Tips for when there are no Houses in your Price Range20 May 2024

In an ideal world, there’d be plenty of homes on the market that not only check off everything on your wishlist of things you want in a house, but also within your budget.

Unfortunately — depending on the area you’re looking in and current market conditions — it’s common to have seen everything on the market (and none suffice), or there simply aren’t any houses available on the market at all.

Fortunately, you can use that downtime to your advantage…

Here are 6 things you can do that’ll not only help pass the time but will also make you a more ready and informed buyer when the perfect house hits the market:

Spend Time in the Areas You’re Interested In
Even if you’re fairly familiar with the area you’re looking for houses in, it’s worth making sure the town or city is a good fit. But if you haven’t lived in the area, this is even more important.

Spend time walking around the area, and pop into some of the local businesses. Drive around the different neighbourhoods. Find a hidden park or trail you weren’t aware of. Make sure you know where the schools are, especially if you have children. Chat with people who live in the area.

Doing this before you find a house will help you avoid last-minute jitters about whether it’s the perfect place to call home, and proceed with confidence!

Check out Some Areas You Haven’t Considered Living In
If you’re not finding a lot of options that you like in the areas you’ve been focusing on, or in your price range, perhaps an entirely different area might have what you’re looking for!

Ask your agent for recommendations on some areas that might not be on your radar that have some homes in your price range and go check them out with an open mind. Opening your options could be the perfect way to find more houses to choose from, and an area you’ll be happy to call home!

Drive by Houses That Have Recently Sold
Many buyers focus on what houses are listed for, rather than what they ended up selling for. While your agent will likely help you hone in on how much to offer based upon recent sales data once you find a house you like, doing some of that research ahead of time will help you truly understand the value of homes in the area, and how much you should be willing to pay for the one you want.

Ask your agent for a list of recent sales in the area, and drive by as many of them as possible. This will give you so much perspective and confidence when it comes time to make offers on houses that appeal to you.

Get a List of People Your Agent Trusts and Recommends
Once you’re under contract there will be a lot of things to do in a short amount of time, such as getting the home inspected and applying for a mortgage. Choosing which person or company to work with once the contractual clock is ticking doesn’t leave much time for shopping around, or choosing the best fit for your needs.

Ask your agent for a list of people, companies, and services they recommend and do some upfront research by reading reviews, or making some phone calls and asking any questions you might have. This will help ensure that you trust the people you’re working with to help get you to the closing table.

Get Your Mortgage Documentation in Order
Lenders will require a lot of documentation in order to approve your mortgage. Even if you’re the most organised person in the world, it can be difficult rustling up everything they need with a closing date looming in the near future.

Rather than wait until you’re in a rush, ask the mortgage lender you’re planning to work with for a list of documents they’ll need from you and get it all ready to go. This will save you a lot of time and stress when they start the underwriting process.

Revisit Your Wishlist
Buyers often start their home search with a long list of things they want in their dream house. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to find a house that has everything you want, no matter how much money you have to spend! Perhaps there are homes on the market that you’re overlooking because you’re too focused on getting everything you hoped for.

Sitting down after having seen some houses is a great exercise. With more perspective, you can take a look at your list and start to see what you can reasonably expect. Rewriting your list with a reasonable list of must-haves, and a list of things that would be icing on the cake, might just help you realise that the perfect house is already on the market waiting for you to make an offer!