Still renting?

Posted September 27, 2021 in Real Estate Trends

Scott Hogan, Clark County WA real estate agent

Several of my columns have focused on the lack of homes available to buy in Clark County, particularly in the price category that includes entry-level, step-down (empty-nester) and investor-owned homes as opposed to more-expensive properties. Many renters who would love to buy a home have been unable to, as they compete with other motivated buyers. Meanwhile, the Washington Center for Real Estate Research reports that the apartment vacancy rate in Clark County is below 1% (0.8% to be exact), with average rents nearly $1500/month when all types of apartments (studios up to 3 bedrooms) are considered.

What’s this mean for renters? It means that you’ll continue to pay increasing rents as demand for rental properties is expected to stay strong—unless you find a way to buy a home or condo and lock in your costs at today’s prices. The real estate market has been strong for 10+ year but I’m not aware of anyone predicting that the value of starter homes is going to go down. In other words, don’t wait to buy if you can afford one today.

If you’re looking, you better have your team lined up and ready to jump. Get some advice from one of the many capable, local mortgage lenders about what price home you qualify for and whether to pay off consumer debts in preparation for making an offer. Don’t be one of those people who find out late that their dream home sold yesterday— hire a Realtor to be on the lookout for that dream home and counsel you on how you’re going to beat out others by pouncing on a new listing with a strong offer and loan preapproval letter.

The best part of working in title and escrow is helping people realize the American dream of homeownership—it’s the best, proven way to build financial security AND give our community the stability of owner-occupied homes where pride of ownership is apparent. Simply put, most people treat their neighborhood better when they feel they have a financial stake in its success.

Since 1980, Clark County Title has cared deeply for our community. We’re local—not a big, national corporation—and take pride in the professionalism of our staff, the depth of experience and our willingness to assist. In a competitive real estate market, we strive to provide the very best service possible to Realtors, lenders, buyers and sellers. We work as a team with other professionals to help you achieve your goals.

Let us be a part of your real estate team! Summer may be over, but it’s still a great season for real estate in Clark County. Please call our friendly, professional staff—we’re ready to serve you and happy to help!