By Nicole Ford

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Buying a home can be stressful, let alone doing it in a pandemic.

“Once you do find a good house in your price range, I swear it goes like that,” said Grace Bicehouse.

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Bicehouse and her fiancé, Chris, are still searching for their first home nearly a year later.

“We are both Gen Zs, both just started our full-time careers. So it’s been hard to find that sweet spot that this is affordable and it’s in a location we need,” Bicehouse said.

They aren’t alone as the number of home buyers is up, but the supply of homes is way down.

“There is just really, really low inventory, that’s the main reason why. I saw a local model that said there were 4,000 listings the first of January and 8,300 this time last year,” said Hoddy Hanna, the chairperson of Howard Hanna Real Estate.

Affordable housing is a mission for the Biden administration, especially for first-time homebuyers. The president is proposing a $15,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit that buyers could use as a down payment.

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“If that would go into place, we would jump on it. It would make it a lot easier for us,” Bicehouse said.

Bicehouse believes that down payment assistance would help younger generations that haven’t saved as much.

“It would be that good first start to the ‘American Dream,'” Bicehouse said.

But Hanna said it would just add more buyers to the market and eliminate the affordability.

“The purpose of the $15,000 credit is to get working-class families into housing. I don’t think that’s the answer today. I think prices will inflate even more and people won’t be able to get into the house, even with that extra money,” Hanna said

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A similar tax credit was offered during the Obama administration. Hanna said it was a different time in the real estate market and there was too much inventory and the credit was used to encourage more buyers to step up.