These are unprecedented times in the Atlanta real estate market. Inventory is thin; prices are going up; competition is stiff.
Gone are the days of getting a great house for $300,000. Seriously, buh-bye.
Even so, one thing remains constant, whether it’s 2008 or 2022. Real estate is one of the most stable and lucrative investment vehicles. (Yes, even in 2008. I bought a home in 2007 just before the market crashed and still sold it 10 years later for a profit.)
If you align with a real estate professional who understands what to look for and where, then there is not a “bad time to buy.” Truly.
The unprecedented part, however, is how fast home values are appreciating. This means that buyers who chose to “wait until values come back down” one or two years ago now cannot afford to buy a home because what was once listed for $300,000 now lists for $400,000. This is NOT due to inflation. This is due to basic supply and demand in the Atlanta market.
Those who are choosing to wait might get kicked out of the game altogether. And if they are renting currently, then I feel for them because rental rates are currently much higher than equivalent mortgage payments. Had they bought one or two years ago, they would have been paying down their own mortgage instead of someone else’s, AND they would be $100,000+ richer.
A similar story applies to those who currently own a home, but are anxious to make a move. Choosing to wait may price them out of their dream home altogether.
Why, you ask? Because real estate is now a game of investing.
Just like those great starter homes for $300,000 are long gone, so are the days of waiting on the perfect home, at the perfect price, in the perfect condition, without a bidding war. If you want to get into your dream home, you might first have to get into an in-between home. In-between homes are strategic purchases that give you financial leverage to afford your dream home a few short years later. This is the only way to keep up with appreciation rates. Many who choose not to make a move now may not be able to make a move ever.
This brings me to my last point. Please, please, please do not oversimplify the process of buying or selling real estate—especially in this market. It’s not simple. It’s THE MOST complicated it’s ever been. Just because you think selling a home is like shooting fish in a barrel does not mean you can sell it well. Neither can a discount broker, a solo agent who just got their license, or an agent who sells a couple homes a year.
In a market where every dollar counts when there’s also a home to purchase, then don’t be naive about who you hire. You’ll get what you pay for.
If there were ever a year to pay attention to the real estate market, it’s this one! Should you go ahead and get in the game?