Winter Market, Interest Rates, & Best Time to Buy a Home?

by | Nov 20, 2015 | Real Estate | 0 comments

Upcoming Free (& non-promotional) Home Buyer Classes: 

Saturday, December 5th , from 9am-12pm (ish)
Marshall Community Center, conference room
1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver WA (kitty corner from Clark College)

Monday night, December 14th , from 5pm-8pm (ish)
Marshall Community Center, conference room
1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver WA (kitty corner from Clark College)

Saturday December 19th , from 9am-12pm (ish)
       Vancouver YMCA
11324 NE 51st Circle, Vancouver WA (SR 500 & 112th/Gher Road)

**please remember that in November & December we do limited classes because of the holidays.  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 know…I have to keep reminding you about our WINTER CLIENT APPRECIATION event will be held on Saturday, December 19, 2015, for the Opening Weekend of STAR WARS: The force awakens.  The event will be held from 2:30pm-5:30pm, with seating to start at 2:45pm.

Because this is expected to be a pretty big event, Chris Berg (Pinnacle Mortgage 503-320-0295,, & I are also renting out the top living room portion for 21+….and yes, there will be tickets this time that we will have available for pick up at the Pinnacle Mortgage office with Chris.  We are taking reservations now, so please…if you plan on attending let us know how many tickets you need.  The 21+ area is now full, but we currently have plenty (so far) for the general seating area.  We look forward to seeing you there!!  😀

Happy Tuesday….err  Friday….

I’m going to count this email as being early this week….instead of late for last week.  🙂 Can we all agree on that?  LOL

Well, typically I would be emailing you to remind that NOW is the best time of the year to be a buyer, but I’m not sending out that email….yet.  Typically with the weather turning to more winter like conditions, and the holidays right around the corner, we see a slowdown in the market.  However, this year, we are not seeing that yet.  I’m not sure if it is because of the long Indian Summer we had, or the fact that people are concerned with interest rates going up, but the market is still hopping with multiple offers, too many buyers, and not enough homes for sale.  

Does this mean that it’s a bad time?  No…not at all…what it means is that a buyer has to put their best foot forward, so to speak, when they’re making an offer.  It means that a buyer may not get the first home they make an offer on, and it means that the adventure may take a bit longer for you.  For me, as a realtor, it means that prices are rock hard, and we won’t see any softening this winter before spring.  

   Now what about interest rates?  Well, of course there isn’t any crystal ball, but we are coming into an election year, and historically speaking, the government doesn’t like to do anything crazy during election years. Because it is an election year, we (realtors/lenders) think that interest rates will remain steady with small fluctuations for the next year….until elections are over.  Again, historically speaking, the government doesn’t do anything that will ‘rock the boat’ during election years….they have found that it is better to keep the masses complacent during that time and anything with a major affect on the economy is good for that….we all might go out and do something crazy….like vote, or something.  😀  Sorry….sarcastic humor those last couple of sentences. 😉  Of course…anything can, and could happen….  and interest rates are still crazy low.  

  So yes, prices are still going up, but let’s talk about how all that works.  I bought my home in late 2001, with a 6.875% interest rate….don’t feel bad, or shocked….in a ‘healthy’ market, a ‘normal’ interest rate will be about 7%.  We were THRILLED to be under 7%!   My  home is worth quite a bit more now than it was in 2001, but interest rates are about 3% lower.  Did you know that you could buy my home today for the $235,000 it’s worth, with the 4% interest rate and our mortgages would be THE SAME!   Wait…I’m not (that) crazy…it’s economics.  Yes, you buy it for more than I owe, but with a much lower interest rate.   This equals my lower owed amount, but higher interest rate. How crazy is that???
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 remaining really low.  When this changes, and interest rates rise it doesn’t mean that home prices will immediately start dropping….just that it will cost you more per month for the same house now.  

   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)

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… 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.  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….  AND 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:  Septic vs Sewer,   What is ‘escrow’?  &  “When do I get KEYS?”

Last Week:   55 Things NOT to do when buying a home                             
Have a great day, and I will talk to you soon,

Tracie DeMars / Realtor

ReMax Equity Group
License# 81289
Vancouver, WA

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