This time last year, our family purchased a new home in Mountain’s Edge, a great community in the South West of Las Vegas. We were scouring the MLS for two months looking for a perfect place to call home for an expanding family. Our first contract was on a home a bit bigger than we needed. It was owned by a California investor who’d let deferred maintenance pile up and was unwilling to negotiate for repairs that would be needed. The balcony had a crack in the flooring that the inspector said may or may not be a big issue. Luckily it rained two days before the end of our due diligence period & I was able to bring a moisture meter to check the absorption. Turns out the entire plywood surface under the stucco had absorbed so much water it would present and un-safe structural issue. This repair alone would total about $10,000.00. The rest of the drywall, plumbing, and stucco repair would be about another $10,000.00!
Because of this blessing in disguise, we had already been approved by our lender’s underwriter, meaning they had checked off all of the boxes they needed to be sure they could loan us all the money we’d need. Once we decided we weren’t going to buy a home that the seller wouldn’t concede on cost to make it fit, we canceled the contract. What we lost was the cost of inspection, and appraisal; about $1,000.00 in total. What we kept, by navigating our contract properly was our earnest money deposit.. and our underwriting approval.
We took both and continued our shopping. Viewing a few more homes with more clarity on what was necessary, and what was negotiable in our wish list. We found a home more nicely appointed and certainly more well cared for in the same area.. for $40,000.00 less. Because we’d narrowed down what we really needed and where we wanted to be, we found our new home before the sign was even up in the yard (use the MLS, not Zillow!) We submitted an offer with prior underwriting approval from the last deal that went south. This isn’t the same as coming in with cash, but it is a close second meaning the likelihood of our contract coming to fruition is much better than those competitors who have only a pre-qualification.
By getting the home under contract in January when competition is less than the peak season, we were able to purchase the home before the busy summer months when it had already appreciated $15-$20,000.00 due to the competition driving prices up. By having our financing in a more secure position than many others, our seller’s agent told the 4 other offers that came in to not even bother submitting. Assurance we CAN close can be better than even a few thousand hypothetical more dollars to the seller (it’s not always about the highest bid!).
If you’re thinking of buying a new home at any point this year, the best time to start getting a plan together is right away. There is a lot to consider and a lot to prepare, especially for your financing if you’re not planning to buy with cash. A good Las Vegas area Realtor can assist you with this checklist so you’re in the best position to buy, be it this month or further down the road. I look forward to hearing from you & seeing how we can best prepare you for a great transaction, and a smooth transition to your new home. You can contact me at SteveChristmas@gmail.com or call me at the number listed in our Contact section.