If you’re trying to decide if it’s a good time to buy a house, you’re probably receiving plenty of advice. Your family and friends are looking out for your interests, but they may not be aware of your needs and the current state of the housing market.
Asking yourself three important questions can help. You can use these questions to determine if now is the right time to buy a new home or become a first-time homeowner in today’s real estate market.
Are you really ready to buy? 3 big questions with simple answers
Start here first:
1. Why do I want to buy a house?
This is the biggest question for you to answer. Forget about the financials for now. What made you think about purchasing a house? For most potential homebuyers, the “why” isn’t related to money.
To give an example, a recent Realtor.com study showed that “73 percent said buying in a good school district was ‘important’ in their search.”
This recent report lines up with another Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University study that confirmed the four main reasons Americans want to buy.* (Hint: These reasons, again, have nothing to do with money.)
Here’s what they said. Buying a home offers:
- A good place to raise kids and give them a good education.
- A space for you and your family to feel safe.
- More room for you and your family.
- More control over your own space.
So, what does homeownership mean to you? What non-financial benefits of owning a home are you hoping to gain? Voicing the answer to this question will be your primary motivator, or reason for you to buy a house.
2. Are home values going up or down?
The National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) latest Existing Home Sales Report shows that $249,500 was the median price for homes sold in February 2019. This sale price increased 3.6 percent from the previous year. This is also the 84th month in a row with year-over-year price gains.
After analyzing year-over-year home prices, CoreLogic also predicts a housing price increase of 4.6 percent. Meaning, waiting to buy a $250,000 home could cost you an extra $11,500 by next year.
Easy like a Sunday morning. (The kind of Sunday morning where you can find out how much house you can afford while eating breakfast in bed.)
3. Where are mortgage rates heading?
As a homebuyer, it helps to consider more than just housing prices. Even a slight uptick in mortgage interest rates can have a serious impact on your long-term cost of owning a house.
Forecasts from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, NAR, and the MBA (Mortgage Bankers Association) all indicate that mortgage rates are likely to increase within the next year, from a current average of 4.43 to 4.58 percent:
You and your family are the only ones who know for sure if it’s the right time to buy a house. But getting answers to these questions can help you make an educated decision you’ll be happy with.
Because your time and money are a valuable thing to waste
When you decide you’re ready to buy, time is of the essence, and we have the mortgage programs to help you move quickly. Many of our borrowers use our 10-Day Close coupled with LoanFly’s new self-generated prequalification letters to spend less time house-hunting and save money too. You could come out on top in a multi-offer situation by showing a seller you’re prepared to close — often without having the highest bid. Contact a local loan officer to learn how.
*”3 Questions You Need To Ask Before Buying A Home.” Keeping Current Matters, April 2019.
For educational purposes only. Please contact your qualified professional for specific guidance.
Sources are deemed reliable but not guaranteed.