There are reasons why I say don't buy a home now. Let me give them to you.
You can read on Realtor.com and Trulia and Zillow and numerous other websites the Five, or Eight, or Ten reasons to buy, hints to sell, techniques to get a great deal and so on. There are reasons you should not buy a home now, and I'm not just talking about the Seattle residential real estate market.
The first question you have to ask yourself, and it is one I ask every new buyer at our first interview, Do you really want to be a homeowner? It seems like that is a rhetorical question. Of course the buyer wants to buy a home. That is why he is in the office. The usual answer is, Well, yeah! And I always appreciate the enthusiasm. Then I ask, And what kind of down payment do you have saved up? And the answer tells me how motivated the buyer has been for long enough to save up whatever he has for the down.
Sometimes the answer to the first question is, My folks really want me to.
And sometimes the answer is, All of my friends are.
And even, Not really but I guess I should.
These are three good answers that should be telling you that now is not the time for you to be buying a home.
A while back I was showing homes to a couple who were renting and they wanted to see a home just down the street from where they lived. I showed them that home and we chatted, but not enough. They both had good jobs, but very little to put down. They could only look week nights, because they liked to go skiing every weekend. When at the places we looked at, he was always looking for the spot where the big flat-screen TV would go, which they didn't own yet.
Unfortunately, I wasn't listening very well. I found them just what they said they wanted and we made an offer that was accepted. At the inspection it turned out that they had changed their minds. There was so much to do and they would have to give up the ski weekends, and the TV and probably a few other activities they loved, once the winter changed into spring. So they didn't buy. They weren't ready to be homeowners quite yet.
So that is a reason not to buy a home now. You have a decent job but you're not ready to give up a few of life's pleasures to save up the down payment.
Here's another good one. You have a job and there is lots of opportunity to move up the ladder quickly, but it would mean a transfer to another city. Look in to the company transfer policy. If they won't fund the move and cover any loss you might have from the sale of your home, it might be better to wait.
Are you buying a home to flip and make a lot of money like Uncle Harry? Flipping is a job and akin to being an investor. Don't buy into this lifestyle unless you can afford to lose your investment.
It's harder these days to buy a house for very good reasons. Too many people who shouldn't have been homeowners bought when it was easy and now many of them are complaining that they were treated unfairly.
Homeownership isn't for everyone. If you're not ready to make sacrifices and save up for the down payment, don't even go there. If you don't like home maintenance, and can't afford to have every needed repair hired out, perhaps you should be a renter. When you are ready to be a homeowner, give a Realtor® a call. In Seattle call me. My number is right below.