How to buy a home in a seller’s market

Young couple with house keys

Welcome to the crazy 2021 spring home buying season, with homes selling at breakneck speed. The widespread shortage of home inventory (both manufactured homes and site-built homes) makes it a hot seller’s market. But, if you’re planning to BUY, here are a few things you’ll want to do to grab your dream home.

Review your wish list. Compare your wish list to what’s out there for sale, and be prepared to compromise a bit. Is a white kitchen really a must? Could you go with a smaller home? But, also know which home features you are NOT willing to give up ... such as a particular school district, or the number of bedrooms, and keep shopping until you find the right home for you and your family’s needs.

Stick to your budget. Your money may not go as far as you’d like with home inventory down and lumber prices up, but don’t let emotion and a time crunch cause you to rush your decision. A lot of buyers get swept up and offer more than their budget allows because they feel pressure to make a move.

Think about your time frame. If you have some flexibility, ordering a new manufactured home may be the best option. Construction times are a bit longer right now across the industry, but you’ll get just the home you want. Plus, if you’re selling your current home and downsizing, you may find you make more money on your home now, and can use that to buy exactly the home you want. You may have to move into a rental or with family for part of the year, but a small sacrifice for a long-term investment. Assess your particular situation, and make it work.

Be ready to pounce. Homes are selling in days (and even hours), so you need to have your ducks in a row. Have your finances and credit score in order, your down payment saved, line up your lender and get preapproved for a loan. If you know that you’d like to live in a particular neighborhood or manufactured home community, keep in contact with the sales staff or local agent and they will contact you as homes are on the market.

Stay open to some updates. Buyers who are open to purchasing a fixer-upper may still be able to find a great deal. Most buyers are looking for move-in ready homes, so if you’re willing to put in some work, you may have more options. You can find pre-owned manufactured homes in both communities (see the community manager or sales office) and on private land (watch real estate listings or contact a buyer’s agent).

Overall, be prepared for a longer house hunt. As much as you want to be in your new house right now, you might have to come to terms with waiting a bit—especially if you’re a first-time home buyer. Don’t get discouraged if you get outbid, can’t find the right home, or have to wait for a new home to be built. It will all be worth the wait! Ready to start your house hunt? Check out the manufactured home search options on MHVillage.com.

Industry Partners