Are you waiting to buy a home until the economy is better? It’s my expectation that we won’t see big changes, although there are some forecasters who suggest that prices will continue to drop (slightly) through the fall. Interest rates are likely to stay where they are for the time being. The same pundits are suggesting that then the market will heat up, and prices rise, in the springtime. What does that tell us?
To my mind, it tells me that the market will, largely, behave just as it has been for decades now. Usually we see a slowdown or even decrease at this time of year; and we see a rise, heating up, takeoff, whatever you want to call it, in the springtime. So, if you are a buyer, now is your time, if you have a downpayment ready to go and you have a pre-approval from your bank. (Bear in mind that said pre-approval should be as recent as possible, and that a pre-approval is not the same as a commitment from a lender). The commitment is when they actually do what it says, commit in writing, to advance you the money. Your mortgage agent is your best friend in times like this. We live in an expensive city. That’s not going to change. As companies begin to “call employees home”, pressure to live in the city core will continue to rise.
If you are a seller, you may want to wait until spring to list; however just like buying, that really depends on your personal situation. If you must sell, you must. If that’s a mortgage payment situation, do talk to an independent mortgage agent, not just your bank, before making a final decision. If you have made money, but not as much as you might have made in the spring, that’s a loss of imaginary money. The only real money is to have a firm agreement of purchase in sale in hand. Will you make more in spring? Maybe. If so, though, you’ll also likely pay more for your next property.
Whether you think the right time is before the holidays, or after, this much is certain: your work is cut out for you. I don’t know a single seller who hasn’t found that there’s a lot to do when they actually decide to list their property. Small repairs, painting, freshening up, moving furniture for staging – the list goes on. I’m more than happy to do a complimentary comparative market assessment of other properties nearby, and assist with a work and staging list (or referral to stagers or trades to get the work done). As a professional REALTOR®, my work involves more than throwing a transaction up in the system and crossing my fingers for a result. Questions? Happy to have a chat. An educated client is the best client.
So, the short answer? Don’t wait if you’re ready. The answer is as it has always been: in the long run, holding your property for more than five years, prices will rise. And if it is your primary residence, you’re going to need a place to live, one way or another. The time to buy is when you are ready to buy, and you have your team ready to go.