The Current Housing Market in Little Rock & Tips on Finding a Home: From a Realtor

Updated: Jan 22, 2021

If you're currently thinking of buying or selling a house or real estate in Little Rock, you may be in luck. Little Rock continues to have real estate under contract within mere hours of being on the market and it looks like the trend will continue for the months ahead in 2021. For buyers, interest rates continue to be incredibly low and allow many non-homeowners to purchase homes with monthly notes that are far less than their monthly rent. For sellers, many have their homes under contract shortly after listing their properties without the inconvenience of having to wait weeks or months to find a buyer.

While both of these facts are great, they do create some obvious issues for buyers. There just simply aren't a lot of houses to choose from at the moment. Statistically, most sell and purchase homes during the spring and summer months; so while there might not be a lot to choose from right now, there may be more to choose from later if you're able to wait. Secondly, many are choosing to make offers on homes that they haven't even viewed in person yet. Perhaps Covid-19 plays a small part in that but it's most likely due to the overwhelming demand for homes in certain price ranges or neighborhoods. Thirdly, because of the massive demand for houses and low supply, many sellers are choosing to list their homes for above market value. Even with overpriced houses on the market, many sellers still receive multiple offers on their homes and are able to accept an offer that exceeds their initial asking price with multiple backup offers if the first falls through.

What about new construction homes? Having a reputable builder may sound like a better option for getting an ideal home rather than having to deal with stubborn sellers. The issue with this is that there's not a lot of new homes being built because of the increased lumber prices. Since April 2020, lumber prices have risen by 130%, making the average cost of a new construction home $320,000 in 2020. In turn, the high lumber costs have caused preowned homes to rise by $16,000 on average.

So what can be done? Here are some tips to beat the crowd in buying a home:

  1. Get pre-approved: I honestly can't recommend this highly enough. Getting a pre-approval from a lender not only tells you how much you can afford to borrow, but is also considered a pre-requirement by a lot of sellers before accepting an offer. There's a lot of paperwork and information needed to get pre-approved, so you'll want to make sure you give yourself enough time to get it all sorted before you start looking at houses. Also, be sure to shop lenders to make sure you're getting the best possible terms on your mortgage! I always recommend local lenders to all of my clients as they have the best rates and customer service. If you're not sure where to start, just reach out to me!

  2. Know your timeline: Generally, it takes around 30-45 days to close on a house after an offer is accepted. A lot of things happen during this time, so it's a good idea to start looking early so you have ample time to find a home to make an offer on. Additionally, most houses currently have multiple offers, so you'll want to be sure you have time to locate and make offers on other houses if your first home offer isn't accepted.

  3. Secure your finances and employment before & while looking: This may go without saying, but it's important to keep your finances and job security as consistent as possible as any major changes can effect your ability to qualify for a home.

  4. Know your budget & preferences: You may be surprised that you are qualified for a larger loan than you were expecting. It's a great idea to analyze your finances closely to see how your mortgage payment will fit into your budget along with homeowner's insurance, PMI, property taxes, and other bills/obligations that you have each month.

  5. Save for your down payment & closing costs: You may be responsible for a down payment (depending on type of mortgage you qualify for) and for closing costs that are due at the time you close. They're both based on how much you purchase your house for and if you're not sure how much it will be, you can always ask me or your title company.

  6. Do your research & be ready to make an offer at any time: Once you get an idea of what kind of house you're looking for, you'll start to notice which areas of the city suit your preferences. I still recommend seeing as many of the houses that you're interested in as you can as that may give you the confidence you need to make an offer once you find the one. Time is of the essence in this current market!

  7. Know that you're in good hands: Buying a house can be stressful and it's easy to get tied down and discouraged by all of the details, but it can also be a really fun and exciting experience as well! When you're ready to buy a house, let me be the Realtor to do the research for you. I will always go above and beyond to make sure that all of my clients have all the recourses they need while looking for their new home. I'm on your side to make sure you get the best rates, best deals, and the best service.

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