If you’ve been waiting to buy, 2012 might be your time.
Home values took a universal dive in 2008, but for most markets, it looks like the worst is behind us. While certain metropolitan areas continued to bleed in 2011 (some cities in Southern California saw a dip of more than 20 percent from 2010), others stabilized, and quite a few saw modest improvements. The national unemployment rate fell to 8.3 percent in January, interest rates remain low, market fluctuations have smoothed, and we may be turning a corner toward a slow-but-persistent recovery.
Still, even those declining unemployment numbers are near historical highs, and the financial crisis in Europe continues to loom, and no one can ever call the market bottom with complete accuracy. So if you’ve been on the fence, will 2012 be your year to buy?
If you’re a first-time homebuyer with money in the bank for a down payment, you may never see a market like this again. Home prices are low. Yes, they might go lower in the short term, but with prices starting an apparent upswing in many markets, it’s a risk many buyers are willing to take. If you’re looking for a quick flip, you might want to look in a different industry. The days of rapid profits in real estate are largely behind us. But if you plan to stay in a primary residence for many years, conditions look rosy. In addition to low interest rates, today’s market offers unparalleled choice, from unoccupied new construction to foreclosures or existing homes. An inventory glut is weighing down prices, so if you don’t have to sell a house to buy one, this could be your time. Talk with a knowledgable REALTOR© to get more information on your specific market.
If you’re looking to move from your current home, the question is a bit more complicated. The house you want is inexpensive, but so is the house you’re looking to sell. If your home category has retained its value better than they type of home you’re considering buying, you might be in a good position to make a move. Likewise, if all else is equal, you can save money by buying when all prices are lowered.
If nether of these apply, and you have some savings on hand, consider renting out your current home while you buy a new one. If you can cover most of your mortgage and manage to pay for your new home, you can build equity in two properties while waiting for the market to bring you a payday.
Posted by Realty Executives, February 2012