It's no secret that South Boston real estate is hot right now -- and it shows no signs of stopping. Local real estate agents are recommending that home buyers prepare themselves with core skills and resources before even starting the home search. Right now, the median listing price for homes in South Boston is $1 million, with a median closing price of $700,000 and price per square foot of $751, according to Realtor.com. Navigating this market isn't for the faint of heart. As a homebuyer, you want a deal so you can save money, but you also don't want to appear too timid so as to lose the sale to another, more aggressive buyer. Here are some must-have skills to have as a home buyer in South Boston.
- Be persistent: Victory will come to those first-timers who put persistence first. Jumping the gun without doing your research could mean the difference between overpaying and underpaying, by a lot.
- Know what will win you the bid: That being said, you also need to be savvy enough to know when to strike while the iron is hot. Be prepared to make compromises in a bidding war, such as bidding over asking, waiving the mortgage contingency or waiving the inspection. Only your real estate professional can tell you how far to go, so be prepared to take advice throughout this harrowing time.
- Know the market: In Boston and surrounding areas, inventory is tight, with not nearly enough entry-level supply, says the Boston Globe. Fewer homeowners are trading up, leading to a seller's market that's only bolstered by cash-rich investors and foreign buyers.
- Explore true-value validation: In South Boston, as said above, it's not uncommon to see million-dollar homes. Its close proximity to the city proper will always keep those prices higher than in cities further north or south. Supply and demand affect home price appreciation deeply, as well as your ability to get a low-interest mortgage. The crazy thing is, the houses themselves haven't really changed; the market has just dictated that they are worth more. Essentially, you are paying more money for the same home. Thus, finding the true value of a property is key. Take into consideration factors such as location, and quality of craftsmanship, design, and construction.
- Explore your area: If you're targeting a certain neighborhood, research it and get to know it well. Then, explore how real estate there has fared over the years. Take a look at that all-important historical data with your real estate agent very early on -- well before you get invested in a particular property. This will help ensure that your home purchase will retain its value and appreciate over time.
- Know the strategies for beating out other offers: No one wants to be engaged in a bidding war -- except of course for the sellers. An experienced real estate professional will be able to advise you on strategies to win those wars. Ask them about the outcomes of previous multiple-offer situations they have been a part of and which strategies took center stage in a successful outcome. Explore common mistakes buyers make and learn from them.
- Put your emotions aside: Multiple-offer situations can be emotionally exhausting. Try not to get too invested in a particular property to the point that it clouds your rational judgment. Your real estate agent provides an unbiased view of the situation and is emotionally detached. Listen to your agent's sound advice before you let emotions get in the way.
- Choose an agent skilled in all types of real estate: You may be looking for a one-family, two-family or even a condo. Your agent should be savvy about all housing types and how the market affects each. For example, South Boston condos are leading houses in terms of prices by a wide margin, according to Curbed. Condos run about $790,000 up 16 percent from last year, furthers The Boston Globe. Be sure to explore all options.