Lebanon, NH is the largest town in the Upper Valley with roughly 15,000 residents. It is also the only city in the Upper Valley.
The real estate market in the Upper Valley has been challenging for many home buyers over the past year with high demand and limited inventory. This has been particularly true in Lebanon, NH which was ranked by Livability as the #1 among the Top 100 Best Small Towns!
Lebanon and the Upper Valley have a lot to offer residents and it’s no wonder it’s become a popular place to live. However in today’s real estate climate it’s been challenging for people to buy homes in Lebanon including new homeowners and those who want to upgrade their home.
For anyone interested in buying a home in Lebanon, here are our best tips for success:
Know the Local Market
Lebanon, NH is very much in a sellers market at the moment. This means that sellers can feel confident in finding a buyer and you want to strategize accordingly.
Home buyers in Lebanon right now are struggling to get offers accepted in this market. There are often as many as 10-20 offers being made on one home at the same time.
The best way to set you ahead of the competition is to surround yourself with trusted local real estate advisors. This is not the time to use a national lender who knows little about Lebanon, NH for your mortgage. Or to use a distant relative who happens to be licensed in NH to act as your realtor. You need a team of people immersed in the local market with the knowledge and experience to guide you through the home buying experience.
This is a non-negotiable for the best chance of success in this market.
Present Your Best First
There have been seasons in real estate where you would carefully make your offer in preparation to negotiate with the seller.
That is not what we are seeing in the current Lebanon, NH real estate market. You need to be prepared to make your offer and expect the seller to choose an offer that is the highest or the most desireable for them.
The benefit of this is that you can thoughtfully prepare your absolute best offer without the pressure of a negotiation situation. The downside is you have to prepare your best and final right away. You want to be confident that everyone on your team is looped in on your offer to ensure you can feel confident with your financing at the price point of your offer.
Prepare for a Low Appraisal
There have been many instances where a buyer’s offer is accepted but when the appraisal report comes back the property value is less than what the buyer is paying for the home. This might not be concerning if you love the home and plan to live there for a long time however it is an issue with some lending scenarios. A mortgage has to meet the maximum loan to value (ltv) based on the appraised value. This means that if you were planning to put 5% down on the home purchase but then the appraisal comes in lower than the purchase price the lender can only loan you 95% of the appraisal value. If you cannot adjust to a different loan program you are going to need to bring some extra cash to the closing table.
Stand Out in a Crowd
While a strong offer has a lot to do with price, the price is not the only consideration.
One option you may consider is to waive some of the typical real estate contingencies that accompany a real estate offer. The inspection contingency and financing contingency are two examples that are sometimes waived. You want to be very thoughtful about waiving contingencies however it can certainly make an offer more appealing. Just discuss this with your local real estate agent and local lender to be sure you’re not putting your earnest money in jeopardy.
Make it Personal
Even in a sellers market, emotions run high during a real estate transaction. If you share a personal video or letter to accompany your offer it can go a long way to help your offer stand out. Knowing that someone plans to raise a family in their home can potentially sway a seller to consider your offer even if it’s slightly lower or has a contingency another offer doesn’t have. If nothing else, it’s worth the effort.
Competing with other buyers for the same homes can be frustrating. However we are seeing more and more of our clients have success and get their offers accepted. This includes first time home buyers and seasoned home owners. There is a home out there for you and with the right team in your corner, you will find it!
If you are looking to buy a home in the Upper Valley you need a team of local real estate experts on your side. Our team collectively boasts over a century of industry experience and is well versed in a variety of loan programs including fixed mortgages, ARMs, VA loans, FHA and more! We have the privilege of partnering with the best local agents, appraisers and attorneys the Upper Valley has to offer. When you work with Legacy Mortgage you are working with the best local professionals from beginning to end. Reach out to the Legacy Mortgage team to get the loan process started. Call us today, 603-643-7400.