In 2021, we saw the housing market do some crazy things. Inventory remained low, while buyers—both those moving to the DMV and relocating within it—remained high. Pricing reached unpredictable highs, and the competition for a ratified contract was unfathomable. The housing shortage is still going strong throughout the nation, but the market has shifted a bit and things are looking up for buyers. Whether you’re relaunching a new home search or starting fresh, here are the top five things you should know as we enter 2022.
1. Patience is key
Mid-2021, we saw buyers putting in offers far over asking—and blindly—in hopes of securing a house, any house. As we enter 2022, the market has shown signs of stabilizing a bit but some of the urgency and shortage remain. Patience is, as ever, key. Remember that unless you urgently need to buy, waiting for the right home is almost always a better option in the long run.
2. Consider timing
Historically, the market heats up from late spring into summer, with buyer interest waning as we enter August. While 2021 bucked that trend, the rule is likely to still apply to some extent—perhaps just more mildly. As we enter 2022, keep an eye on the market and consider looking on the earlier or later side of things, or at least avoiding that early-summer peak to extend your dollar and limit your frustration.
3. Watch the banks
On a related note, if you’re planning to start your search in 2022, start watching bank mortgage rates now to track the trend. While nothing is certain, some experts predict that, while rates will likely continue to remain relatively low, there’s a good possibility they will start to climb slightly throughout 2022.
4. Many of the same rules apply
While 2021’s real estate shortage put everyone in a bit of a tizzy, it’s important to remember as you start searching for a new home in 2022 that this should be an exciting time. As much as inventory and demand may present challenges, stick to the foundational elements of a new home search. Create your list of wants versus needs—and then prioritize. Remember as you look at homes, there are certain things—like location, HOA rules, and proximity to neighbors or streets—you cannot change, but interior finishes and fixtures are relatively easy to update to your own tastes.
5. You have options
New homes continue to be built throughout the greater DMV. These homes come with a variety of advantages over existing construction, including the opportunity to customize your own finishes, handpick your floorplan, and of course, that everything is new—so no worrying about HVAC going out or needing to replace the water heater because they’ll be new and covered under warranty.
If you already know where you want to search, explore a variety of current and upcoming new construction neighborhoods from our partners or simply browse by your desired city or county.
Above all, remember most people don’t search for their new home too many times in a lifetime, so embrace the excitement and enjoy the journey.