Buying Power… Navigating Chattanooga Homebuyer Bid Wars

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1-Know How High You Can Go-Your lender will tell you how high your payments will be on a specific house factoring in the cost of insurance and taxes FOR THAT HOUSE. With bidding wars, if you really want the house you may have to go a little higher than you wanted to go. If you don’t LOVE the house this isn’t worth it but if you’ve lost a few offers then either maybe wait until you like one more before offering or wait until the buyer surge has died down (once the current competition has bought a house) to house hunt. There’s no crystal ball and who could have predicted this year, but prices in Chattanooga have been rising steadily so next year the base price for what you want could be higher than what you consider a stretch this year. Remember as well that houses have maintenance and unexpected expenses so going too high could really be a burden if it’s not something you really want to spend money on. With so many people moving to this beautiful area and bringing values up, that appreciation will go into your pocket when you sell or need equity from your home for other ventures.

2- Be prepared to get to the house as soon as possible. If you’re planning to head out in three days to take a look it might be under contract by then! It could be in vain if everyone else also rushes over but they could be happy with your offer and accept-it happens!

3-Add up possible repair/renovation costs while viewing the home. Your home is an investment and good investors know what their costs will be. You probably won’t know the condition of everything until you have an inspection but even if it’s cosmetic-will you need to replace all of the appliances or just repaint-a big difference in the cost of what you’ll need to invest. During these bidding wars it’s easy for home prices to get jacked up higher than they should be. Depending on the location and condition they might be just right for someone who thinks it’s a deal-we all have different budgets and payment methods. Your realtor will help suggest a top price for an offer based on comps but people paying cash don’t need to worry about that, unless they mind overpaying. If it’s the right house, often people don’t mind.

4-Keep trying for the next one. You lost the bidding war-breathe- but don’t run away. Even if you’re really upset, put any other house in your head even if it’s something from a magazine you’ll never have so the next house has a chance! Don’t get stuck, instead find something you like about every house to help you remember them. Every house has the potential to be your home once your family’s laughter fill its walls!

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