Sept. 25, 2019
Buying a home is probably the most important investment you'll make in your lifetime. Make sure the market, your finances, and your goals are aligned so you can make the best real estate purchase possible.
This is probably the most common question we get from clients when we begin the real estate search process. We all want to know if now is really a good time to buy a home, but the question doesn't have one simple answer. While there are websites that will tell you that you can save a few bucks by buying a home during a certain season, month, or even day of the week, there are more individual, intimate factors to we need to take into account. For every home buyer, just as with every home seller, there are different circumstances, motivations, goals, and financial capabilities that are critical to determining if now is the right time for you to purchase a home. That being said, here are the main things to consider so you can answer the question for yourself.
Treasure Coast Real Estate Market Conditions
When most people ask the question of whether now is a good time to buy real estate, they are usually asking about the health and stability of the real estate market. For example, right now the Treasure Coast has seen a slight rise in median sales prices and those shopping for properties want to make sure they aren't overpaying. On the flip side, interest rates are at record lows, which means that many buyers are saving tens of thousands of dollars compared to other more recent rates. You'd also want to take into the costs of not buying a home (i.e. renting or risking that the market continues to rise).
One thing to consider is that as long as you determine when you sell your home, we can work together to ensure you list your home for sale when the market is primed for you to make the most money possible. When homes are sold for less than the owner owes on the home, it is usually due to the owner being forced to sell because of financial constraints, family illness, job move, etc. Therefore, you want to start by ensuring you are comfortable with your budget and the monthly liability of owning a home. From there, it's up to us to negotiate the best deal possible for your house and when you decide to sell, we can gauge when the time is right for you to net the most money possible.
Financial Situation of the Home Buyer
In between your goals and the conditions of the real estate market is your financial standing. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is the first step, ensuring that you are comfortable with the costs and monthly liabilities of what you will spend. From there, we would gauge what your options will be based on your criteria. The perfect home might mean saving up for another six months or having to spend some time repairing a credit score to ensure you're getting the best deal possible. You might also feel more comfortable settling for a more affordable home that doesn't fit all of your criteria. Once you have a budget or a roadmap to get there, you have options, expectations, and flexibility. Having the power and knowledge to make these decisions is the first step to deciding if you want to buy a home or wait until a more appropriate time.
How Buying Real Estate Impacts Personal Goals
Remember that if you are forced to sell your home at a certain point in time, there is a risk that the market might not be in your favor. If you see yourself moving for a job or to be closer to family in the near future, buying a home might not be the best decision. If you don't plan to live in a home for at least a couple of years, the costs of purchasing the property could be more costly than renting. If your goal is to build a rental portfolio and keep the home as an investment after you move out, that is an avenue that could make this short-term situation profitable.
If you don't plan on moving in the near future, I would ask you to imagine the perfect home that fits your budget, checks all of the boxes for you and your family, one that you will grow old in and never sell. When is the right time to buy this home? The answer is any time it comes available. There are certain things - comfort, security, and pride of ownership - that the market simply cannot put a price on for us. These more abstract and emotional aspects are what make this such a different and personal decision for every home buyer.
In closing, there is no single answer to the question "When is the right time to buy a home?" Each situation is different, and your answer will always start with the goals of you and your family. From there, we talk about how the market is acting and what your financial capabilities will allow. If you'd like to discuss this topic further, leave us a comment below, or call us at any time. We are always at your complete disposal for any thoughts, ideas, or questions regarding Treasure Coast real estate.