The Buffalo News published a fantastic photo blog with 50 things every WNYer should do in their lifetime. How many of the fifty have you done?
There are many people out there who debated purchasing a home over the course of the last year, but ultimately did not. Whatever their reasons were for delaying, let’s look at whether the decision to wait to buy made sense.
What happened in 2014?
The 30 year fixed rate on January 2, 2014 was 4.53% as reported by Freddie Mac. Looking at the chart below, your monthly mortgage payment with principal and interest for a $250,000 home would have been $1,271.17.
Even though interest rates have dropped below 4% and ended 2014 at 3.87%, home prices appreciated by 4.8 percent over the same time according to the Home Price Expectation Survey.
So that same home appreciated by $12,000 and now costs $262,000. The most recentreport by Freddie Mac reports the average 30-year fixed rate is currently 3.73%.
Many may say, “See waiting a year made total sense, I’m saving $60 a month.” And they’d be right, over the course of the year they saved $729.36.
But what they haven’t realized, is that as the price of the home they purchased went up by $12,000, even if they just put a down payment of 5%, they had to come up with anadditional $600 at the start of the process. So really they’ve only saved $129.36 in a year.
Is a savings of $11 a month really worth holding off on pursuing a home to call your own after you weigh all the benefits that come along with that?
- Building equity you can borrow against in the future
- Having a safe, comfortable environment that fits your family’s needs
- Having control over your space
- Tax benefits
- And so many more…
The experts are predicting that homes will appreciate by another 4% and interest rateswill increase by a full percentage point by the end of 2015. If you are in a position to be able to buy a home now before these predictions become reality, contact a local real estate professional and start the process.
Are you thinking of selling your house? Are you dreading having to deal with strangers walking through the house? Are you concerned about getting the paperwork correct? Hiring a professional real estate agent can take away most of the challenges of selling. A great agent is always worth more than the commission they charge just like a great doctor or great accountant.
You want to deal with one of the best agents in your marketplace. To do this, you must be able to distinguish the average agent from the great one.
Here are the top 5 demands to make of your Real Estate Agent when selling your house:
1. Tell the truth about the price
Too many agents just take the listing at any price and then try to the ‘work the seller’ for a price correction later. Demand that the agent prove to you that they have a belief in the price they are suggesting. Make them show you their plan to sell the house at that price – TWICE! Every house in today’s market must be sold two times – first to a buyer and then to the bank.
The second sale may be more difficult than the first. The residential appraisal process has gotten tougher. Surveys show that there was a challenge with the appraisal on almost 20% of all residential real estate transactions. It has become more difficult to get the banks to agree on the contract price. A red flag should be raised if your agent is not discussing this with you at the time of the listing.
2. Understand the timetable with which your family is dealing
You will be moving your family to a new home. Whether the move revolves around the start of a new school year or the start of a new job, you will be trying to put the move to a plan.
This can be very emotionally draining. Demand from your agent an appreciation for the timetables you are setting. Your agent cannot pick the exact date of your move, but they should exert any influence they can, to make it work.
3. Remove as many of the challenges as possible
It is imperative that your agent knows how to handle the challenges that will arise. An agent’s ability to negotiate is critical in this market.
Remember: If you have an agent who was weak negotiating with you on the parts of the listing contract that were most important to them and their family (commission, length, etc.), don’t expect them to turn into a super hero when they are negotiating for you and your family with the buyer.
4. Help with the relocation
If you haven’t yet picked your new home, make sure the agent is capable and willing to help you. The coordination of the move is crucial. You don’t want to be without a roof over your head the night of the closing. Likewise, you don’t want to end up paying two housing expenses (whether it is rent or mortgage). You should, in most cases, be able to close on your current home and immediately move into your new residence.
5. Get the house SOLD!
There is a reason you are putting yourself and your family through the process of moving.
You are moving on with your life in some way. The reason is important or you wouldn’t be dealing with the headaches and challenges that come along with selling. Do not allow your agent to forget these motivations. Constantly remind them that selling the house is why you hired them. Make sure that they don’t worry about your feelings more than they worry about your family. If they discover something needs to be done to attain your goal (i.e. price correction, repair, removing clutter), insist they have the courage to inform you.
There’s lots to do in WNY this weekend…
January 23: Snowflake Disco, Salvatore’s Italian Gardens
January 23-25: Motown, the Musical, Shea’s
January 23-25: Disney on Ice presents Princesses and Heroes, First Niagara Center
January 23-25: Greater Niagara Fishing & Outdoor Expo, Niagara Falls Conference Center
January 24: Cabin Fever Reliever, Buffalo Zoo
January 24: Night of the Wild Family Sleepover, Tift Nature Preserve
January 24: NYS Golden Gloves Boxing, Tralf Music Hall
January 24-25: Happy Birthday Mozart!, Kleinhans Music Hall
If you are thinking about purchasing a home right now, you are surely getting a lot of advice. Though your friends and family have your best interests at heart, they may not be fully aware of your needs and what is currently happening in real estate. Let’s look at whether or not now is actually a good time for you to buy a home.
There are three questions you should ask before purchasing in today’s market:
1. Why am I buying a home in the first place?
This truly is the most important question to answer. Forget the finances for a minute. Why did you even begin to consider purchasing a home? For most, the reason has nothing to do with finances. A study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University reveals that the four major reasons people buy a home have nothing to do with money:
- A good place to raise children and for them to get a good education
- A place where you and your family feel safe
- More space for you and your family
- Control of the space
What non-financial benefits will you and your family derive from owning a home? The answer to that question should be the biggest reason you decide to purchase or not.
2. Where are home values headed?
When looking at future housing values, Home Price Expectation Survey provides a fair assessment. Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over one hundred economists, real estate experts and investment & market strategists about where prices are headed over the next five years. They then average the projections of all 100+ experts into a single number.
Here is what the experts projected in the latest survey:
- Home values will appreciate by 4% in 2015.
- The cumulative appreciation will be 23.5% by 2019.
- Even the experts making up the most bearish quartile of the survey still are projecting a cumulative appreciation of over 15.1% by 2019.
3. Where are mortgage interest rates headed?
A buyer must be concerned about more than just prices. The ‘long term cost’ of a home can be dramatically impacted by an increase in mortgage rates.
The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the National Association of Realtors, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have all projected that mortgage interest rates will increase by approximately one full percentage over the next twelve months.
Only you and your family can know for certain the right time to purchase a home. Answering these questions will help you make that decision.