Some people are asking themselves whether it’s a smart move to buy a house right now or if they should wait it out. The thing is, the answer isn’t as simple as some might assume. No matter if you’re a first-time home buyer or an experienced buyer, there are a few factors you should consider before making this decision.
Know Your Local Real Estate Market
Real estate is about supply and demand, and it’s so important that you learn about your local real estate market. If you’re looking to buy a home here in Kitsap County, Washington, you can watch our “Market Update” video below, which includes stats for Kitsap County’s first quarter. One key fact to note: in this year’s first quarter, the home sale price was $599,000. That’s a slight decrease of 1.2% when comparing home sale prices in 2022’s first quarter. Watch the full video to learn more, and if you have questions, feel free to reach out to one of our local real estate agents.
Advice from a Local Real Estate Expert
If you’d love some advice from a local real estate expert, we’ve got you covered. Nancy Mackleit, Windermere Silverdale’s Branch Manager, says, “Over the years, I’ve heard from clients who’ve said they wish they would have purchased back when prices were lower. It’s like a broken record. We have almost twice the inventory as we had last year at this time. Though we are still seeing multiple offers on some properties, it is not like last year. Buyers have more of a selection. We are seeing more house sale contingencies, and buyers aren’t under so much pressure to compete with other buyers. Have the interest rates changed? Yes, the days of historically low-interest rates are over. Buyers and sellers need to adjust to the current interest rates. The rates may be higher, but the days of multiple offers on a property, escalating to prices to way above the list price, have definitely slowed down compared to last year.”
Another question buyers often ask in times like these is: what if interest rates go down? Nancy says, “Get the house now when it isn’t so competitive and refinance if this happens. There are always sellers who need to sell, and there are always buyers who need to buy. Historically, real estate picks up in spring and summer. Talk to your agent about the best strategy going into the current market. Your agent will be the best to guide you.”
Mortgage Rate Information, Predictions, and Misconceptions
Whether you’re leaning toward buying now or waiting a while, you’ll want to get pre-approved for a mortgage before going to open houses. You can shop around and get quotes from lenders, but carefully examine each lender’s proposal and terms. Most homebuyers choose a 15-year or 30-year conventional mortgage. There are also first-time homebuyer programs, VA loans, and other programs.
As Windermere’s Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner, says, “Education is everything.” So educate yourself now before diving into the home-buying process. Check out Matthew Gardner’s latest video, where he discusses mortgage rate predictions and misconceptions.
Examine Your Financial Situation & Consider Home Buying Costs
It’s important to thoroughly examine your finances and factor in all the upfront, associated costs with buying a home. First-time home buyers often focus on the down payment, but there are also closing fees, and oftentimes repairs pop up unless the home is in immaculate condition.
If you’re thinking of buying an investment property, you’ll need to really be in the know about your local rental market. Additionally, will you have the time to manage a property or will you hire a property manager? Will that property be able to really generate passive income for you in the near future or will it need a lot of work first? Furthermore, it’s important to think about how long you plan to own the property to avoid capital gains taxes if you’re thinking you may sell it within two years.
If you’ve decided you’re ready to buy a home, check out our home buying tips to learn more.