To rent or to buy: what used to be a given – that you would buy a home as soon as you could afford to – has become an agonizing conundrum for many a would-be homebuyer, in the face of the housing market’s big bust and super-slow recovery. Low prices seem to create a wide-open window of opportunity, but they also create the concern that prices will keep falling after closing. And that Catch-22 has hundreds of thousands of buyers-to-be stuck on the fence. Fortunately, there are handful of life, mortgage and local market signals which indicate that the time *might* be right to hop – scratch that – leap off the fence and into homeownership: 1) Mortgage rates are going up. Interest rates have also been low for the last four years running, causing buyers to believe that this window of opportunity won’t be closing anytime soon. Mortgage rates on the rise are one signal that now might be the peak of home affordability, and the peak of the opportunity to buy. 2) Rents are going up. Rental rates in many areas are also on the rise – in fact, the foreclosure crisis has acted created additional demand on many markets’ rental housing inventory in several different ways. First, former homeowners who lost homes to foreclosure now need to rent; as well, buyers in foreclosure hot spots have been hesitant to buy, many electing to stay renters far beyond when they would have otherwise. On top of all that, super-tight lending guidelines have stopped even some who would like to buy homes from doing so. As a result, rental homes are in high demand – and rents are rising. Rising rents at a time when the prices of homes for sale are low and, in some places, falling? One more signal that now might just be the time to buy 3) Your income and career are stable for the foreseeable future. The smartest homebuyers look to their lives, not just the market, for signals about when the time is right to buy. Homebuying is a long, long-term endeavor these days. The goal is to be able to commit to staying in the same place, geographically-speaking, for 7 to 10 years before you buy (more in a foreclosure-riddled market, less in an area that has been more recession-resistant). Most lenders will require that you’ve been at your job – or in the same general field of work – for at least two years before you buy. But that’s the bare minimum – beyond that, you don’t want to be barely beginning a career in which you think you may need to move sooner than that, nor do you want to buy when you’re advanced in your career, but in an industry which is dying or downsizing the workforce in your region (unless you have a strong Plan B). 4) You can reasonably predict the home you’ll need in the years to come. Since successful homeownership requires that you be ready to be in the place for a good number of years, best practice is not just to buy a home with the space and number of rooms you need right now – rather, you should aim to buy the home you’ll need 5, 7 or even 10 years down the road (to the best of your ability to predict, of course). You might be a newlywed with no kids now, but you plan to have them in a few years. Or maybe you’re a newly minted empty nester right now, but can project that you’ll want to retire - and might not want to climb two flights of stairs to get to and from your bedroom - 10 years down the road. Before you buy, you should be in a position to buy the home that meets your future needs – not just your current ones; and that requires that you have a reasonable idea of your life vision and plan for the future.If you’re able to predict – and afford, at today’s prices – a home with the space, amenity and geographic location you’ll need 7 to 10 years from now, you might be in a good phase of life to get off the rent vs. buy fence.
I hope you have found this information helpful. It's a great time to buy real estate so give me a call and let's start your home search today! Also, if you are thinking about selling, a complimentary analysis of your home’s value and what you can net if you sold your home “now”, contact me today! Thanks for your time and I look forward to assisting you with your real estate needs.
Author:Deborah Boyd Phone: 940-368-1306 Dated: September 22nd 2014 Views: 549 About Deborah: My family has lived in North Texas for generations so I personally know the residential areas of Fri...
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"Corey was our realtor for the purchase of our first ever home! He made the process so much easier and I can honestly say that as first time home buyers we wouldn’t have been able to do it without him! He helped us find a lender that walked us through everything in the mortgage process and spent extra time helping us understand how everything works. Corey had a plan and was able to help us see about 25 houses in two days and help us find the home of our dreams on only the second day of searching! Corey and my lender went above and beyond to make sure that we were able to close in about 4 weeks. We couldn’t believe that we were already closing and moving in on August 2nd when we had only really begun the search process in the middle of July! Corey took care of multiple things around the house for us during the move in process, including finding us great deals on contractors to help make our home beautiful. He even stuck around and watched my house for a couple of hours while there was a painter working and cable/internet being installed so I wouldn’t have to leave my house alone! Corey still checks in with us on a weekly basis and continues to help us add value to our home. We are incredibly happy that we already consider ourselves at home in our new house. We owe all of the thanks in the world to Corey and the team he assembled for putting us in the position that we are in. We urge anyone who is a homebuyer, especially a first time homebuyer, to reach out to Corey to represent them as their realtor. We know he will continue to have similar successes with other families because of his dedication to his client’s needs and wants. Thank you Corey for all you have done and continue to do for our family!"