This morning I saw a post come out from the Virginia Association of Realtors asking this question - where are all the starter homes at? As you may know, finding that perfect starter home is getting harder and harder to find these days as the crazy real estate market of 2022 continues to be brisk! And, according to the Virginia Association of Realtors, the income a person needs to find that starter home in Richmond, is about $58,000! That means that most first time home buyers in the Richmond area need to buy a home that is around $200,000 or under!
So, although it is harder and harder to find starter homes that are priced under $200,000, they are out there! I took a look at the homes which have sold throughout the area in the first quarter of this year that were priced $200,000 or under. Since I work mainly in Chesterfield, Henrico and City of Richmond, these were the areas that I looked at!
As you can see, there weren't a lot of homes sold at this price point but they were out there! Between these 3 areas there were 239 homes that sold that had a price point under $200,000! And of these homes sold, 178 were between $150,000 and $200,000! And as of today (April 29, 2022) there were actually 44 homes available for sale between $150,000 and $200,000!
But finding these homes and getting them under contract may take a bit of creativity in your offer! You may be limited as to how high you can go on your price - you may not be able to waive the appraised value - you may not feel comfortable waiving the inspections - and you may not be able to get the seller to pay closing costs! But there are some creative terms I have seen first time home buyers put in their offers.
Instead of waiving the appraisal completely, they have offered to pay an amount (say $1,000 or $2,000) extra if the appraisal came in lower than the purchase price!
Instead of waiving the inspection completely, I have seen buyers take a home as is - meaning they will do inspections but not ask seller to do any repairs. Or only ask for major things and not ask for small repairs!
Instead of waiving the inspection and appraisal, I have seen buyers have these 2 things done immediately, thereby getting these things out of the way very quickly!
I have had buyers who are not only pre approved by their lender but have had their file reviewed by underwriters before they even begin looking for homes so that the seller feels more secured in the loan that buyer is getting!
There are a lot of sweeteners you can offer to a seller. Not all sellers are motivated solely by the highest price that they get - many sellers will take the price and terms into consideration when looking at which offer to accept!
If you are thinking of buying your first home, feel free to let me know how I can help! And if you have any questions, feel free to let me know and I would be happy to answer them!