Buying a House in Idaho? 4 Things to Know!
Owning your own home has long been the centerpiece of the American dream. But in increasingly competitive real estate markets, the path to homeownership can be a challenge to navigate. If you have been thinking about buying a home in Idaho, you may have noticed how this particular market can be especially challenging. At the Prime Real Estate Group, we’re here with all the essential information you need for buying a house in Idaho, coming directly from Idaho realtors.
1. Idaho Real Estate is Competitive
If you have been looking at Idaho real estate on the internet, you’ve probably realized that buying a home here is a competitive venture. In particular, northern Idaho, around Coeur d’Alene, has been hot housing market for quite a while, not just in relation to the rest of Idaho, but on a nationwide scale. Given the attention these areas have received, it is not surprising; Coeur d’Alene was featured in the Wall Street Journal as a top relocation target just a couple of years ago. That exposure, coupled with the vast amount of interstate migration that has been taking place in the last few years, means that demand is up in the Gem State.
In this market, you’ll need to be prepared to move quickly if you find a house you like and be able to craft an offer that will stand out from the crowd.
2. Having Your Finances in Order Is Key
In a competitive market like Idaho, acting swiftly to make an offer will depend to a large extent on having all of your finances in order upfront. So before you do any serious home shopping, arrange your finances so that you are ready to make a move: pay down debt, especially for credit cards, but also for cars, student loans, or any other loans to improve your debt-to-income ratio, and carefully calculate the size of the down payment you can make. You’ll also want to decide in advance if there are any accommodations you will be willing to make to sweeten a potential deal, such as putting serious earnest money down, adding an escalation clause, or offering a leaseback.
These types of provisions can make your offer more attractive to a seller. For example, if the sellers are also looking to move, your leaseback offer means that they can stay in their present home until they find a new home and are ready to move in, so they will not have to move twice. An escalation clause, which says you are willing to increase your offer by a certain amount if there is a competitive offer, also gives a seller assurances that you are serious, and that they will not “lose out” should another buyer make a valid offer. Talk to your real estate agent and find out what terms you can include in your offer to make it more attractive.
3. Getting Pre-Approved Improves Your Chances
If you are not able to pay cash for a house, getting a loan pre-approval from a qualified lender is all but necessary in a competitive market. A seller may be unwilling to accept an offer if the buyer does not already have financing in place, particularly when there are other buyers ready to pull the trigger.
Getting mortgage loan pre-approval is a pretty straightforward process, although it requires a bit of homework. You will need to put together a lot of financial information, including providing current documentation that verifies your income, your assets, and your debts. If you have gotten your finances in order a few months ahead of time, getting the application completed and your paperwork together should not present any problems.
4. Working With an Experienced Idaho Realtor Is a Must
When faced with a competitive market, going it alone can put you at a significant disadvantage. An experienced agent will know the housing market overall, and can also give you extremely valuable insight into the different areas you are looking at, telling you about schools, commute times, traffic, shopping, recreational opportunities, neighborhoods, and even weather-related concerns, such as when your road is likely to get plowed in the winter.
A realtor will know exactly how much house you can expect to get on your house budget and give you advice on neighborhood trends that could make your housing investment more profitable. A good realtor will have a solid list of properties for you to view that match your needs and your budget and will stay on top of things to make sure you get the first look at any new properties that come on the market.
Experienced real estate agents who work for reputable firms also have strong support systems in place so that you can put an offer together and submit it to the seller in short order. When the market is tight, the last thing you want is to finally find your dream home and have someone else come in ahead of you.
In selecting a realtor to represent you, there are indicators that can tell you if someone is a good real estate agent, and don’t be afraid to do some investigating. Ask questions, look for positive reviews, and seek personal recommendations.
Buying a house is always an exciting event in anyone’s life. If you want to own property in Idaho, arm yourself with knowledge about the Idaho real estate market so that you can make a successful offer on your dream home. Contact Prime Real Estate today to learn more and to connect with a top-notch firm.