Q: I’ve been looking for my first home for several months now. In my price range, it seems like there are fewer and fewer good homes available. When I first started looking, there were lots of houses, although they were hard to get because so many buyers would be trying to get them. Now, it seems like the same beat-up houses that no one wants are pretty much all that there is, and every once in awhile a good one comes up and sells really fast. I’m getting frustrated, and sometimes I even think about giving up. Is this all in my head?
A: Nope. Pickings, my friend, are slim. I’m no oracle, so I can’t say I know why inventory is so gnarly, but it is. This is one of those nuanced things that you can’t tell from the data — the market update numbers in most areas show plenty of homes on the market, but the reality is that much of what is out there in the entry-level price ranges is less than desirable.