Aspiring Homeowners, Is Now the Time to Buy?

According to the 2019 profile of home buyers and sellers, now is as good a time as any to invest in owning a home

floor mat that says home with a heart

By

Genna Edwards

on

Jan 21, 2021

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If you’ve dreamed of owning a home, the question is always on your mind- is now the time to buy? Should I wait another couple months, another year? Are my finances good enough to take the plunge? Seventy eight percent  of non-home owners think that owning a home is a good financial decision. If you count yourself in that 78%, why not go for it? Median household income in 2019 rose again from 2018- people have more money, which means a stronger real estate economy. Read on for 2019’s real estate stats to decide whether or not home buying is right for you right now.

Looking to buy a home? Here’s what buyers were like in 2019.

Home Buyer Profile

What was your average home buyer like last year? How do you fit in with these numbers?

Your average home buyer was forty seven years old last year. This may indicate that most people need more time in their careers in order to afford to buy a house- a few decades of making money and you can be set just like the other forty seven year olds. Of course, there are outliers here, as there would be anywhere, so don’t worry if you’re not forty seven. As long as you’re financially stable and plan to be into the foreseeable future, you’re solid.

How many buyers last year bought their first property? The numbers indicate that 33% of home buyers last year were first-time buyers. Which means, naturally, that 67% of buyers were not buying for the first time. Maybe the buyers were now onto their second or third properties. Either way, 33% is not a bad statistic when it comes to people fresh in the home buying game. That means that over a quarter of people who bought houses last year bought them for the first time- the market for home buyers is open, and seems to be thriving pretty well.

In terms of how buyers acquired their properties, 89% of them bought their home with the help of an agent or broker. That number’s meaning is pretty straight forward- having an agent or broker is the smarter move, especially when buying a house for the first time. The 11% of people who didn’t use an agent or broker were likely on their third or fourth, or even fifth, properties. If you’re new to the game of real estate, it’s safer to go along the ride with a specialist who knows what they’re doing. Agents and brokers can help you find the best properties and deals- after all, it is their job.

What were the reasons people bought homes last year? According to research, 29% of buyers’ main reason to buy a home was because they wanted to own their own home. For first-time home buyers, this is a very likely reason. The other 71% may be attributed to those who work with multiple properties, or those who are trying to expand how much land they own. Buying a house because you want to own your own house is as good a reason as any to become a homeowner, and we have a feeling one of your main reasons to buy a house for the first time may be in line with that. Who doesn’t want to own their own home? It’s the great American dream.

Considering buyer profiles from last year, many people are taking advantage of the current real estate market to make their dreams a reality. Almost a third of buyers bought homes simply because they wanted to own their own homes- that’s a great sign for you, as a buyer.

Looking to sell your home? Here’s what sellers were like last year.

Home Seller Profile

Who was your average home seller last year?

First off, age- your average home seller last year was 57, ten years older than the average home buyers at 47. This could mean a lot of things, but likely means the most obvious. The older you are, the longer you’ve been working and advancing in your career, the more money you have. The more money you have, the more properties you can own. Home sellers last year were obviously financially stable enough to be able to sell their homes and move, or sell their properties to new younger buyers.

Exactly like the home buyers, 89% of the sellers worked with a specialist to sell their home, in this case a real estate agent. Trying to sell a home on your own is no easy task, so the other 11% may have been veterans to the real estate game. If you’re a first time seller, definitely don’t do it alone. Real estate agents can help you find the best new buyers and get you the best bang for your buck.

A solid 34% of sellers offered incentives to attract buyers. Cookies in the kitchen and sandwiches on the side table is one thing- these incentives were likely more like special deals, perhaps inclusions of furniture, perhaps cutting a percentage of the listing price. The real estate market, after all, is still a market- you have plenty of competition. To properly sell a house to a buyer is hard. You have to make sure they can envision themselves in the space, and also that it works financially for them. That’s likely why incentives were important- cutting off a bit of financial strain here and there helps attract buyers. But for the other 66% of sellers, they didn’t bother with incentives, which means that if you don’t want to, you don’t have to. The majority would be on your side there. It truly depends on the socioeconomic levels and demographics of who’s coming to look at your house. Certain people want incentives, and others don’t care either way.

In terms of homes sold in 2019, the final sales price of the house was a median of 99% of the final listing price. That wording may seem odd at first, so let us explain. If, out of all houses sold, the middle of all those sale prices was one percent off of the listing price, that means your listing price is very likely to sell. This points to good jobs done on the part of real estate agents and sellers- the price people marketed their house at last year was likely spot on, as the middle of all those sales was practically sold at final listing price. Negotiations are common in real estate- final listing price may even differ greatly from the first listing price. But the numbers here simply mean that real estate agents are calculating their final listing prices wisely, as buyers are buying.

Realtors can be a great source of information in your buying or selling process.

Should You Work with a Realtor?

Here are the experiences that home buyers and sellers had working with realtors in 2019

For home buyers, having a realtor by their side to help them find the right home was the most important thing. A majority of buyers would recommend a realtor to their friends, as for the majority of buyers, having a realtor helped them find their perfect place. When choosing an agent to work with, 52% of buyers stated their reasoning for wanting one was primarily for help finding the right home. Buyers trust that real estate agents can help them- and the results back this up! A whopping 90% of buyers would use their agent again or even recommend their agent to a friend. Talk about good numbers! In terms of where people found their agents, 41% of buyers hired an agent that was referred to them by a friend, neighbor, or relative. Knowing people, it turns out, is quite important.

Sellers have a different take on working with real estate agents, but a no less positive one. Three-fourths, or 75%, of sellers only had to contact one agent before finding that perfect agent to work with to sell their home. If you’re a seller, that means, the hunt for an agent is easy. Good agents are everywhere. 66% of sellers found their agent through referral, much like the buyers. A friend, neighbor, or relative recommended a specific realtor. A great 70% of sellers said they would recommend their agents to others for future services. Not bad, agents!

How do you find your forever home?

Finding that Perfect Home

How exactly did all these buyers find the perfect home in a sea of thousands and thousands of homes?

Taking that first step towards buying a home is huge. In a seemingly endless swarm of new houses on the market, how do you decide where to start? Forty four percent of recent home buyers looked online for for-sale properties as their first step in the home buying process. That makes sense- technology online makes it easier than ever to customize and specify what type of house you’re looking for, and then press search.

What about, perhaps, asking your lovely real estate agent? Eighty seven percent of buyers stated that their real estate agent was a great, useful source of information. Another win for the agents!

You might be asking, though, what does the typical timeline of buying a house look like? With all the options out there, will it take me forever? Actually, the average time in which buyers went through all the steps to buy a house is quite short. Buyers, on average, looked for houses for 10 weeks and looked at a median of 9 homes. That’s not too bad, we think- buying takes time, but it certainly doesn’t have to take forever, especially with the right real estate agent by your side.

Many Americans want their foot in the door of the real estate market. What do these aspiring buyers think about the process?

Aspiring Buyer Statistics

What did aspiring buyers think about the real estate process? What are their thoughts on buying a home?

Aspiring buyers had lots of thoughts when it comes to what owning a house means, and how easy they think it would be to become one of many American home owners. Over half of non-buyers, 57%, said it would be slightly difficult given their current financial situation to become a homeowner. That’s a valid worry, and a reality for many Americans. Buying a home is incredibly costly, even before you factor in the upkeep required to take care of your home. Buying isn’t for everyone, and the decision to buy can’t be taken lightly. It’s one of the biggest financial decisions you may ever make.

Although many non-buyers believe it to be hard to own a home given the economy and their circumstances, 78% of non-buyers think buying a home is a good financial decision. The American Dream may factor into this thought, as 75% of non-buyers say that buying a home and becoming a homeowner is part of their American Dream. Doesn’t everyone want to own the land and property they live in? It makes total sense that many buyers are attracted to this ideal.

Not all home buyers are alike. Not all sellers are alike! When it comes to buying a home, it’s an extremely personal decision that only you and your family can make. There are so many factors that come into play that you have to consider. While statistics can help you decide, of course there’s more to your story. Buying a home cannot be taken lightly, but if you do it, it can become a great source of pride for you and your family.

May 13, 2020
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