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The Cost of Delaying Homeownership

Is Now a Good Time to Buy a House

and Why Waiting Could Hurt You

So you're thinking about buying a house and find yourself scrolling Zillow late one night instead of sleeping because these houses are “just too cute”, no judge, we’ve all done it! As you browse listings in your area you keep coming to the same conclusion, “These prices are just too high” or “This market is just crazy, how does anybody buy a house right now?” I Totally get it! As a real estate agent, I work with buyers every day who feel or have felt this way before. I think it may surprise you though, that most people whom I speak with, who believe they cannot afford a house, actually have what it takes right now to get into the market, or with a little bit of creativity, we can make the changes necessary to get them where they want to be!

House At Night

There is an old real estate saying that goes something like, “You date the rate, and you marry the home.” This saying is very applicable to our current market here in 2024. Due to low supply, unchecked inflation, and a variety of other reasons, interest rates have gone up from where they were 4 years ago. In 2020, we saw a brief time when rates dipped just below 3%. This means that as rates have climbed up and stabilized around 7% over the last year, some people have decided they don’t want to buy right now and are going to wait for rates to come back down to 3% before they do. This is a good place to remember our little saying that we date the rate and marry the house (price). When we look back 3 years down the road from a home purchase we can only talk about what price was paid for the house, but we cannot go back and change it. What we can change over time as markets adjust and fluctuate is the interest rate on our mortgage. There is always an option to refinance down the road!

From a logical perspective, if the majority of people have adopted the mindset that they are going to wait until rates come down to 3% before they consider buying, they will not only miss out on the potential for years of natural equity that the home will acquire, but they also miss out on getting the home at a decent price. It makes sense, right? If everybody is waiting till rates drop to 3%, then what happens when they do? That entire majority will suddenly want to jump back into the market and buy houses which will increase the demand exponentially for houses, creating a massive uptick in home prices and making it more difficult for you as a buyer to win and find that perfect place you want!

So, what do we do? The first thing I recommend is to get connected to a local reputable lender. Someone who you can speak face-to-face or over the phone with. This real, relationship-driven communication always gives my buyer clients peace of mind knowing a real person is working to make things happen for them. These local lenders can help get creative with whatever your situation is to make sure that you get every opportunity available to help you meet your goals, whether that’s first-time homebuying, investing, or building new construction. Check out my list of trusted local lenders for more information and to see what they can do to serve you! Connecting with a local lender will also help you as a buyer know and understand what you can and can’t afford when looking by running estimated monthly payments based on the houses we’re seeing to get an idea of it makes sense for monthly budget!

Thirdly, working with a local lender helps you win simply by being local. When sellers are reviewing offers, sometimes knowing that a buyer is coming in with a local lender who they know and trust can be the difference maker between winning and losing out to other similar offers.

The other thing to do is to get connected to a reputable agent who is going to work with you and provide the best communication available to help keep you informed throughout the whole process. Someone who cares for you and doesn’t just view you as a transaction and a payday. Good agents provide clear straightforward advice to help guide you through the emotional process because they care about YOU, and understand that buying or selling a home is often the biggest transaction people make in their life.

Want to know more about the real estate process or have questions that we can help with? Feel free to reach out, we are always here to help provide clarity!

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