First-time home buyers
The market is beginning to cool, though buyers are still dealing with limited inventory and high home prices. Navigating this volatile market can be challenging. Check out the resources below to create ease during your home-buying process.
The housing market right now:
▪️ Just over one in five houses on Zillow saw a price cut in January – that’s about equal to last year, but more common than in any of the five years prior.
▪️ Homes priced and marketed correctly are moving quickly in just 29 days, while other homes linger on the market for months, driving the typical age of all listings on Zillow up to 72 days.
▪️ Buyers have a few more choices available than last year. Total inventory is up more than 3% from a year ago, while the flow of new listings to the market is up nearly 6%. January typically sees a significant jump in new inventory over December, and this year that monthly boost was 43%.
Getting finances in order
When Zillow asked five questions about credit scores, the average American only answered two of the five correctly. Yet a good credit history is key to getting the best possible loan; here are the four things first-time buyers should do to qualify for the best possible mortgage interest rate.
How much can a first-time buyer afford?
As mortgage interest rates fluctuate, aspiring buyers can start with a mortgage calculator and affordability tools to understand what they can realistically afford on a monthly basis.
Borrowing options for first-time buyers
First-time buyers can gain a competitive edge by getting pre-approved for a mortgage. A Zillow survey finds 86% of sellers prefer a buyer who has been pre-approved, as opposed to pre-qualified, for a mortgage.
For first-time buyers, persistence is key: Nearly half of all first-time buyers (47%) are denied a mortgage at least once before ultimately being approved.
Finding the right agent is key
Navigating today’s housing market can be confusing and stressful, and acting quickly can be key. The right agent can help; according to Zillow Research, 85% of buyers use a real estate agent or broker.
Improving the home search
In a Zillow survey*, nearly three-quarters of successful buyers wish they had done at least one thing differently. Digital tools can simplify the home-shopping experience, helping new buyers more easily home in on the right home.