2020 has been an interesting year to say the least, but it has been a great year for the local housing market. Both home prices and home sales are up in Valparaiso, partially due to the number of Millennials now searching for their first homes, much to the liking of Jeanne Sommer, Owner and Managing Broker at Century 21 Alliance Group.
“Millennials make up the largest generation entering the housing market. This new generation is looking for homes in great neighborhoods, and there is a lot of pent-up demand as inventory in homes priced lower than $300,000 is hard to come by,” Sommer said. “Interest rates also remain low, and all predictions say that they will stay low at least until the 3rd quarter of 2021.”
People are also moving from the big cities like Chicago, adding to the market boost in Northwest Indiana.
“Our proximity to Chicago, coupled with the fact that many people are working from their homes has driven many buyers from Illinois to look at homes in Northwest Indiana,” Sommer said.
The housing market is always changing, but the Century 21 Alliance Team has taken adaptation a step further this year as a result of COVID-19, particularly when it came to showing and listing properties.
“Fortunately, we were able to adapt quickly,” Sommer said. “Buyers were driving by and previewing properties before making an appointment to see a home. We were listing properties without meeting the seller face to face, and closings were taking place in the parking lot while buyers and sellers sat in their car.”
Right now is a great time for sellers to enter the market, and Sommer maintains high hopes for the market status heading into 2021. Market viability boils down to supply and demand, and lack of inventory has been the biggest equalizer when dealing with COVID-19. When prices can fluctuate sometimes daily in a constantly evolving industry, it’s important for buyers and sellers to be aware of what’s going on in the market when they enter.
“When you are getting ready to put your home on the market, I would suggest getting an update on how many homes are on the market in your price range and what the most recent homes have sold for,” Sommer said. “That way you are looking at it from a buyer’s perspective but also keeping in mind that the prices homes are selling for are important when it comes to your appraisal. You want your asking price to be in line with what your home is worth.”
Sommer cautions sellers and buyers to be patient when purchasing a home, especially in the busy market currently in play.
“With such a busy market, homes aren’t closing in 30 days,” Sommer said. “Sometimes it is taking 60 days or more to get an inspection, an appraisal, and a clear to close. Everyone is overbooked, including movers, so everyone needs to be flexible and adapt to this environment.”
To learn more about Century 21 Alliance and how they can help you take advantage of the current market, visit https://www.21alliance.com/.