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NEIGHBORHOOD OF THE WEEK: Preparing for the spring ‘rush’

by TYLER WILSON/Special to The Press
| February 20, 2022 1:00 AM

At the risk of tempting fate, I’ll knock on wood while declaring this next sentence: Spring is nearly here.

Yes, technically winter continues for a few more weeks, and history proves we’ll see a few more snowflakes at some point (and maybe even see them deep into April shudders). However, whenever a few 50-plus degree sunny days get strung together, more people take an active interest in the housing market.

Usually, spring means more activity, as in a combination of increased inventory and buyers. A few more options on the market will be nice, but don’t expect the demand for well-priced homes to be any less feverish.

If you’re even thinking about home shopping this spring, the time is now to make a battle plan. Check off these five items before you start acquiring moving boxes.

1. Are you ready to start NOW?

If you’re looking to buy this year, ask yourself what’s keeping you from starting the process immediately. There may be fewer homes on the market now, but with more options in the spring comes more competition. Prices and interest rates can change, and the pandemic has contributed to multiple disruptions to “normal,” so it could be that the perfect home is on the market or will be on the market tomorrow.

2. Explore “preferred” neighborhoods and check out unfamiliar areas.

You can do quite a bit of research before you officially start home shopping. Do a bit more digging on the places you’d like to live. Check out recently sold properties in the area on Realtor.com or another online platform/app, and investigate other neighborhoods that you may not have thought about before. Drive around. Get a feel of the vibe.

3. Are you selling a home to buy another? Make sure you’re ready on that front.

If your current property aligns in price with what continues to sell well in North Idaho, then expect a very short time period between listing and receiving offers. Is your house well staged for prospective buyers? Do you have a plan in place for if you receive an offer before you find a new home? Make sure you’re ready, because it all might move fast.

4. Interview prospective real estate agents.

While most of us probably have at least a cousin or aunt in the real estate game, you shouldn’t feel obligated to work with someone just because of an existing, non-business connection. You want to use an agent with which you feel comfortable and who has a clear plan for your buying/selling journey. Your creepy Uncle Jimmy may still have his real estate license, but that doesn’t mean he knows what he’s doing.

5. Don’t compromise on your musts.

In a feverish real estate market, it can be easy to be caught in the rush of things. It’s true that sometimes you’re competing with others for the same property, and there will be pressure to move on something before you’ve even had a chance to think about it. However, you shouldn’t sacrifice your needs just to get a deal across the finish line. Sit down and really think about what you MUST have in your next home. Narrow that list to the essentials, and make a second tier for things you can compromise about. A busy market and rushed purchases leads to an increased rate of buyer’s remorse, but you can avoid that by holding firm on the absolutes that are important to you.

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Let us know about more standout neighborhoods and developments that we may feature in an upcoming Neighborhood of the Week. Contact Tyler Wilson at twilson@cdapress.com.

Real Estate Agents, take advantage of Neighborhood of the Week by sending in your suggestions for featured areas, including sites outside the normal confines of Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls and Hayden.

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Photo by TYLER WILSON

If you're looking to buy soon, explore the neighborhoods you're interested in and research recent sales in the area.