My clients often ask me, “is it a good time to buy / sell?” My reply is usually the same, “It depends on your needs.”
Buying and selling homes is a major life decision first, and an investment second. Most often my advice to my clients is to follow their plans and do what they need to do in order to live where they want to be and in a home which meets their need.
Usually this is the case. But things have been different the past few years and the decision making of home buying and selling different. I found myself advising many clients against selling homes a couple years ago – unless a major move was necessary and holding on to the property impossible.
As for buyers, I’ve never stopped encouraging home ownership. Some may say that as a real estate agent that is self-serving advice, but I stand by it, even today. Here is why.
The recent “Allstate-National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll: The American Dream” revealed that nearly 90% homeowners say they would buy their same homes again.
Even those home owners who’s home lost value agree! Still, almost nine of ten of them would still make the same home ownership decision, and buy the same home.
Buying a home is a long-term investment, and most people really love their homes. The process of choosing a home can be sufficiently elaborate that you are almost assured a home with which you’ll be happy for a long time. The alternative is renting, which is money you are guaranteed to never see again. People understand this, even in this challenging real estate market.
This Spring, my advice to buyers remains a firm BUY! In fact, it is a golden opportunity for buyers this season. Between the low home prices and the very low mortgage rates, your affordability as a buyer goes way up.
Chief Economist of the National Association of Realtors, Lawrence Yun, says, “Housing affordability conditions have been at record levels and the economy has been improving.” He does remain cautious, though as the housing market has some problems.
Between the tight credit and strict appraisals, you may run into some bumps along the road of a home purchase. So start your home purchase well ahead of your moving schedule (if you have one), in case you have to cancel a transaction and look for a new property. Furthermore, have you pre-approval ready from your mortgage lender so you know how much you can afford and avoid disappointments later.
Go confidently in the direction of home ownership. You’ll love it!