KNWA Special Report: Cracking the NWA Housing Market

Northwest Arkansas - Supply and demand. Sounds simple. Except when the demand is thirty plus people moving into our region everyday. 

Thirty days. That's how long -- on average-- a home in Northwest Arkansas stays on the market. 

Whether you're a first time buyer or have some experience -- being one step ahead is all part of the game. 

"It's just exploding," Pea Ride resident Kacie Dzwonkiewicz. "It's just exploding at the seams. It's almost like there isn't enough room for all these people?"

"Yes, I got emotional at times," Bentonville resident Pam Tubbs said. 

"They are nervous," Matt Beiler, a realtor from Midtown Associates, said. "It is a market that they aren't used to where there is a need for homes."

"There is definately some urgency," John David Lindsey from Lindsey & Associates said. 

On average, forty four houses are sold in northwest arkansas everyday. 

"It's a sellers' market," Lindsey said. "There are deals out there but they are few and far between."

Navigating the market isn't always easy for buyers.

"We starting looking and then weren't so confident," Dzwonkiewicz said.

Kacie Dzwonkiewicz and her family moved here one month ago. 

"We found several that we liked but then within minutes of being gone someone else had already gotten them," Dzwonkiewicz said. 

The lack of available homes plus high prices pushed Dzwonkiewicz beyond what she imagined.

"We weren't finding anything in our price range that wasn't this far out or further," Dzwonkiewicz said. "It got to the point where I wasn't convinced we were going to find a house."

According to the Arvest Skyline Report in Benton County, the average home price increased by almost twenty-five thousand dollars in just two years.

"I don't think we are going to see more inventory for awhile," Lindsey said. "It keeps prices up and that is why it's a sellers market. There is more demand than there is supply."

Now Dzwonkiewicz's family lives in Pea Ridge.

It's the price and distance she had to pay. 

"It was scary because I didn't know what my family was going to do," Dzwonkiewicz said. "It was scary but we got it and now it is super exciting."

Prices and availability force many first time buyers like Dzwonkiewicz, to settle outside of Fayetteville, Rogers, Springdale, and Bentonville.

"It is all just coming together a network of communities," Beiler said. "All these rural towns, Pea Ridge, Gentry, Siloam that they weren't necessary a part of before."

One couple says the key to finding the perfect home -- experience. 

Pam and dan tubbs followed their children to northwest arkansas.

"When the grandkids came, we came," Tubbs said. 

They hoped to buy in Bentonville, a city with a vacancy rate of less than one point five percent. 

"Sometimes it does get frustrating because you think you are never going to find your forever home," Tubbs said. 

So the Tubbs started out in Lowell.

A year and a half later, they finally found what they were looking for in the city they wanted. 

"I tell Dan, now we have a home," Tubbs said. "Now I feel like I will be able to relax."

Cracking the housing system in Northwest Arkansas - like Dan and Pam did -- starts with having a plan. 

"You have to be prepared," Calah Andelman from Midtown Associates said. "Get connected with the right realtor that is knowledgable about the area. Get connected with your lender as soon as possible so when the home of your dreams does come, you can make an offer because the days on the market are limited."

Buyers have to be realistic.

"They may not be pre approved for that price point," Andelman said. "So they are falling in love with a house that they like without knowing if they can afford it, we see that happen a lot."

And move quickly. 

"If you think you will be happy in a place take it because you may not feel that way again," Dzwonkiewicz said. "Because the next place may be already bought up again." 

But many say -- the stress is all worth it in the end. 

"I really do love this area and I hope my kids do too," Dzwonkiewicz said. "I don't plan on going anywhere. I hope that it slows down but i don't see that every happening."

"It's heaven on earth," Lindsey said. 

"We like to say your win is getting that home that you are in love with," Beiler said. 

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