Housing market struggles for first time homebuyers

Published: Aug. 23, 2021 at 6:18 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 23, 2021 at 7:48 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Nationally, first-time homebuyers are having a rough go of it. According to NerdWallet, on average prices are listed more than 5 times their income in the largest metro areas.

Supply is down and prices are up. It’s a difficult time to buy no matter who you are, but it’s particularly difficult for first-time homebuyers.

NerdWallet recommends you start off looking for homes that are three times your income as 5.5 times an income means prices that are just out of reach.

“You’re going to have a hard time finding a home that checks all the boxes on your list, and especially finding one that happens to do that and fits within your budget,” said Elizabeth Renter. She’s a senior writer and data analyst with NerdWallet. She says before you start looking at houses, ask yourself how bad you really want it.

“Buying a house right now is a roller coaster and gut-wrenching, and people are already living in stressful situations,” Renter said.

If you are going to move forward, set realistic expectations - don’t get caught up in winning or you might end up in over your head.

“Because you find a house that’s close to all of the things you want, and you’re in competition with other buyers for that home - you’re going to be tempted to go over budget and put in offers at the high end of what you can afford,” said Renter.

Be cautious. Renter says to set your budget before you go into the market and know your limits.

Another tip? Make your offer attractive, choose a closing date that works for the seller. Allow the seller additional time to move out after the closing, but never give up your inspection.

And you could just wait this out, save up for that down payment for another year or two and try again when the market settles.

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