“If you’ve got a high credit score, the amazing low rates that are available right now can make home buying a really smart decision,” says James Duffer, of RISE REC, a Rhode Island real estate agency. “Lots of New Yorkers are looking at what they’re paying for rent, how much space they actually have, and what that money can buy elsewhere.” 

Of particular interest to New Yorkers are relatively affordable communities like Warwick, Cranston, and Hillsgrove. “While everyone loves the proximity to the ocean and the relatively short commute, right now we’re seeing a lot of interest in the larger single family homes. People want open space, indoors and out,” Duffer explained, adding that the sales of larger condo units have also been strong. Homes have been selling very fast – sometimes within hours of coming on the market.  What can you do to make sure you get the home of your dreams in the highly competitive RI market?

House Hunting Tip #1: Get that Financing Locked In – at the Lowest Rate Possible

People who are selling their homes want to do so quickly, with a minimum of stress and hassle. By preparing yourself with a mortgage pre-approval, you’re letting sellers know you’re serious and prepared to get the deal done. In a market where sellers are receiving multiple bids, pre-approved offers carry more weight with the majority of sellers and are accepted more often. 

House Hunting Tip #2: Be Clear About What You Want & Be Able to Communicate That

Every home buyer has their own lists of Must-Haves – anything about the home or property that absolutely has to be in place for a purchase to go forward – as well as Nice to Have – items that would make a home more attractive but aren’t absolutely essential – and Absolutely Nots – items that would preclude a home purchase. 

It’s a good idea to make a list of your home buying preferences so you can share this information with the real estate agent that’s helping you find your next home. “This is particularly true if you’re looking for a home with an in-law suite or in a particular school district,” Duffer explained. “The more your real estate agent understands what will make a home work for you, the easier it becomes for them to assess potential properties on your behalf quickly.”

House Hunting Tip #3: Choose a Real Estate Agent with Strong Local Connections

If you’re coming to Rhode Island from New York, there’s going to be a lot you don’t know about different communities and neighborhoods. Working with a real estate agent with strong local connections means you can get the real inside scoop about schools, local politics, traffic patterns, weather and anything else that might influence your purchasing decisions. Real estate agents with strong local area knowledge are often the first to know when a new property comes onto the market and can help you move quickly on promising homes.