Home buyers affected by home shortage
JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City home sales are the highest they've been since before the recession, and that's having an impact on buyers.
There were 1,511 homes sold last year in Jefferson City, which marked an increase for the third straight year. The rise is sales means fewer homes available.
"There's not anything new being built in this area," said Tom Shimmens, manager of Central Bank's Real Estate Department.
He said current home owners are "staying pat in their house."
"You know, not moving, because their rate is really good and they don't want to give up their good interest rate on their house," he said.
Jim Lage, owner of James Lage Construction, is building a 79-home subdivision in west Jefferson City. Turtle Creek is one of the few projects currently under construction. Lage said the Jefferson City terrain makes it expensive and difficult to build homes.
"Most of it's hilly and rocky. It takes so much to put sewer systems in because of all the rocks," Lage said. "It's a lot different here than it is in Holts Summit or Columbia to get streets in."
Most of the home buyers Lage sees are not first time buyers.
"We've got some of the younger couples, but a lot of the people we're doing are people fifty and older," he said.
With the increased demand and decreased supply of homes, Shimmens suggests prospective buyers be prepared.
"The first thing a home buyer needs to do to be ready is get prequalified: to go into your lender, talk to your lender, have your credit report run and get everything ready to go so that, when they do find a house that they like, they can go ahead and get a letter in hand and present that to the seller," Shimmens said.
He said that it is important to be patient.
"The housing shortage just has to work itself out," he said.