Spring is a hot time for home buyers and sellers, and the spring of 2017 is bringing some interesting factors to the mix as the market’s clearly showing the recession to be over. If you’re thinking of hitting the markets and trying your hand at buying a home, here are some tips that will help you do it well.
1. Be Prepared for Low Inventory
For the last eight quarters, inventory of available homes has dropped. This means the market is incredibly competitive, and fewer homes are hitting the market than in past years. This can hurt first-time buyers, as more luxury or larger homes are available than the smaller first-time homes. This means sellers who find a home that works for them need to be prepared to move.
2. Fast-Moving Market
With fewer homes than sellers on the market, homes are selling incredibly fast. This means there’s no time for hesitation or looking at just one more when you find a home you love. You must have your finances ready and make an offer, or someone else will scoop it up. Also, this means you can’t be a stickler in negotiations. Sellers know the next interested buyer is about to walk through their doors, and they’re not going to negotiate.
3. Interest Rates May Rise
Interest rates are starting to rise a bit, but don’t panic. This doesn’t mean that you’re not going to be able to afford a house. Rates are still at historic lows, well below 5 percent, so you still have quite a bit of affordability when it comes to your mortgage. However, when your ready to buy, it may be wise to lock in a rate, because the trend is an upward one this spring.
4. Saving for a Down Payment May Not Be Advisable
The old adage that you need a 20 percent down payment? Forget about it. If it’s going to take you a couple of years to save, you’re going to face higher prices and a higher interest rate. Saving could make your home more expensive, even if buying now means you have to pay PMI for a few years.
This spring market is a unique one after many years of a buyer-centric market, but an experienced agent will know how to guide you. Find the right agent, and you’ll be set to make a move when the home you love hits the market.