Buyers face house hunting hurdles as bidding wars become the norm

housing during pandemic

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - If you are in the market for a new home, you might run into some house hunting hurdles.

Nicole Freeman is looking to buy her first home.

“I am just in a good spot financially to buy my first home and make that investment and kind of start looking toward my future,” Freeman said.

Freeman said she is pretty flexible and does not mind putting in some extra work to remodel an older home.

One thing she will not compromise on is the size of the yard. She wants a big space for her dog, Keeper to play.

“He is super active and even though he is small, he runs around chases his ball so much, he needs the space,” Freeman said.

Freeman started looking at homes a couple of weeks ago, and she has quickly learned it is a dog-eat-dog world when it comes to the Tucson housing market.

“Interest rates are really low. Since they are so low, there are a lot of first-time homebuyers out there,” Freeman said.

Damion Alexander, a realtor with Long Realty, said a lot of buyers are making cash offers, putting in escalation clauses and even making offers on homes they have not seen in person.

We caught up with Alexander just as he was placing a “long gone” sign on an east side home.

“Like many homes in the Tucson market, this home is sold,” he said.

Alexander said the home sold the same day it hit the market.

“It had five offers,” Alexander said. “Since this summer, we have sold 20 homes on our team. Fifty percent have had multiple offers. Most of those are selling the first day or two on the market."

Alexander said the pandemic has contributed to the high demand as people flee large cities for more affordable markets like Tucson.

“A lot of this is because people are coming from L.A. or New York and they can work remotely,” Alexander said.

“We just hit the perfect storm as far as there is no inventory, very little coming, low-interest rates and the market is going crazy because of it,” Alexander said.

Freeman said it can be a little discouraging.

“Before I started looking, I was expecting a house by the end of the year, and that is still my goal,” Freeman said.

However, she said she is preparing herself to still be house hunting after December.

Alexander advises home buyers to be patient and proactive.

“You will get a house, you just have to have everything ready,” Alexander said.

For now, Freeman and Keeper will just have to keep sniffing around for the perfect home.

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