SALISBURY TWP., Pa. | The last year has been anything but a buyer's market, and it's especially not a first-time buyer's market.

"I have worked extra to just do what others were able to do 20, 30 years ago," commented Kelly Smith.

Smith is one of those first-time buyers, reportedly looking for a house either in the Poconos or the Lehigh Valley.

"Two fell through. I'm working on my third and hoping that works through," Smith said.

Skyrocketing home prices have first-time buyers boxed out.

They're being out bid and out-maneuvered, competing against more experienced buyers with more cash on hand, who are supposedly willing to give up inspections and appraisals.

"It's a very big risk and one I'm not willing to make," Smith said. "Experienced buyers may be able to because they know what they're looking at but me - again being on my own, doing this for the first time - I want to make sure I'm set up in a good situation."

"In Monroe County - where I'm located - if you go back to 2019 or even March 2020, the median sale price was about $140,000 in the county. The current median sale price as of May 2021 is $240,000," said Xander Weidenbaum, a real estate agent.

Xander Weidenbaum is Kelley's real estate agent, in fact. He's with Redstone Run Realty in Stroudsburg.

"Certainly, cash buyers, 20% down conventional buyers, buyers willing to have the appraisals cut, are moving to the front of the line," said Weidenbaum.

He says with enough patience, buyers can still find what they're looking for, but it's still a tough market.

"If this house isn't meant to be, it's not meant to be, but yeah, I'll keep looking," added Smith.

So, when is this going to get better? It's hard to say, according to many experts.

Inventory is a huge factor jacking up prices. It did improve slightly last month, but it's still down more then 20% from a year ago.

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