LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Soaring prices, shrinking inventory, and an increase in mortgage rates are making it tougher to buy a house in Las Vegas.
A local home expert says the clock is ticking, and more than ever buyers need to make a move before rates go up even more.
Olivia Meza has been on the hunt for a home for nearly two years. She has called her realtors regularly, trying to see if she can lock in a home.
“It is getting harder and harder to be able to purchase a home, to make it available and accessible for just a regular person that works,” Meza said.
She says there isn’t much to choose from and prices are through the roof. Her biggest challenge is trying to beat out-of-state buyers with a lot of cash.
“The ball is in their court, they get to choose, they get first selection, and we have to see what is left and that is the hardest part,” said Meza.
Jennifer Graff, founder of New Home Experts, says paying close attention to your contingencies can help beat those cash offers. One thing to do is waive the appraisal by paying more than what the bank has valued the home.
“Because you are financing, you are limited by the bank, but you are taking the limitation away by paying over and above the appraised value,” Graff said.
For example, if a seller lists their home for $375,000, but the bank appraises the home for $370,000. Graff says although the home is appraised at that value, by offering the seller what they want and giving them $5,000 more in cash at the closing of escrow, it can help guarantee your offer.
“You might want to lower your price point that you are looking at, what your budget is, so you can accommodate making an offer above the price,” Graff said.
She says there is another way to waive a contingency. When you enter a contract, there are 10 days the buyer can see what needs to be fixed before closing.
“One of the ways to create a stronger offer is to either wave repairs on the home or limit the repairs you are going to ask for,” Graff said.
She says the clock is ticking and homes are getting more expensive. She says mortgage rates are already 1% higher than last month.
If you are planning to buy, she says to go to your lender and see what you qualify for. Numbers may have changed, and rates may no longer be within your budget.
“All of a sudden, that house payment can be $300 to $500 more. The increase is significant,” Graff said.
While monthly payments may be higher, Graff says competition and prices may go down within the year.
Graff also says many of her clients have reached out to the sellers themselves, explained their situation, and had luck in getting an offer accepted. She also says representation from a good realtor is critical to help you beat the other offers and get the home you want.