Why is my rent going up?  …and other frequently asked buyer questions

by | Jul 16, 2012 | Real Estate | 0 comments

Happy Monday!

I apologize for the lateness of the email this week….  I had a home buyers class yesterday and a killer migraine.  I came home after the class, took my medicines, and went to bed.  The weather changes, and humidity are murder on my migraines!

So…I hope you had a wonderful weekend!  😀  I am going to address some questions that I have gotten recently in this email, and I hope it helps you.  As ever, if you have any other questions, or would like some more information, please email or call me anytime!  If you are looking for a buyers agent to help you with your homebuying adventure, I hope you will call me as well!  🙂

Why is my rent going up?
I get this question quite frequently lately.  With today’s home prices, and the low, low interest rates you can buy a home with mortgage about as much as you are paying for rent.  So why would rents be going up if you can buy a home for the same monthly payment??  In a normal market rents would actually be going down, but we are not in a ‘normal’ market.  Your rent keeps going up because of all the folks who are losing their homes.  When someone loses their home to either short sale, or bank foreclosure they can not buy a home for at least 3 years….they are now a portion of the population that is forced to rent. This is the first time we have had such a large portion of the population who can not buy, and yes, landlords, and property management companies know this.  Many places have waiting lists for their rentals, so they can can raise rents…knowing that many folks have no choice.

What happened to all the homes?
This is also a question that I have been getting a LOT in the past couple of weeks, and it is a three fold answer…
The first part of the answer has a lot to do with the previous question and answer.  Many renters are realizing that they can buy a home for their same monthly rent payment, and they are doing so.  Why pay someone else’s mortgage when you can pay your own, and get the tax credit for it?
The second part of the answer has to do with the time of year we are in…  I like to refer to this time of the year as ‘feeding frenzy’ time.  Many folks want to move during the summer for weather reasons, and of course, between school years.  Right now homes are getting multiple offers, and selling for quite a bit more than they were 6 months ago.  June, July, August are the most expensive months of the year to purchase a home.
Which brings me to the third part of the answer…the market itself.  Currently we have about twice (if not more) home buyers out there than we did earlier this year, but the amount of homes on the market for sale has not increased to support that many new home buyers.  So…it is a question of supply and demand….we have higher demand, but not the supply of homes to support those home buyers.  What this has done is to increase home prices, and to create that ‘feeding frenzy’ market that I just talked about.

What can you do?
I had another agent ask me why I am not as busy right now as most agents….I told her because I am advising my buyers to wait.  She looked surprised, and you might be as well, but seriously…if you can wait a little while then do so.  Why?  Because it is a feeding frenzy out there right now.  There is a really good chance that if you can wait until the kids go back to school that you will have a much better chance of finding a home you will love closer to the price range you want to spend…and probably with less competition.  Historically, the best time to find a home for the least amount is October, November, December, January, and February.  Now honestly, I have no crystal ball and anything can happen, but on average…these are your best months for home buying.  September and March can swing either way….it depends upon the market.
I am not saying to stop looking entirely, but I am saying that you shouldn’t buy into the ‘feeding frenzy’ that is currently going on.  If you see a home you like right now, let’s go check it out!  🙂  However, don’t be discouraged if you aren’t seeing anything you like right now…  there will be more homes coming on the market.  There are always new homes coming on the market…always!  Will we see a whole bunch of homes coming on the market here soon?  Probably not…the amount of homes coming on the market have been holding pretty steady for a while now.  The thing is that once school starts a lot of buyers stop looking.  There are a couple of reasons for this…they don’t want to move around the holidays, they don’t want to move in bad weather, or they don’t want to move while school is in session.  This makes looking for homes once school starts not as crazy as it is right now.  🙂

Will home prices go back down?  What about interest rates?
Again, I don’t have  a crystal ball (and boy, do I wish I did!), but honestly I don’t see prices going down to the prices we had last year since the home prices last year were higher than the home prices the year before.  Home prices are on the rise as we have a more stable market.  I do think the home prices will level out a bit during fall and winter, and maybe go down a little….they historically do so, but again, no crystal ball….  What usually helps home buyers is that a lot of home buyers who are looking right now (creating such a high demand which pushes the prices up), will drop off either because they couldn’t find anything and are frustrated, or because they are overpaying for a home this summer.  When the glut of home buyers drop off then home prices will stabilize a bit and mellow out.
From what economists and my lender is telling me…they don’t foresee interest rates changing radically anytime soon, so waiting a couple of months shouldn’t hurt you there.

I can’t afford to buy a home right now…
I ran into a guy at the the YMCA last week who was asking about the home buyer classes, and saying that he can’t afford to buy a home right now.  His rent is $950 a month….guess what?  He can buy a house for just a little more than that!  He was surprised to say the least.  Most people are afraid to buy a home…mostly because they think they can’t.  Anyone can buy a home….yes, anyone.  Not everyone is ready immediately, but with help, and the right information, anyone can get ready.  He is taking the class on the 28th to find out what he needs to know.  The class is at no obligation, and that helps!  🙂

What about down payment?
He then asked me about down payments.  There are a lot of ways to get a down payment for a home…  401k, gifts, and state loan programs that can help you with the downpayment you need.  So how much down payment do you need?  For FHA (which is what 90% of what home buyers use) the down payment requirement is 3.5% of the purchase amount.  Yes…there are 100% loans available….for all of Clark county!

I am not ready to buy a home right now…
That is ok!  Many people are not ready to buy a home right now.  The average person who takes the home buyer classes is not ready to buy a home for about 6 months or so.  So why take the home buyers class right now?  The free community home buyer education classes are meant to help people to get ready to buy a home.  We give steps of what a buyer needs to know to get ready to buy a home….So instead of ‘falling’ into buying a home a person can plan for buying a home, making good decisions that will help them in the long run.
Are all home buyer classes the same?
NO!  Not all home buyer classes are the same!  Each class is taught by different instructors according to our experience and beliefs.  I have been teaching home buyer classes for about 8 years now.  We try to go over ALL the pros/cons of ALL the loan programs and all the paperwork involved in the lending and home buyer process.  Our classes are taught with enthusiasm, and experience, and with no obligations.  Recently we have been able to shorten our classes to 3 – 3 1/2 hours rather than the 5 hours we used to do.  There is a pro/con to this as well though…  Our classes are blunt, and we don’t sugar coat anything…we tell it like it is, and what all those papers REALLY mean…. we had someone who came to the class who did not appreciate this, and we were told that we needed to be less….to tone down our classes for fear that we might be offending people with our honesty and that not everyone wants to know the truth (what the short of it came down to), and we said we could not do that.  The point of the classes is to give class attendees accurate information  about all the loans (yes…ALL of them) and about ALL the papers someone might be asked to sign so they know what they are signing….and how it will affect them in the long run.  So…no, not all classes are the same.  My advice is to take a couple of classes…and to talk to the instructors…ask questions..and of course, make sure you are getting ALL the information.  There are a lot of classes out there…some long, and some short.  Not all classes are the same!  We have no outside affiliations with any government or corporation so that we can tell it like it is.
More people will do more research when buying a car than when buying a house…DO YOUR RESEARCH!  Get the information you need so that you can make the best decision you can for you, and your family.  As a buyers agent, we are ALL here to help!

If you know anyone who is thinking about buying a home, our next class is Saturday, July 28, 2012, at the Vancouver YMCA located at 11324 NE 51st Circle from 10am-1:30pm    With reservations, lunch is included…. 🙂

Please let me know if you have any questions! And again as always, if you are looking for a buyer’s agent, please give me a call or drop me an email…I would love to help you with your home buying adventure!
 
Please call, email, text, or even facebook me (at Tracie DeMars Real Estate Q&A) anytime with any questions, or if there is anything I can do to assist you with your home buying adventure! As a buyers agent, I am, as always, here to help!! 😀

Thank you again for your business and for your referrals!

If there is anything you would like to see on here…please let me know and I will make it a weekly note!

…as always…if you have already purchased a home, or no longer would like to receive these emails from me, please let me know and I will be happy to remove you from receiving any more.

Thank you again for attending the home buyer education classes, and I hope that you will continue to refer the classes out to your friends, family, and co-workers. Upcoming class dates and times are located atwww.freehomebuyerclasses.com. Just click on the link on the left hand side. Or you can go towww.learningtobuyahome.com and click the links.

We appreciate your referrals and word of mouth! Also, if you have somewhere that we can place the flyers at, please let me know….
:-D

Next Week:  Home Loans Pros/Cons
Last Week: Inspections…questions to ask

Remember that you can always go to ‘Free Home Buyer Education’ on Facebook for all of my weekly blogs and upcoming class dates/times/locations. I post the weekly blogs on there as well.

Have a great day, and I will talk to you soon,
;-D

Tracie DeMars / Realtor

ReMax Equity Group
License# 81289
Vancouver, WA
360-903-3504

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