In today's new real estate market the time for hesitation is past. Now is the time for action. To take advantage of the new market, the reality is clear-don't wait:
- If you are ready to move to a home where you would rather live;
- If you can afford a conventional fixed-rate loan;
- If you plan to live there or own it for several years; now is the right time to move or buy a first home, second home or rental.
Waiting rarely pays off for many reasons.
Homes are selling Fort Myers and in southwest Florida. Yes, there is more inventory. Yes, time on market is longer. Yes, loan requirements are tighter. Yes, there are more short sales, bank-owned foreclosures and rental bargains that pull average prices lower. But look beyond national headlines. Our local housing market is not a "bust," "collapse," "meltdown," or "crash" of zero sales. In reality, good properties-high-end, middle-market, even low-end-are selling (ask us for the latest area sales figures), especially with more sellers being realistic about their asking prices to compete. Waiting simply misses out on these good values.
Demand is increasing because today's market has attracted "new buyers," such as pent-up "should-have-moved" locals who put off moving in recent years; boomers with equity looking for second homes; international buyers who see properties priced to sell and enjoy favorable exchange rates; first-timers with parent and grandparent support; resized new construction that's smaller, lower-priced; long-term investors with a goal to "buy low, sell high" years from now. These buyers are buying now.
Even though rates are around historic lows, demand is what makes home prices stabilize, demand makes sellers less willing to negotiate and demand pushes interest rates higher. Higher interest rates eliminate savings from lower prices. For example, if you bought a $218,900 home 12 months ago at 5.5%, your monthly payment (principal and interest) would be $994 (assume 20% down payment, 30-year fixed-rate loan). If you bought the same home today at $197,010 (assume a 10% price drop) at 6% your monthly payment would be $994. In addition, temporary increases of jumbo loan limits to $729,750 (highest-price markets) expire December 31, 2008. By waiting, any savings from a lower price may be offset by higher financing costs.
No one can pinpoint the "bottom of the market"-except historians with hindsight. Why? Housing markets don't "bottom." Instead, after a period of price declines, leading indicators gradually correct: Transaction volumes increase, days on market decline, prices become steady, inventory sells off, the range between list price and sales price shrinks, builders withdraw incentives as land prices and material costs rise. Indicators reflect the rebound as the housing market adjusts-but the best properties are already gone.
Simply put, the best time to buy is now, as long as you're buying the right home, at the right price and on the right terms. Call us, we are the Moneytrein.com team of Alliance Realty Group of Fort Myers, Florida. (239) 645-3798 or (239) 292-2499