BOB UPTON, Realtor®, CBR's Blog
Winter season is gone; homebuyers are warming up to get the best house available. It is not out of place for several questions or thought to run through their mind. Questions like - is 2019 a good year to buy a home?
The good news is that 2019 is a critical year for housing. Below are some reasons to consider this year a good year to buy a home:
Mortgage rate decreased at the end of 2018
One of the reasons why we think the year 2018 as a good year for housing the reduction of mortgage rate towards the end of 2018. You will notice that the rate increased during the first half of the previous year then it decreased towards the end of the year. Now, the mean rate for a thirty-year fixed mortgage in the first week of January was 4.51 percent.
Some home buyers took advantage of this reduction in mortgage rates by purchasing during the early months of 2019. It is a wise decision to invest at this time because the price could increase as we move further into the year.
Prevalence of price reduction among sellers
Another convincing reason why 2019 is a good year for housing is that prevalence of price reduction among home sellers. Years back, home sellers took advantage of the competition among buyers. The case is different now; more homes on the market means the overabundance of buyers does not exist any longer. Therefore, 2019 is expected to be a year of significant price reduction in the real estate market.
There are more negotiating leverages for home buyers in 2019
A lot of home buyers have more negotiating leverage in 2019. There is a change taking place in many real estate markets all over the country. Sellers are looking for ways to attract buyers because of lack of patronage. It is evident that the real estate market is on the decline, and there are data available to bolster that.
Home buyers in 2019 can make use of this opportunity; this period is the best for housing as they could have more negotiating leverage when compared with buyers who purchased several years back.
The unemployment rate is low
The reduction in employment is one of the factors that boost the financial means of buyers and make them confident enough to buy a house. A stable source of income will enable buyers to stay faithful to their monthly mortgage payment. The unemployment rate of the United States of America was down to about 3.7% as of November 2018 with the addition of more than 155,000 jobs in that month.
For more information about the buyers market in your local area, talk to your real estate agent for the most recent numbers.
One of the most famous books around, with over 18 million copies in print, and that holds the title as the longest running "New York Times" bestseller ever, is What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Now in its fifth edition, this pregnancy bible walks parents through what to expect during the nine months leading up to and including delivery.
Buying a home is nearly as momentous as having a baby, and yet, most potential buyers don’t really know what to expect when closing on their home purchase. In fact, knowing what to expect is even more urgent because closing happens in a much shorter time-frame, in as little as 12 days in some cases.
So, what should you expect?
The one part those home-buying reality shows leave out is the closing. So, to many buyers, it remains a mystery until they're in the middle of it. Even real estate professionals get nervous about closing. It's the moment where anything can go wrong, and everything can go right! It begins with mountains of papers to sign and ends with a handful of keys in exchange for a lot of money. So just what is closing and what should you expect?
“Closing” is short for closing the deal or completing the transaction. During closing several significant things happen: Title of your home transfers from the seller to the buyer; the proceeds of the sale (everything remaining after any seller’s fees are paid) distribute to the seller; and if financing the home, the buyer signs the mortgage note, pays fees, insurances, taxes, and real estate commissions. A lot of things happen at closing, so give yourself plenty of time to understand each aspect of the process if it’s your first time around.
At the time of closing, your agent and your loan officer will inform you about what you need to bring to the meeting. Bring identification, so have your driver’s license or passport on hand. You’ll need a cashier’s check for your down payment and the closing costs that appear on your HUD-1 Settlement Statement. This three-page document outlines exactly what your obligations are at closing and in the future. In addition, small items crop up at closing that might need additional funds (furniture you requested the seller leave behind, extra propane or heating oil you're buying directly from the seller) and last-minute requests.
You'll be signing lots of papers. These legal documents obligate you for many years to come, so make sure you understand them. Also, make certain your name is spelled correctly on every page and every addendum. If you're purchasing with a partner or spouse, make sure the legal designation is as you want it. Changing it later may be difficult.
Recognize that while you may have a close estimate of closing costs, you will not know the exact amount until the day of closing, so round up a bit and have extra funds on hand. Sometimes you can swing a deal for the seller to pay all closing costs, but you’ll still be liable for pro-rated taxes, association dues, insurance, and other buyer obligations.
Don't be surprised by fees. Ask your agent to go over all the charges with you so that you know which ones you pay for and which ones the seller pays for.
Homeowners can sometimes overlook things in the excitement to buy a property. When purchasing a property, there are a few red flags that you should be aware of:
1. Fresh paint on some walls
Some homeowners sometimes use a fresh paint job to hide problems with the house. If you find out some walls are freshly painted while others are not, ask the homeowner or the real estate agent some questions. Compare the answers of the seller with the agent to see if they match. Then compare the information with the seller's disclosure beforehand about any issues or past repairs with the property. If you suspect that the home contains some home renovations that you are not aware of underneath the fresh paint, then you should call an experienced general contractor to help you take a look.
2. Title issues
A home buyer or lender will carry out a title search while the home is in escrow. You should pay attention to the preliminary title report and check if there are liens, restrictions, encumbrances and anything else that could restrict how you can use the property. When doing due diligence during the escrow period, make sure you understand your rights as a buyer on the property and any third parties included in the title. As a rule of thumb, the longer a title report is, the more likely there's something there that you should know. A preliminary title report is an important document that you should go through. If you do not understand the terms on the title document, ask for help from your real estate agent or a lawyer.
3. Cheap flips
Today's real estate market is filled with people who are looking to make money from flipping homes cheaply. Be wary to avoid becoming a victim of a quick flip. Many houses are products of extensive renovations. Sometimes the contractors use substandard building materials that may have problems despite their shiny looks. As a buyer, you should check the kind of materials used in the home you want to buy. If you don’t know much about construction, hire a general contractor to help you inspect the home extensively.
Pay attention to the seller’s disclosures to identify any red flags that may be there and if they will cause you problems in the future. Consult with a real estate agent or lawyer to help you avoid issues with your home purchase.
Looking to buy a house in the near future? If your answer is "Yes," you may want to start reviewing housing market data. That way, you can gain the insights that you need to make data-driven decisions throughout the homebuying journey.
Ultimately, there are many housing market data that you'll want to assess as you prepare to buy a house, such as:
1. Mortgage Interest Rates
Mortgage interest rates fluctuate constantly. As such, if mortgage interest rates are low, you may want to move quickly to capitalize on them.
Meeting with banks and credit unions generally is a great idea if you plan to buy a house. These financial institutions can keep you up to date about mortgage interest rates and help you get pre-approved for a mortgage. Then, once you have a mortgage in hand, you'll be ready to pursue your dream house.
2. Average Amount of Time That a House Stays on the Real Estate Market
Differentiating between a buyer's market and a seller's market often can be difficult. Fortunately, if you examine the average amount of time that houses are listed in your city or town, you may be able to determine whether you're preparing to enter a buyer's or seller's market.
In a buyer's market, houses may be listed for many weeks or months before they sell. Also, these houses may be sold below their initial asking prices.
Comparatively, in a seller's market, homes may be available for only days before they sell. Homes that are available in a seller's market may be sold at or above their initial asking prices as well.
3. Prices of Houses in Various Cities and Towns
If you're open to living in a variety of cities or towns, you'll want to evaluate the prices of houses in many areas. That way, you can narrow your house search accordingly.
Oftentimes, homes in big cities are more expensive than those in small towns. On the other hand, big cities may provide quick, easy access to a broad range of attractions and landmarks that you simply won't find in small towns.
If you are ready to check out housing market data and begin a home search, it pays to hire a real estate agent too. In fact, with a real estate agent at your side, you should have no trouble enjoying a quick, seamless homebuying experience.
A real estate agent is happy to provide you with a wealth of housing market data. Plus, a real estate agent will teach you the ins and outs of buying a house. He or she also will keep you up to date about new houses as they become available and negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf to ensure you can acquire a terrific house at a fair price.
When it comes to buying a house, it helps to be informed. If you assess the aforementioned data, you can obtain comprehensive real estate market insights to help you throughout the homebuying journey.
When you sell your home, there’s a cost associated with getting a return on your investment. Certain mistakes that many sellers make when deciding to sell their home can actually cost thousands of dollars in expenses. Before you decide to sell, read on to see what you can do to avoid unnecessary consequences.
Hire A Professional To Sell Your Home
Many people think that they can sell their home on their own. It’s the best practice to hire a professional to sell your home. Even in a seller’s market, a realtor can help you to get the best price on the sale of your home.
Remove Your Things Before The Sale Of The Home
Your clutter will undoubtedly affect the value of your home. People can’t see what their life would be like in your home if there’s too many things in the way. While one man’s trash sometimes is another man’s treasure, it certainly isn’t in the case of selling your home.
Don’t Leave An Empty House For The Showing
While too much clutter is bad, it does make a difference for the home to actually be lived in. If possible, don’t leave a completely empty home. Buyers need something to help them visualize what life will be like living in the home. Home searchers want to see how functional the home will be for them.
Don’t Neglect Repairs
You should take care of any repairs that need to be made before your home goes on the market. Any repairs that you don’t make will likely be discovered during the home inspection. Before you even list your home, make sure that you take care of any major issues that are around your home like a leaky roof or cracked tile. This will save you a major headache later, because you won’t need to scramble to fix things after the home inspection. Buyers will also be more impressed with the home if there’s little to fix.
Don’t Overprice Or Underprice Your Home
If you don’t properly price your home, it could lead to a few major issues. You may be left wondering if you could have made more money on your home. On the flip side, your home could sit on the market for a long time, leaving buyers wondering what could be wrong with your property as to why it’s not selling.
Be Sure To Stage The Home
People will purchase a home based on what they see and how they feel. If your on-the-market home doesn’t look polished, there will be less interest in it. You don’t need to go overboard and make your home look like something out of a magazine, just make sure it’s clean. Things like dirty laundry on the floor, trash laying around, and papers on the tables are big turn offs for buyers.
With a little planning, the sale of your home should be a smooth and profitable one.