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This Is the Most Frustrating Part About Searching for a New Home

Woman uncomfortable by what she's reading on her phone.

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I’m currently trying to buy a new home. I’ve sold my old house already, I have the money for a down payment in my checking account. And I am pre-approved for a mortgage. But, I’ve been unable to move forward with a purchase for a few months. And I am getting really frustrated with that fact.

Here’s the issue that’s preventing me from buying — which has turned into absolutely the most annoying part of the home purchase process.

This major obstacle is seriously interfering with my ability to buy a new house

The big problem that I have run into in my home search is that there is not a single property that I like that is currently on the market, and within my price range, that I actually want to buy.

I have multiple notifications set up on real estate apps when a new house is listed in my desired neighborhood. I have been checking daily to see what properties come up for sale, just in case the notification doesn’t come through. And, sadly, there is not one single house that meets my (relatively minimal) criteria in the neighborhood I want to live in.

I’m most likely not the only person who is dealing with this problem either. Because mortgage rates are high, people are staying put in their homes. They are not listing them for sale. As a result, new home listings were down 27% compared to a year prior in the four weeks leading up to June 25, which is the biggest drop in new listings since the pandemic began. There was also an 11% decline in houses on the market during that same four-week period.

But, while I know I’m not alone, that doesn’t make it any less annoying that I’ve been stuck sitting for weeks without so much as a property to look at.

What to do if you find yourself with no houses you like on the market

If you find yourself in the same situation that I am, there are few good options available to you.

One solution is to expand your search. You may decide you need to be more flexible in where you live or in what your criteria are for purchasing a home. You could also alter your budget.

None of these are good solutions. Location is a crucial factor in determining how happy you are with your home. If you expand your search radius and end up with a long commute or living far from family or your kids’ school, you could come to regret it. Expanding your budget could also be a big problem, as you don’t want to overpay and find yourself house poor because you’ve committed too much of your monthly income to a mortgage loan payment.

The other option you have is to wait. That’s what I’m doing, and it’s not ideal. But, if you have a place to live right now and no houses are listed that you like, you could try to stick it out until something good comes along.

Just be sure that you’re ready to act when a house is listed, which means working on improving your credit, getting your down payment in place, and securing mortgage pre-approval so you’re ready to submit an offer. Chances are good, you’ll be competing with other buyers when you do find a place — and one of them might even be me.

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