Buying Season Ahead

Tim Ford  |   Wednesday Apr. 1st, 2015

It appears that spring is arriving early in the Gallatin Valley. By the time this goes to print, we may have another dose of winter, but it is currently 60 degrees and March is feeling like May. Along with the bears that are coming out of hibernation early, buyers will start to look around and think about perhaps getting into a new home. Buyers can start their prep work now by meeting with a lender and getting pre qualified.

Meeting with a lender may not seem like a lot of fun, but it is vitally important to tackle this obstacle before a buyer starts touring properties. With the current low interest rates, many buyers may be pleasantly surprised to learn they can afford a more expensive home than they thought possible. Alternatively, if they have toured homes priced higher than they qualify for, it may be difficult to start looking at lower priced homes.

Another important reason to meet with a lender early in the process is to ensure that the buyer’s credit score is accurate. It is not unusual for a credit report to contain inaccurate information that may lead to a lower credit score. This can take time, sometimes months, to correct. The sooner that the buyer learns of any inaccuracies, the sooner they can have them corrected.

Perhaps the most important reason to get pre qualified before touring homes is to be sure that the buyer will be ready when they do find that perfect home. We are seeing many multiple offer situations and many homes priced to the market are going under contract within a couple of days. Getting prequalified early will help improve a buyer’s chances of buying the right house when it becomes available.
With a letter of pre-qualification in hand, the buyer is now ready for the fun part; touring properties!

As usual, I have included data for the number of homes sold during the first 3 months of 2015. In addition to the 95 homes sold during this time period, another 153 homes are currently pending, or under contract, as of the date of writing this article.

The included data reflects sales of homes on both less than and greater than 1 acre in the greater Bozeman area, including Four Corners, Gallatin Gateway, Bridger Canyon, and Bozeman city limits. The data includes home sales reported through the local Southwest Montana MLS, and does not include private party sales, Condominiums, or Townhouses.  

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