The shortage of homes for sale has fueled the frenzied housing market of the last few years. A healthy market has a six-month supply of inventory, but as of early January 2023, there’s only a three-month supply.

Consistently high mortgage rates and scaled-back new construction projects are largely to blame for this shortage.

Housing inventory is expected to rise this year, especially in the Columbus area, which rated one of the healthiest housing markets going into 2023. But as a buyer, you still have the challenge of buying a house when inventory is low. Follow these tips to make the process easier and more affordable.

Broaden Your Horizons

If location isn’t critical, be willing to expand your search beyond the first one or two neighborhoods on your list. This opens up a much wider variety of home-buying opportunities. Who knows—you could end up finding the perfect fit for your family’s wants, needs, and budget, even if it’s a little further out of the way. And if nothing else, broadening your search location could help solidify what you’re looking for in your dream home.

Aim High

Low inventory often comes with bidding wars. If you find yourself competing with other buyers for the same house, it’s in your best interest to make the winning bid, especially if the house checks all the boxes. This means coming armed with a mortgage pre-approval letter and an offer above the asking price—within reason, of course. Just make sure you understand what you can afford before throwing your hat in the ring, both in terms of monthly payments and the overall mortgage loan amount.

Be Persistent

After a few months of scoping out the market, it may be tempting to lower your standards and settle for something well outside your preferences. You may even give up on the notion of homeownership altogether. Buying a house when inventory is low isn’t always easy, but it’s worth it if you find your dream home! Stay active in your search so you’re ready to pounce on the perfect house as soon as it’s listed.

Go with a Pro

The importance of working with a knowledgeable real estate agent can’t be overstated, especially when you’re dealing with low inventory. This professional can help you navigate the challenging housing market with ease. You’ll get one-on-one help finding homes that fit your needs, making offers within your budget, and negotiating with the seller. These are just the things you need to come out on top, even in the most challenging market.

To get a head start on your home search, turn to Vutech | Ruff, Cutler Real Estate. Our award-winning real estate company has over 60 years of combined experience serving homebuyers and sellers in the Greater Columbus area. Our goal is to make the journey to homeownership as seamless and stress-free as possible. To speak with one of our knowledgeable agents, please call our real estate office at 614-897-0618 or contact us online.