If you’ve been following local, regional, and national news you’ll know that – in most parts of the country – real estate is definitely a “seller’s market”.
And that’s definitely the case here in the Pacific Northwest, and in the markets where I’m a recognized expert – Kent, Covington and surrounding communities.
Given that, you may be wondering if it even makes sense to buy a home right now. If the market favors sellers, you’re thinking, maybe I’ll just sit tight for now and wait for the market to shift in my favor.
From my point of view, for many, it makes the most sense to buy a home in now, in spite of the challenges faced by buyers in the current market. Let me share why – and take note: You’ll want to shop for homes well below the top amount you qualify for because you’ll likely need a large “increase” amount to compete with others. But It may be worth It considering the following:
First, as I shared in my recent post, the Seattle area is on tap to have the second highest rate of home appreciation in the nation in 2021 (9.7%). If that comes to pass, buyers who sit out now will be forced to pay almost 10% more for a similar home next year. Few buyers are able to save an additional 10% of value in the course of a year, so buyers who decide to hold off are losing ground.
Interest rate rises
No one knows what will happen with interest rates, but most experts are predicting some increases to interest rates this year. Smart buyers will understand that increased interest rates mean their money will go less far. If they qualified for a $500,000 home at 3% and rates rise to 4%, they may only qualify for $450,000. And with home prices rising, that’s a double whammy to your pocketbook.
Remote work needs
Is working from home your new normal? It is for many individuals – and it’s a trend likely to continue in the future. With more employers allowing (or even encouraging) remote workers, buyers are finding they can live farther from the office. They’re also learning that they need dedicated home office spaces not available in their current homes.
At-home learning spaces
Just as parents may need home offices, families with children may find their current homes don’t support the needs of their children for remote learning. Often, existing homes simply can’t accommodate home learning needs.
Homeowners who are spending more time at home as a reaction to COVID-19 are also finding that they want to spend more time outside. Individuals and families who previously were more indoor-focused are now looking for homes that offer the opportunity for more exterior square footage.
The hassle factor
I had a friend who used to joke that her college-aged son would rather purchase new clothes than do his laundry. Along those lines. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently published their 2020 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. In that report, 44% of homebuyers purchased a new home in order to avoid renovation – or to avoid problems with plumbing or electricity. So, if that sounds like you, you’re not alone. An awful lot of buyers simply want the benefits of amenities (or the avoidance of big repair bills) and simply don’t want to live through prolonged renovations.
If you’re not sure whether now is the time to buy, let’s talk! My team and I are experts at helping you figure out the best time to make your best move.
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