Time to start looking off-market?
So I decided to make the leap and purchase in North Jersey for a small MF (2-4 units) around Hudson, Essex or possibly Union. I've been using a realtor (finally settled on one that fits my style) and seeing all MLS houses. It seems to be the same story though; all the ones that are good are getting multiple offers day of or the rest are vastly overpriced. I'm using a VA loan (house hacking) and have seen properties and put in about 5 offers. I'm new to the NE market moving up from the south.
My question is, am I spinning my wheels just looking at MLS deals? From doing some reading on the NJ BP section and talking to people, it's obvious this is a highly competitive market. One where some people are willing to overpay. I know my first deal using a VA loan doesn't help my chances but I'm just getting slightly discouraged. Is it time to use other means like driving for dollars or even possibly direct mail down the road? I mentioned driving for dollars to a realtor I know longer use and he laughed at me, saying it was impossible. I appreciate the advice!
Edit: There was a lot more I could have written but I'll keep this short. I've purchased a home before but wasn't sure if I should wait it out until the fall/winter. Do MF sales get effected being out of season like SFR's do? I have no problem purchasing in the dead of winter. As far as my goals, I would like aquire 10 MF properties in the next 6 years. I still plan on keeping my W2 job.