Pandemic Housing Shortages

How to buy a home or condo in a market with low / no inventory

Housing availability for both purchase and rental are extremely low as of the time of writing this (8/7/21).


Some considerations to keep in mind when purchasing in a market which favors sellers, aka a seller’s market:

  • Terms - Where can I improve my offer to stand out from others? Are there conditions I can waive or limit to favor the seller?

  • Needs - Is there an alternative location or configuration to property or home which could reduce costs, needs, or expectations?

  • Timeline & Transition Plans - Can we offer flexibility with time considerations? Can we go as far as offering the seller free rent (at purchaser’s expense) for them to stay in the home for a complimentary period after closing?

  • Post-Purchase Changes (Repairs, Additions, Improvements, etc) - If changes will be made to home after closing, are costs of goods higher than normal? Is labor available, and how far out are build/install/repair times scheduling? Are materials (eg, windows) processing in reasonable time frames or are they also in shortage?

  • Difficulty Prioritizing? Consider asking why multiple times (eg, ‘why do we need this?’ ‘because we need that, well why do we need that?’) to understand the cause and effectual relationship between things which are desired or needed from a cost & amenity standpoint.

  • Single Family vs Condos - Can we start with a smaller home, or a condo? 

  • Commute Tolerance - If moving out of town or out of county to save $, how far away from certain amenities or employers can be considered realistic?

  • Starter Home Areas - Some much-loved asset categories would be

    • Ypsi condos

    • Ypsi starter homes

    • Belleville starter homes

    • Belleville condos

    • Van Buren twp starter homes

    • Ann Arbor condos

    • Jackson County starter homes

    • Livingston Co starter homes

    • Monroe Co starter homes

    • Washtenaw Co starter homes