It’s peak home buying season in Clark County

Leslie Girard

As you’ve likely heard, the Clark County and Vancouver-area residential real estate market is red hot. School is out and the summer is in full swing, which has many individuals thinking about buying a home.

The good news is more inventory is coming on the market in all price ranges. This hasn’t been the case in recent months, often leaving buyers high and dry with no homes to purchase or in a bidding war for the houses that are on the market.

The bad news is the inventory is still not enough to meet the demand, meaning many properties are still subject to bidding wars or closing over asking price.

Move-up buyers on the rise

The housing market is at its strongest since the Great Recession. Many current homeowners are finally seeing the value of their home reach or exceed 2007 values and are thinking about dipping their toes back in the market. These move-up buyers are finally feeling comfortable enough with their financial position to make the transition to a “better for them” home and into a conventional home loan. The segment of potential homeowners this most benefits – millennials and renters looking for their first home.

More for millennials

Traditionally, first-time homebuyers are the first to step in when move-up buyers put their houses on the market. With the Great Recession, the lack of move-up buyers made it hard for today’s millennials to make the transition to homeownership because there was simply no inventory on the market.

But now that more inventory is on the market, rents continuing to rise and interest levels still at all-time lows, many millennials are weighing the benefits of renting versus owning and coming out on the side of purchasing a new home.

Be prepared

It doesn’t matter if you are a first-time buyer or a third-time buyer, it’s important to be prepared before you jump into the housing market. Do your homework ahead of time to know how much house you can afford and stick to a comfortable number for your budget. It’s easy to get caught up in a bidding war and let passions for a home you love blow out your budget.

What’s next?

As the natural flow of buy-up buyers moving out of their homes to be replaced with millennials and other first-time homebuyers increases, the hot market will continue through 2016. We’re still not seeing enough inventory on the market to call this the “new normal” for our region. Until that inventory comes on the market, it will still be a busy time to buy a home in Clark County.

This Tip of the Week was written by Leslie Girard, branch manager and senior loan officer at Evergreen Home Loans in Vancouver. Evergreen Home Loans is a full-service direct lender with regional offices throughout the Western United States. For more info, visit