Many eager first-time homebuyers were sidelined by the worldwide economic recession. It’s hard to commit to any decision – much less such a major one – when you read almost daily that the market is falling or downward pressure continues. Who needs any kind of pressure?
So it’s not surprising that, after such an exceptionally lengthy period of down or nearly flat economic expansion, the optimism that drives sales of all kind has been slow to reappear. But for the home buying public, and especially for first-timers, that hesitation could prove costly if, as it now seems likely, the market is entering its recovery phase. So just what does a ‘recovering market’ mean for today’s buyers?
The first sign will be a wakeup call: buyers will no longer find a market filled with purely bargain homes. Already, foreclosures and short sales are selling above the asking price in some areas, with multiple and all-cash offers beginning to reappear. Veteran observers in a few areas report that it even eerily begins to feel like the old pre-crash days. Published reports remain mixed, but as with the stock market, by the time you are reading headlines confirming a certain trend (i.e. “the bottom”), you’ve already missed it.
This is not to say that home buying is already a missed opportunity in the Howard County marketplace. ‘Market recovery’ is a phrase that only signifies that movement and prices are on their way up. For today’s potential buyers, it does mean that it is time to get serious about investigating what is being offered — what’s out there.
Financing remains an issue. Home buying candidates hoping to take advantage of the historically cheap loan programs may still be able to do so, but fees and insurance costs for the smaller down payment packages are on the rise. In any case, first-timers who encounter bank caution due to their inexperience with home buying will do well to seek help from an experienced real estate professional.
Every recovery is different, and the good news now is the presence of both the historically low interest rates and the survival – for the moment – of some bargain listing prices. Together they mean that regardless of any local resident’s buyer status, most can wind up paying less for more.
By seeking expert advice, it’s possible to take advantage of the benefits our changing market has created. With the assistance of a great agent, you can arm yourself with that kind of market knowledge. Interested in learning what Weichert can do for you during the home buying process in Howard County? Call us; 410-381-3331 or 410-381-3336!