area on the balcony. That is the case of the Porsche Design Tower. And the amenities that these luxury condos offer are much, much better than a backyard. Even in times of pandemics there are social distance protocols and ways to take advantage of those amenities following safety rules. The good news is that almost all of these exclusive luxury condos are with not so exclusive prices anymore. You will be amazed by some of the offers in the market.
In the article Aiming for Single-family homes? You might be losing the opportunity to buy a luxury condo I explain the great opportunity there is nowadays in the Miami luxury condo market.
So, is there such thing as a perfect home?
Yes, but consider other options! If you’re looking for a specific neighborhood, you may need to give up some the amenities you want. Searching for a move-in ready home? You may find it, but not with that backyard with a pool you want. Consider also moving to a condo.
Creating a priority list helps you understand better what you are looking and you may consider many other options and types of properties.
3 – Take action
Once you are pre-approved and sure about the property you want, take action! In a seller market you can’t waste time! Many other potential buyers are biding on that same property you want.
Take action means signing the contract! A simple “yes” on the phone won’t hold your dream-house.
If you are sure, why wait?
About AMG International Realty
AMG International Realty is a full-sevice brokerage firm in Florida. If you are interested in buying, renting or selling Real Estate in Florida, give us a call today: +1 (305) 318 6968 (Heloisa Arazi).