If buying a home is on your agenda this year, you’ll need to be ready to do things a little differently when it comes to your search. Buyers will be choosing from slimmer options across the country compared to previous years, with inventories down 16 percent from last year and 38 percent from two years ago.

While these numbers may sound depressing, there’s no reason to give up hope! The Equifax Finance Blog shares important tips for today’s homebuyer in the new article, “

Buying a Home in an Inventory Drought.” The process starts with first identifying your needs: location, size and amenities. Before you start looking, make a list of must-haves and would-be-nice-to-haves. Remember that a home is the biggest and one of the most important purchases of your lifetime.

From there, follow these house hunting tips:

  • Go to open houses – open houses give you the opportunity not only to see homes, but also to meet new agents. Getting to befriend agents in the area in which you are looking can give you first notice when new homes come onto market.
  • Expand your scope – If you can add some territory to your house-hunting locations and be a little more flexible with location, it can pay off big. The wider your search, the more houses you will be able to consider.
  • Don’t get turned off by a poorly created listing – you have to remember that the photos and words on a listing give a general sense of the home rather than a full detail. Take the time to actually go see homes that are borderline or only have a few photos. You may find yourself pleasantly surprised!

You can find more on the Equifax Finance Blog, along with tips for retirement and how to understand your

different credit scores. Check it out today!

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