‘It’s a frustrating time’: Out-of-state buyers look at tight housing market

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JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Both realtors and home buyers say it is a seller’s market right now, but not a buyers market.

“We are looking at a decrease, seemingly a decrease in inventory, when we look at the months of supply that we currently have,” Karen Randolph, Managing Broker at Century 21 Legacy said. “The Johnson City market is like less than one month of current inventory. What that means if listings hit the market, then what is available will be absorbed in less than a month.”

A tough market is not stopping people from trying to put down new roots in Northeast Tennessee.

“It’s not uncommon to see 11, 12 multiple offers on a property that is in a price point that is moving quickly,” Randolph explained.

In fact, some buyers are willing to buy homes without actually seeing them in person.

“They gave us a video tour the day that it was listed on the market and then we were able to offer on it,” Homebuyer Ryan Maloney said. “I mean, I could’ve probably touched and opened more things if I was here.”

They’re not the only ones.

“Before we were just kind of walking through, but now you’re the eyes and you’re the nose as the realtor, you’re everything, you’re the hands and feet,” Randolph said.

According to both PODs and U-Haul Tennessee was one of the most moved-into states in 2020.

“We work with a lot of buyers coming in from the New England states,” Randolph said. “We see folks coming from Florida, and we are seeing folks coming in from Texas.”

Maloney and his wife Lindsay moved from East Texas for his job with Eastman. They said they made one scouting trip to look at locations.

“We had driven around some neighborhoods in this school district, so we had kind of a feeling, but we actually hadn’t even driven by this neighborhood yet,” Lindsay Maloney said.

Randolph said many homes are selling for over the asking price because the competition is so fierce right now. She also said some home buyers are opting to buy in cash because it’s quicker than getting financing.

Some home buyers are having to make concessions, like buying homes that don’t completely match their requirements or are out of their specific area, according to Randolph.

The Maloneys have one piece of advice for other buyers in similar situations.

“The place you live is important, but if you settle on a place that you don’t really like just to get to the location, you’re gonna like the location just a little bit less,” Ryan said.

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