Upcoming Free (& non-promotional) Home Buyer Classes:
Saturday, January 6, from 9am-12 (ish)
Marshall Community Center, conference room
1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver WA (kitty corner from Clark College)
Thursday, January 11, from 5pm-8pm (ish)
Marshall Community Center
1009 E McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver WA (kitty corner from Clark College)
Saturday January 20, from 12pm-3pm (ish)
11324 NE 51st Circle, Vancouver WA (SR 500 & 112th/Gher Road)
If these class dates and/or times don’t work for you, please let us know. We understand that you have lives, and families, and work. We will work something out that works better with your schedule. Just let us know….
….we also have home seller classes available too…link on left on website
Remember…with reservation…we will throw in lunch, or dinner! 😀
I am so, so sorry… I have been delinquent on getting these out. My last one was right before Thanksgiving and vacation. Then….when we got home we all got that super nasty crud that is going around. Oh my stars…. we have been so sick! I never get sick (for which I am ever so grateful), but this year…ugh… not so lucky. I guess I was due? Anyhow, between vacation, sickness, and Client Appreciation… I have been very behind. My new years resolution is going to get back on track with the home adventure blog, exercise more, eat healthier, and ok… who am I kidding on the last two? I will do better with the home adventure blog though, and getting information out about the classes. 🙂 I can handle those ones.
Thank you to everyone who came to the client appreciation event last Saturday for the new Star Wars: The Last Jedi movie! I hope everyone enjoyed the lightsabers & holiday hats. Chris Berg (pinnacle mortgage, 503-320-0925, firstname.lastname@example.org) and I are very grateful for everyone who let’s us be part of their home adventures….whether you are buying a home, selling your home, refinancing… or know someone who wants to…. you know we got you! Thank you for your continued business & your referrals. We couldn’t do this without you!! 🙂
So, this week, let’s talk about the current market for a quick moment…..I know that it’s winter, and it’s the holidays, but honestly, if you are even ‘thinking’ about buying a home….NOW is the best time. Yes, there are not a whole lot of homes on the market, but the market is not as competitive as it is during the spring time. Remember that from offer to keys it will take about 6-7 weeks. The market tends to pick up and start getting crazy again right about March-April when folks start getting their tax refunds.
So lately I’ve had a few clients lately asking me where all the homes are. Well, it’s the holidays… and many folks will wait until after the new year to put their home on the market…new year, and fresh start. I know of a few homes getting ready to go on the market within the next month. If you’re thinking about buying ….January through March is a great time to be out there. 🙂
Now…please remember that my magic wand is broken, and the magic 8 ball exploded all over my house with the holidays… so no one really knows what is going to happen. However, most people in the real estate industry agrees that in 201i, we will see interest rates go up. This is a very solid bet. It’s a split decision with industry sources on when prices should plateau off. With Seattle and the Portland area being 2 of the top markets in the United States, it really depends on how soon we will see more homes on the market. This is a lot like foretelling the weather right now… as it really depends on when things happen. Most industry sources do say that home prices should start plateauing though. This doesn’t mean that the home prices will not go up…they just shouldn’t go up like last year. They should steady out. As people see the change in the market coming, more homeowners should put the home on the market so they can begin their move to their new home, and this will help all the price ranges see more homes on the market…which should help with the multiple offers that we saw so much of during the spring of 2017. 2016, & spring of 2017 were awful for multiple offers. This summer, and fall were not as bad.
So yes, prices are still going up, but let’s talk about how all that works. I bought my old home in late 2001, with a 6.875% interest rate….don’t feel bad, or shocked….in a ‘healthy’ market, a ‘normal’ interest rate would be about 7%. We were THRILLED to be under 7%! We sold that home this year, and it was harder than I thought it would be. It was our first home, and we had lived there for 16 years. It was the craziest thing, but did you know that when our buyers purchased our home for the $285,000 it was worth, with the 4% interest rate…. our mortgages were almost THE SAME! Wait…I’m not (that) crazy…it’s economics. Yes, they bought it for more than I owed, but with a much lower interest rate. That equaled my lower owed amount, but higher interest rate. How crazy is that??? Now, here’s the crazy part… in 2016, my old house was only worth about $245,000. NUTS!!! My mother purchased a home in the 80’s for $70,000, but her interest rate was 18.375%!!! ….now that is crazy!! The point of this is that while yes, prices are going up, the interest rates are still really low, so you can purchase more home. When this changes, and interest rates rise it doesn’t mean that home prices will immediately start dropping, they should start leveling off …it will take a bit of time to balance out though.
I have clients asking me if they should just settle then on a home, and frankly this is a tough question. No, you shouldn’t ‘just settle’ on a home, but you may have to adjust either the type of home you want, the location, or be able to go up in purchase price to get what you want. Please remember that this most likely is not your last home, but your home for the next 5-10 years….that’s the average. Whether you are buying a home, or selling a home…it is exciting, scary, fun, and frustrating. It’s a lot like a roller coaster, or driving down Mill Plain during rush hour,….or during that last month of pregnancy. I tell you….there’s a reason I don’t drink often…..I’m afraid once I start that I won’t stop! ;-D (just kidding) Having bought and sold a home this year myself, I can assure you that even if you help 40+ families a year….it’s still a roller coaster when it is you on the ride. We’re here though to help…that’s what we do.
When you are looking for a home, you need to consider more than just the house. You are also buying the neighborhood, the schools, the property taxes, the local parks, the neighbors, and the local infrastructure. The home needs to ‘fit’ you like your favorite pair of pj’s. For example….this last weekend I had a client look at a home that she liked. On paper it was everything she said she wanted, and she couldn’t find anything against the house that would cause her to not want to write an offer. So why was she hesitant? Because this home was that sweater or shirt that looks good on the rack, and so you try it on. It fits ok, and it looks all right, but there is just ‘something’ that is ‘off’ with it…..you can’t figure it out either. Sometimes you buy it, but never wear it, and sometimes you put it back. Buying the ‘right’ home is a lot like that. You can, and will, see homes you like, but they just don’t ‘fit’. Put that home back.
Sometimes you see an item of clothing on the rack that you really don’t know about….but you try it on anyway and BAM! you look AMAZING! Some homes don’t look like much from the outside, but you get inside and they are amazing. Remember that internet home photos are a lot like internet dating….you never know what you are going to see when you get there, and many agents hire professional photographers for a reason. I can always tell which photos an agent did themselves, and who hired someone. Finding the ‘right’ home is like sliding into your favorite jeans, or boots…..there is just something about it that ‘fits’. I see homes I ‘like’ all the time, but just because I like it doesn’t mean it fits. If you are obsessed with a home that you have seen though. You really like the home, and you keep going back to the pictures, and driving by the house…..that’s the ‘right’ home….even if it was one of the first homes you saw, or it was something you didn’t think you wanted, or weren’t sure about. That home is that sweater/shirt/shoes that you just weren’t sure about….until you tried it on. Darling, you look AMAZING! Trust your instincts….this is YOUR home, and YOUR mortgage. With rents going up so much lately you can buy for about what your renting…or close to it.
What is the best time to buy, or sell? Whenever YOU are ready. Sometimes waiting makes sense, and sometimes it really doesn’t. I am a firm believer that the right home will always be ready when you are, and that it will all fall into place. Remember….your agent works for you. YOUR agent isn’t a salesperson. We shouldn’t be trying to ‘sell’ you on anything. YOUR agent works for YOU….not the other way around. When you hire an agent you are hiring a representative; someone who should be looking out for your best interests.
Information is power, and I hope that I am able to help you. Good luck, and as always…May the odds be ever in your favor out there…. If you are looking for a real estate agent, I would love to be able to help you.
As always….this is just a quick overview…. please remember that your agent, and your lender work for YOU. You drive the bus…we are merely GPS to help you get to your goals. Like the classes, this weekly blog email is to help you with your home adventure. The goal is to be informative and non-promotional. 🙂 We are, however, hoping you will call and want us to help with your adventure.
If you have any questions about this, or something you have heard…or if you would like me to help you with your home adventure, please call, email, text, or facebook me anytime. I am, as always, happy to help!
Thank you again for your business and your referrals!! …and thank you for referring these classes to your friends, family, and co-workers.
. ..disclaimer…if you have already purchased a home, or would no longer like to receive these emails, please let me know and I will be happy to remove you from any further mailings…
Upcoming Topics: When is a pre-approval not a pre-approval?
Last Week: 55 things NOT to do when buying a home
Have a great day, and I will talk to you soon,