For all the progress that has been made toward socioeconomic equality in the United States, single women still face certain difficulties when they enter the real estate market. According to a 2016 survey published by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, only one in five American homebuyers are single women. While this is an increase compared to previous decades, it also shows room for improvement.
When approaching a seller’s market such as downtown San Diego, single women should be prepared to face some complexities. It’s always better to evaluate strategies and follow the most appropriate one. With this in mind, here are some tips for those interested in condos, lofts, or penthouses for sale in downtown San Diego.
Hunt for a Home During the Right Season
Real estate prices and sales activity rise and fall according to supply and demand, but they are also sensitive to seasonal factors. The summer months are often the busiest because families take advantage of school vacation to look for homes. At a national level, housing inventory starts rising in the fall. Furthermore, sellers who keep their listings on the market during the holidays tend to be more motivated.
Start with a Mortgage Preapproval
When the housing market heats up in favor of sellers, bidding wars become the norm, and this is when mortgage preapproval documents come in handy. For example, prospective buyers who bid on downtown San Diego condos without evidence of assets or potential funding are placed at the bottom of the bidding totem pole. A mortgage preapproval also helps buyers set smart financial goals, such as looking for properties priced below their means. Let’s say a single professional is interested in the Gaslamp Quarter. If she obtains a loan preapproval for $500,000, a wise move would be to look for condos listed for around $350,000, since this would make it easier for the lender to finance the purchase.
Take Maintenance into Account
When determining just how affordable a real estate purchase is, all housing expenses must be taken into account, and this includes association fees as well as property maintenance. Single women who don’t have the time, skill, or budget for property maintenance will be better off in maintenance-free condominiums where the fees cover not just common areas but also a range of repairs to the unit. Similar considerations should be made when looking at fixer-upper properties.
Choose the Right Professionals
It’s easier to prevail in the real estate market when real estate agents and mortgage loan officers can relate to their clients. For example, when homebuyers intend to apply for VA loans, they tend to look for mortgage brokers who are veterans themselves. For single women, this doesn’t necessarily mean female loan officers and real estate professionals who happen to be single as well. The key is to find out if they have previously handled similar clients in the past.
It can be easy for anyone to get overwhelmed when they’re choosing a home from all the options available in downtown San Diego real estate. If you follow the suggestions mentioned above, you’ll have a great start on your home-buying strategy. The experienced professionals at 92101 Urban Living can guide you through the process of buying your perfect dream home. Call one of our friendly agents today at 619-649-0368 and set up an appointment to discuss all your home-buying needs.