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First-time Buyer Tip

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A shortage of homes for sale and rising home prices are making it challenging for first-time buyers, in particular, this spring. For those who want to land a home, we are urging them to move fast.

The price of an existing home nationwide in March was about $250,000, up nearly 6 percent from a year ago. Homes are selling faster too, often under contract in a few days.

Many first-time buyers are being priced out of some areas. Colorado homes that are selling for less than $300,000 are hard to find. We just listed a starter home in Indian Hills for $345,000 and had 20 showings and five offers over the first weekend. The home was soon under contract with a buyer offering above asking price. You can plan to offer at least $10,000 over list price at this price point. Cash offers do not always win the bids. Don’t get discouraged.

To increase chances, home buyers should get preapproved for a loan and be ready to act quickly when they find a home they like. They’ll likely need to be less picky too. Pick two or three “must haves” and make those the priority so you can move fast when opportunities arise.

Also, home buyers needn’t wait for a 20 percent down payment. More than half of first-time buyers make down payments of 6 percent or less. Both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae support home loans to eligible buyers who put down as little as 3 percent on a home purchase, as does FHA.

Call me to win the bid!

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