You would have to be living under a rock to not be somewhat aware of the competitive and hot real estate market we are experiencing locally. Home prices in Whatcom County have dramatically increased, along with interest rates, making it especially difficult for first time home buyers.
In a year over year comparison, the median home price in Whatcom County from March 2021 to March 2022 went from $492,250 to $619,975, an increase of nearly 26%! Homes have received multiple offers, with most being sold for over asking price. Many factors are contributing to this including increasing interest rates, millennials who are ready to buy their first home and folks embracing the new work-from-home lifestyle, giving up city living to come to greener and quieter areas.
As a buyer, especially a first timer, it can be overwhelming and discouraging. But I encourage my clients that perseverance is key! In my 15+ years of experience, it has been common that a first-time buyer doesn’t always get the first house they put an offer on. Many of those first offers become good practice for buyers as they become more comfortable and aggressive in the home buying process, traits that are crucial in this competitive market. Encouraging words from some first time buyer clients of mine:
“Working with Jason as first-time home buyers was fantastic. Our search lasted for months and involved making several offers. Through it all, Jason was always patient, answered all of our questions, and provided skillful guidance. We eventually found a home that we love (even more than all the previous offers)! The only downside is that our place is so perfect for us that we might never move again and possibly won’t get another opportunity to work Jason.” – Adam & Jessie
Other tips for first time buyers?
Local market data shows that every spring, right around April, we start to see an uptick in available listings, which continues through the summer months and then wanes again in the fall. Despite all the factors at play, I expect that this year will be no different. And the hope is that as more listings come available, more of my buyers will get themselves under contract and on the path to home ownership.
Bonus info: Tips to buying a house when there is high inflation.