To Buy or Not to Buy
Should you buy now or wait a year?
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The questions that plague every wanna-be homeowner: If I wait, will it hurt my chances of finding a good home that's within my means? How can I find out whether the market will be better or worse within a year? HER, REALTORS® knows that the housing market can be unpredictable. Let us work through these two tough questions by providing some information and tips about your house-hunting needs.
Before You Decide
Making a long-term home-buying decision can be difficult: You can take steps to make sure you feel more confident in the decision that you make to buy a house or to wait.
1. Find a Realtor
Find an agent/office near you today! Make sure that you pick an agent that you can trust because you will need to be able to trust them to safeguard your financial interests. You also want to find an agent that you know you can get along with in the long-term. Chances are that you will be working with this agent for at least 6 months before you choose to purchase. You want to inform your agent of the types of houses you want to look at and about your finances in order to not waste valuable time. They need to know your priorities so that you don’t waste time going to properties that don’t match up with your needs and wants.
2. Get Pre-Approved
If you have your eye set on a certain home, and you’re leaning toward buying it right away, it’s important to get pre-approved. Not only will this make your offer more attractive to sellers, it will help you determine just how much you can really afford. “Pre-approval” for a mortgage means that a lender has told you how much you can borrow, the loan programs you qualify for, even the interest rate you qualify for. The assessment is based on your credit score, income, employment history, and credit card debt. In general, you will receive a statement from your lender that states all of these factors. The unfortunate part about this is that the statement is usually only valid for 60 to 90 days. However, if you have it, you can rest assured that you’ll be approved for a loan if the seller of your dream home accepts your offer.
3. Establish a Price Limit
This is where your pre-approval comes in handy. The most important reason to get pre-approved is so that you get an accurate idea of how much you can afford. Then, you can narrow your home search and ensure that you look at houses that are in your price range.
What Should You Do?
Opportunities come and go. The buyer that jumps at the house first with the highest offer usually gets their way. Nevertheless, you don’t have to be this type of person to find the right home for you. Patience, financial stability, and familiarity with the housing market are rewarded in the home-buying experience as well. You must understand the factors that you’re up against before deciding to wait or to buy: low inventory, rising prices and mortgages, and some pretty tough competition. If you’ve done your part by finding a real estate agent, getting a lender, and completing the pre-approval process, then you’re on the right track for finding a house that’s right for you. And if, in addition to these things, you’re financially stable, you’ll probably want to buy now. While there’s no clear-cut answer to this question, waiting to better prepare yourself for what you’re up against in terms of the market can definitely benefit you in the long-run.
What will the market be like in a year’s time?
The National Association of Realtors revealed that the first three months of 2017 marked the speediest quarterly sales pace of existing homes in a decade. Don’t be freaked out too much though! Despite homebuyers experiencing a time of increasing home values in recent years, the prices fell dramatically during The Great Recession. The market will always go up and down. It just usually happens slower than homebuyers want it to. House price trends are expected to increase this year into next but at a more steady pace. On a general, more positive note, according to the experts, home prices will never be higher than the rates and rises of inflation and incomes.
The home-buying experience is never easy, and it’s different for everyone, but making sure that you’re taking the necessary steps and are conducting the right amount of research are crucial for you to be able to one day step into your dream house and call it your home.