I'll try to jot down a couple thoughts before the little one wakes from her nap.
Thus far, we've gone through approximately a dozen open houses and seen 6 homes with our realtor. We haven't been wowed by anything yet, probably due to our expectations, which I feel are likely unrealistic for today's market. Yesterday at an open house, people were swarming like flies on poop, and the showing realtor said that the previous day, 7 offers had been submitted. Hearing that, our stay was not very long. It looks like with the current low mortgage rates, every FTB has come out of the woodwork. Frustrating, needless to say.
And the business is showing - so far this month, I'm estimating 15 SFH sales per day, with the average price hovering around $590000, the median at $540000.
We've also seen a mortgage broker. I was somewhat surprised at what we got pre-approved for. A little scary in fact. My wife and I aren't comfortable with the debt load we are allowed to carry, so I doubt we'll be pushing the envelope with our purchase - when it happens. I've been happy with our mortgage broker experience thus far. He didn't want to push us off a cliff, which was nice. Funny though how the approval went straight to a 35 year amortization - no talk even of anything less. It does appear that 35 years is the new norm. With it being that way, I don't see the price of entry level homes coming down much at all for many years - at least until mortgage rates rise significantly. There are simply more FTBs looking for 3 bedroom homes around $350k to $450k than there are homes available.