Buying a home is one of most people’s largest lifetime financial decision and what to consider when buying a home is a place to begin your decision process.
Prices Will Continue to Rise
CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index reports that home prices have appreciated by 7.2% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 4.7% over the next year.
The bottom in home prices has come and gone. Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting no longer makes sense.
Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to Increase
Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have remained around 4%. Most experts predict that they will begin to rise over the next 12 months. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac & the National Association of Realtors are in unison, projecting that rates will increase by this time next year.
An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. A year from now, your housing expense will increase if a mortgage is necessary to buy your next home
There are some renters who have not yet purchased a home because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that, unless you are living with your parents rent-free, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or your landlord’s.
As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ that allows you to have equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee your landlord is the person with that equity.
Are you ready to put your housing cost to work for you
It’s Time to Move On with Your Life
The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise.
But what if they weren’t? Would you wait?
Look at the actual reason you are buying and decide if it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, you want your family to be safer or you just want to have control over renovations, maybe now is the time to buy.
BUYING IS NOW 37.7% CHEAPER THAN RENTING IN THE US
The results of the latest Rent vs. Buy Report from Trulia show that homeownership remains cheaper than renting with a traditional 30-year fixed rate mortgage in the 100 largest metro areas in the United States.
The updated numbers actually show that the range is an average of 17.4% less expensive in Honolulu (HI), all the way up to 53.2% less expensive in Miami & West Palm Beach (FL), and 37.7% nationwide!
Other interesting findings in the report include:
- Interest rates have remained low and, even though home prices have appreciated around the country, they haven’t greatly outpaced rental appreciation.
- Nationally, rates would have to reach 9.1%, a 145% increase over today’s average of 3.7%, for renting to be cheaper than buying. Rates haven’t been that high since January of 1995, according to Freddie Mac.
Consider Cost, not just Price
As a seller, you will be most concerned about ‘short term price’ – where home values are headed over the next six months. As a buyer, however, you must not be concerned about price, but instead about the ‘long term cost’ of the home.
The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and Freddie Mac all project that mortgage interest rates will increase by this time next year. According to CoreLogic’s most recent Home Price Index Report, home prices will appreciate by 4.7% over the next 12 months.
What Does This Mean as a Buyer?
If home prices appreciate by the 4.7% predicted by CoreLogic over the next twelve months, here is a simple demonstration of the impact an increase in interest rate would have on the mortgage payment of a home selling for approximately $250,000 today:
Know what you want vs. what you need
In this day and age of being able to shop for anything anywhere, it is really important to know what you’re looking for when you start your home search.
If you’ve been thinking about buying a home of your own for some time now, you’ve probably come up with a list of things that you’d LOVE to have in your new home. Many new homebuyers fantasize about the amenities that they see on television or Pinterest, and start looking at the countless homes listed for sale with rose-colored glasses.
Do you really need that farmhouse sink in the kitchen in order to be happy with your home choice? Would a two-car garage be a convenience or a necessity? Could the man cave of your dreams be a future renovation project instead of a make or break now?
The first step in your home buying process should be to get pre-approved for your mortgage. This allows you to know your budget before you fall in love with a home that is way outside of it.
The next step is to list all the features of a home that you would like & to qualify them as follows:
- ‘Must-Haves’– if this property does not have these items, then it shouldn’t even be considered. (ex: distance from work or family, number of bedrooms/bathrooms)
- ‘Should-Haves’– if the property hits all of the ‘must-haves’ and some of the ‘should-haves,’ it stays in contention, but does not needto have all of these features.
- ‘Absolute Wish List’– if we find a property in our budget that has all of the ‘must-haves,’ most of the ‘should-haves,’ and ANY of these, it’s the winner!
Reasons Homeownership is a good Financial Investment
According to a report by Trulia, “buying is cheaper than renting in 100 of the largest metro areas by an average of 37.7%.” That may have some thinking about buying a home instead of signing another lease extension, but does that make sense from a financial perspective?
In the report, Ralph McLaughlin, Trulia’s Chief Economist explains:
“Owning a home is one of the most common ways households build long-term
wealth, as it acts like a forced savings account. Instead of paying your landlord,
you can pay yourself in the long run through paying down a mortgage on a house.”
The report listed 5 reasons why owning a home makes financial sense:
- Mortgage payments can be fixed while rents go up.
- Equity in your home can be a financial resource later.
- You can build wealth without paying capital gains.
- A mortgage can act as a forced savings account.
• Overall, homeowners can enjoy greater wealth growth than renters.
Bottom Line: What to Consider When Buying a Home
Buying a home makes sense socially and financially.
CONTACT ME TO TALK MORE
I’m sure you have questions and concerns…
I would love to talk with you more about what you read here, and help you on the path to buying a home. I look forward to hearing from you!