Do you positively adore your current neighborhood? Is everything perfect except the apartment you’re renting or the house you’ve outgrown? Sometimes it can be difficult finding a new home within a specific neighborhood that doesn’t break the bank. But here are some tips to keep your new home both within your neighborhood, and your budget.
1. Watch the Market!
Being aware of the trends in your local market can make sending in a lower offer more realistic. Watch what homes in your neighborhood are actually selling for. People can get sentimental and ask higher than what it’s worth, but what they sell for is key. Keep a close eye on sales records of homes similar to the type you’d like to buy to be as prepared as possible.
2. Check Out Government Programs
Are you a teacher? What about a Police officer, firefighter, or EMT? Certain professions qualify you for the “Good Neighbor Next Door” program where the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will help you get the home for HALF the price! If you find one in your neighborhood, you’re in business!
3. Scan the Local Network
There’s really something to be said for good old fashioned networking! Talk with neighbors, family, friends, and so on! Make it well known that you are looking for a new home in the area, with both your price range and the type of home you are looking for. You may find yourself hearing of homes before the listings are even live!
4. Detective Work
Another great way to find potential homes before they hit the market is to do a little research! Keep an eye out for recent obituaries and divorces. This may make you feel a little uneasy, but if you’ve got a family or friend connection with those involved, it can make breaking that ice a little more comfortable for everyone. If you do hear that a property is going to be sold, reach out and let them know of your interest. You may be nervous about tactfulness, but this could genuinely save everyone a load of stress and worry.
5. Check the Off-Market Listings
Here’s where having a good agent comes in handy! If you can get in to check out a home in an off-market or pocket listing, that means you get in before the bidding wars begin. A successful and well connected agent may have information regarding homes for sale before they even hit the market. And that means lower prices and less competition for you!