Buying your first home in 2024 be like…

Dana Anghel By May 24, 2024 No Comments

“I will just get beat out by another cash buyer. I feel like I’m never going to have a home”

With most of my clients being first time homebuyers, I’ve heard a few variations of this over the years.

Today I heard it from a friend, and it hit closer to home, so it got me writing this.

Utah has a tough real estate market, there is no disagreeing there. But even so, the only clients I’ve had that haven’t been able to buy a home have been the ones that have simply given up trying.

I know it can seem disheartening, but luck favors the patient, and the prepared.

My friend missed out on a condo that she really liked, and that in her words “felt like home” to her. It was in the perfect price range, in a great location, and recently updated. Most of all, it worked great for her aging dog to have quick access to potty outside, without having to go up or down any stairs.

This property was on the market for over 60 days, so what were the odds that she would run into multiple offers?!

Turns out she had a stroke of bad luck, and lost to a competing offer with a larger down payment (for the record, NOT a cash offer).

Frustrating, right?

Except that in the brief time that we had to do some due diligence, some interesting questions came up on the homeowner’s association (HOA), and the state of their financial reserves. The monthly fee had recently increased by over 50%, and no clear answers were provided as to why. So who knows, maybe a bullet was dodged there. Maybe it was just bad luck. Only time will tell (but you can bet I’ll be watching that listing).

In 10 years of doing mortgages, I’ve seen a fair number of people miss out on homes they liked, particularly in 2020, and 2021. But I’ve also seen a good share of “miracles”, some in the past few months:

  • A buyer that went under contract after being in “backup” position on a property where the sellers initially accepted another offer. Don’t discount the value of being on standby – you’ll often get a better deal.
  • A first time homebuyer couple won against 38 other offers by offering a two week closing, in addition to using an Escalation Clause that kept them in the running. The appraisal came in fine, as their agent had already checked comparative sales, and knew the home was underpriced to start with. They purchased at value, negotiated seller credits for repairs, and ended up keeping the brand new hot tub.
  • Most favorite recent win? The out of state Veteran couple relocating to Utah, who lost the bid on the first two homes they made offers on. A third property came up for sale, and they loved it, but decided to wait and save because they thought they couldn’t compete. Two weeks later, the home was still listed, and they made an offer that was accepted. They purchased the property they LOVED most for under-list price, and with seller paid closing costs.

A wise person on the internet once said “the surest way to fail is to not try at all”.

If you’re discouraged and thinking you’ll never be able to purchase a home, I have to ask you this: have you tried and failed? What have you learned from it, and what is the story you tell yourself? Have you reached out for professional help that you can trust?

Start by contacting a loan officer is transparent about numbers (I volunteer!), and can provide you with information on a variety of loan programs that you might qualify for. Work with a real estate agent that is not only competent, but also caring, and plays well with others. When offers are tight, listing agents will often lean towards agents that communicate well and seem like they’ll make the transaction easier not harder. Beware of ego, and inexperience, both separate and together.

When in doubt.. ask for a second opinion. For mine, you can email me at [email protected]

If the funds to close are an issue, please reach out to ask about the Conventional down payment assistance loan I have access to.

*If you know anyone in the Salt Lake area looking to sell a condo on the ground level under 300k, please send them my way. I have the perfect buyer for them!