Congratulations on your decision to buy a home in Atlanta, GA! This is a big and exciting decision, and you may be wondering what you need to know about how the home buying process has changed over the years. In the past three years, the real estate market has been through many changes, and the process of buying a home has shifted online, seen an increase in competition among buyers, and has borne witness to shifting trends in what buyers look for. The All Points Team
has your handy guide to all the ways the home buying process has changed in the past three years.
More virtual opportunities
In the past three years, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of homebuyers who are looking at homes virtually. This shift is largely due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has made in-person tours increasingly difficult and risky. As a result, many real estate agents have started to offer virtual tours as an alternative. These tours allow potential buyers to get a clear idea of a property without ever setting foot inside. In addition, they provide a convenient way to view multiple properties in a short amount of time.
As the pandemic continues to impact the housing market, virtual tours will likely become even more popular. For homebuyers, this provides an opportunity to find their perfect home without ever leaving their living room. That said, viewing a home in person is always a valuable thing to do if it can be done safely.
Three years ago, the home buying process was a very different experience. For starters, there was far less competition among buyers. In many cases, buyers could simply submit their offers and hope that the seller would accept them. However, in recent years, the housing market has rebounded, and the number of buyers has increased dramatically. As a result, buyers must now be prepared to compete against several other interested parties.
To win a bidding war, buyers must be willing to pay more than the asking price and/or move quickly. Additionally, preapproval from a lender is now essential in order to be taken seriously by sellers. In short, the home buying process has become much more competitive in the past three years. Despite these challenges, however, there are still plenty of opportunities for those who are willing to put in the work.
Increased use of conventional loans
One of the most notable changes in the home buying process of the past three years is the increased use of conventional loans. In the past, most homebuyers would rely on government-backed loans like FHA or VA loans. However, with the rise in interest rates and stricter lending standards, more buyers are turning to conventional loans.
Conventional loans typically have higher credit score requirements than government-backed loans, but they also come with some advantages. For one, buyers can avoid paying for mortgage insurance with a conventional loan. Additionally, conventional loans often offer better interest rates and terms than government-backed loans. Because of these benefits, more and more buyers are opting for conventional loans when purchasing a home.
Of course, the increased use of conventional loans has had an impact on the home buying process. Buyers who don't have perfect credit may have a more challenging time qualifying for a loan. Additionally, buyers may need to put forward a larger down payment than they would with a government-backed loan. Despite these challenges, the increased use of conventional loans is simply a sign of the times. Buyers who are aware of this trend can be better prepared to navigate the home buying process.
Increased desire for energy efficiency
The increased emphasis on energy efficiency has changed the way buyers think about homes. Over the past three years, potential buyers have looked for features that will help them save money on their energy bills more than ever. This has had a big impact on the home buying process. In the past, buyers were primarily concerned with the size and layout of a home. Now, they are also looking at things like insulation and energy-efficient appliances. As a result, homes once considered “fixer-uppers” are currently in high demand. This is because buyers know that they can make these homes more energy-efficient, saving them money in the long run. The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated this trend, as home improvement projects skyrocketed as people were stuck in their homes.
Increased desire for home offices and more space
Three years ago, the idea of having a dedicated home office was a luxury. Fast forward to today, and it’s a necessity for many people. With more of us working remotely, there’s an increased demand for homes that have dedicated space for an at-home office. This has led to a shift in the home buying process, as buyers are now placing a greater emphasis on finding a property that meets their specific needs.
Another change we’ve seen is an increased desire for homes with extra living space. Whether it’s an additional bedroom for guests or a finished basement for extra storage, people are looking for houses that have more square footage. These changes have led to homes selling more quickly and for higher prices than ever before. So if you’re thinking about buying a home soon, it’s important to be aware of how the market has changed. Fortunately, with the help of a qualified real estate agent, you can easily navigate these changes and find the perfect home for your needs.
Fed interest rate changes
When the Federal Reserve raises interest rates, it's usually bad news for home buyers. That's because higher rates make mortgages more expensive, causing some buyers to either postpone their purchase or buy a less expensive home. However, the most recent interest rate hike has been surprisingly good news for the housing market. That's because the economy is now strong enough to handle higher rates, and job growth has caused wages to finally start rising.
Demand for homes remains strong, even as prices continue to rise. The most recent data shows that home sales are actually at their highest level in nearly a decade. So, if you're thinking of buying a home, don't let higher interest rates deter you; now is still a great time to buy.
Work with the All Points Team to find your Atlanta home
Want to explore homes for sale in Atlanta
? Seasoned Atlanta realtor Candi McClamma
would be happy to help. Candi is a part of the All Points Team, a group dedicated to providing top-level service for all their real estate clients. Reach out today to see how Candi and the team can help your homeownership dreams come true.