As a mortgage banker, I'm working with a 1st time buyer right now who's at the 150k mark as well, looking to be in the areas that you are, unfortunately she cannot find what she's needing, which is a single family home in these neighborhoods without hitting $200k or over, and that's for atleast 2bd/1bath homes, that need almost nothing.
Right now she's had to scale back the search and go townhome, which a bunch of them are just out of reach, otherwise settle for the 2 bdrm condos. Many times, that's what you get for location and convenience, unfortunately.
Pretty much most properties are hold their values in this market. You may not necessarily see the inflation in value that you'd like in the timing you're expecting, but you're not going to see depreciation, in these parts of town.
Commonsense says, if that's what you can afford and that's all that's available, are multi-dwelling unit-type condos, apartments, and select small town homes, then take the plunge and go for it. otherwise keep waiting.....
Otherwise you can try to search for HUD homes (deeply discounted homes), but too many cash investors these days outbidding and jumping on all the deals faster than the first time buyer could ever act. In a sense, it's unfair that we're seeing it this way.
The biggest problem right now, is that we're in one of the lowest inventory periods - actual numbers of homes for sale and are turning over - than we've seen in several years. Some of the biggest factors to blame are the interest rates - as everything took a point to point and a quarter hit, across the board for all loan types. That has directly correlated to the amounts of people being able to do things financially, had upped the cost of the loans, and now people's money cannot go further as it once did 8+ months ago. The result, more people are holding on, and not selling, and people buying today can't get what they could dollar wise back then. It's that simple.
Single family homes these days (that aren't significantly over priced or needing massive renovations) sit on the market sometimes for 30 days or much less, or slightly more. Almost All of them getting multiple bids. My last buyer had to bid on 11 homes over a 3 month period before finally having one accepted - and each bid WAS for the asking/sales price. It wasn't the realtor's fault at all. just too many people want the same homes. It's a very competitive market right now. What's also hurting is that there are not many builders building new homes either. Denver is continuing to grow, less people selling, the rental market is completely maxed out. I don't mean to be debbie downer, but these are the realties of where we stand right now. IT COULD change in the months to come, but right now, you have to move and act quick and decisively when you see something that seem right.
What's also very important to consider, speed of closing and your money source being able to fund you that loan - this is not talked about as much as it should be, because a good portion of some realtors don't quite seem to get it as being a valid factor.
This is becoming increasingly more prevelant in today's market where some home owners want out as soon as possible. Not always the highest bidder anymore, like it used to be.
One of the reason why I am a loan officer for a mortgage company and not a traditional bank or a broker, is that I can get my loans funded in 1/3rd less time or in half the time, on occasion. Thus borrowers going with mortgage companies often have a huge advantage, if capiltalized on correctly, because these institutions often have a more cohesive infrastructure to fund a loan quickly - that means having the in-house operations to get it done quicker.
I've seen these borrowers/buyers get their offers honored over those who went to their bank, and have a few examples in my past where I have proven this to be the case. This is because some banks take up to 30-45 days to close on their loans, and some sellers don't want to wait 2-3 extra weeks to get out.
Not mention, the level of competency and skill on your Realtor, along with the relationship with the lender who is funding the loan is key. Work with a good team who know the work flow and habits of each, this way you'll maximize your ability to get you offer in the best position for consideration.
This is what I found to be true recently.
If you'd like more advice and important considerations like this, give me a call anytime.
720 362 2600 I'm happy to help any time.