The low inventory of the Maine real estate market continues. Sadly, a lot of buyers have given up on the possibility of getting themselves into their own home, but these tips might encourage you to get back in the game. Here are several tips and tricks to get you moved into a place that you can truly call your own and start building some equity.

#1. Be Flexible With the Location

Sure, the ideal commute to and from work would ideally be 30 minutes or less for a lot of people. The issue that a lot of homebuyers are facing with this right now is the lack of homes available in a desirable market. The lack of inventory is driving prices up to a point that many buyers simply cannot afford.

Widening your options to 40-45 minutes will open up more opportunities, as the further away you are from an in-demand market/location such as Portland, the more affordable the homes become. For example, a $500,000 home in Scarborough could be as low as $350,000 in Limington or Waterboro.

Young multiracial couple holding sold-sign

#2. Reach Out to More Than One Lender

As the market remains challenging (especially for a lot of first time homebuyers), banks are getting creative these days by coming up with new and innovative options to help people get pre-approved for loans.

For example, if you’re a first-time homebuyer, several lenders are offering the Maine Housing First-Time Home Buyer program. The benefits to this program have been instrumental in getting Mainers into their new homes. If you qualify, you could have access to down payment assistance, and competitive lower interest rates, as well as other benefits.

If you’re struggling with your credit score, you’re not alone. Lenders can also help you get back on track to get it back up in just a short time. Did you know the minimum credit score to buy a home with most lenders is only 620?

#3 "House Hacking"

Many first-time homebuyers are buying multi-unit properties. This allows you to practically live for free, or at least have the vast majority of their mortgage paid for. It's also a great way to pay off your mortgage faster and use the equity for further investments down the road if you choose to.

As a realtor, I have advised my buyers to remain patient and keep hope alive, because the reality is, first-time homebuyers are still getting into homes. Also, try not to let the interest rates scare you too much. You can always refinance when the rates go down. I always say if you find a home that you like and can afford, start building your own equity. Homes always appreciate in value over time. If you have any questions about the home-buying process, you can reach me here. I am always happy to help.

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