As I waved goodbye to my daughter and the school bus pulled away, I was almost envious for a minute of the new beginning this school year represents for her. New teachers, new clothes, notebooks waiting to be filled. I remember my first day of eighth grade sitting in Mr. V’s Civics class as he reviewed the syllabus and then wasted no time teaching us the Latin phrase, Tabula Rasa which means blank slate. I remember very little about the rest of the day, but those few minutes with Mr. V are permanently etched in my memory and I am reminded of them each fall as a new school year begins.
Walking up the driveway towards the house, I thought about the potential for a blank slate in other areas of life. I have been working with buyers over the past 6 months who have become discouraged by the lack of inventory and the competition for homes. What if everyone who feels defeated by the summer market used the change of season as a fresh start?
Pretend for a minute that you are back in school. As a student of real estate, start a new home search as if you have never done so before. If you have been looking in the same towns and keep coming up empty, add a new zip code or two to your search. (I am proof that there is life outside of your comfort zip codes. I live in a town I had never heard of before I moved here and it is because my husband encouraged me to search beyond my “comfort codes”).
If you have been searching for a single family home, add condos to the list and maybe multi-families, too. If you have been limiting your search to a specific style of home, relax those parameters as well. Consider expanding your price range slightly to include homes that are priced a little lower and slightly higher than your original search. If your price range is $350,000-$450,000, create a search for homes priced from 0-$459,000 or $465,000. Search engines don’t know that you might like the house priced at $349,000, so try to be as inclusive as possible.
Next, update your preapproval. Even a slight change in interest rates can impact on your purchase power. While you are updating your preapproval, ask about other loan programs. Mortgages are not one size fits all. From MassHousing to First time Homebuyer programs, rehab and construction loans, there are so many options and taking some time to ask questions may open up new opportunities you didn’t know existed.
Maya Angelou said, “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated.” A good Realtor will help you overcome defeat and become your greatest asset throughout your search acting as a tutor and mentor. Need help? Contact me at 617-803-5334 or to find out how working with me as an exclusive buyer’s or listing agent will help you create a blank slate on which to write your story in your new home.

This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.