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Tight Supply a Challenge for Home Buyers

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Buying a home might be more difficult than ever right now.

We're currently experiencing a sellers market. It's good news if you're trying to sell a home, but not so good if you're looking to buy a new one.

"We have gradually seen a decrease in inventory over the last three years," said Sue Hansen, a realtor with First Weber.

Hansen says the number of available homes in central Wisconsin this year is shocking.

"Five years ago, we would have had anywhere from 8 to 11 hundred homes on the market," she said. "This morning…there are 71 available homes without offers."

This makes things difficult for buyers, especially when it comes to pricing.

According to the Wisconsin Realtors Association, the median price of a home in central Wisconsin in February was $159,000. That's $20,000 more than the same time last year.

"As a buyer you're going to be paying the most for a house right now as opposed to it being a buyers market where maybe homes are on the market for a long time," said Andrea Sasman, a mortgage lender at Peoples State Bank.

This can also be difficult when trying to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Sasman says rates are very low right now, but that doesn't help when there are no homes to buy.

"The preapproval letter is good for 90 days with us," she said. "There's lots of people that I work with where their preapproval letter will expire three or four times."

So what can you do? Sasman says the best thing is just to be patient and wait for things to get better.

"At some point in time it has to change over, where there will be more homes on the market," she said.

Hansen also says the best way to stay on top of things is to enlist a realtor who can keep a close eye on new listings on the market.