Winter Market, Interest Rates, & Best Time to Buy…

by | Jan 2, 2017 | Real Estate | 0 comments

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

​Saturday January 7, 2017 , from 9am-12pm (ish)
Marshall Community Center, conference room
1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver WA (kitty corner from Clark College)

Monday night, January 9th , from 5pm-8pm (ish)
Marshall Community Center, conference room
1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver WA (kitty corner from Clark College)

Saturday, January 21st , from 10am-1pm (ish)
Vancouver YMCA
11324 NE 51st Circle, Vancouver WA (SR-500 & 112th/Gher Rd)

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!  😀
Happy New Year!

I’m sorry that I’ve been absent, but I caught my yearly cold.  The holidays are usually quite slow, and since I had some ‘down time’, my body decided now was a good time to not let me breathe because who needs to do that?!  Just so you know…I loathe being sick, and the crazy weather is not helping.   At my home it’s been snowing…melting some, and then snowing like crazy some more….  and now we need to prepare for the deep freeze starting tonight.  Good times…  If the roads up in the hills stay icy and snowbound, then my youngest will most likely still have no school this week.  Oh well, only time will tell, right?  …and only time will tell how 2017, is going to be…  All I know is that here’s hope and faith that the new year is going to be happy, healthy, and prosperous for us all.  😀

As we suffer the cold spell that is about to descend upon us… there is a bright side, and that is that the winter market is usually the best time of year to be a home buyer as there is ‘usually’ less competition for those homes that are on the market.  December has been slow due to the holidays, and the weather…being the mess it is… has also slowed down the market. Typically January is pretty slow as well, with the market starting to get busier late February, and going into March. March through June is usually just crazy. Anytime we have inclement weather, it really puts the brakes on the housing market.  Snow/ice…  that awful extremely hot summer we had in 2015…  all that equals a slow down in the housing market.  More homes go pending sale during nicer, dryer weather.

So lately I’ve had a few clients lately asking me where all the homes are.  Again…the holidays are a rough time for many to put their home on the market.  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 2017, 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 have been seeing so much of this year.  I swear…2016, will henceforth be called ‘multiple offer year’.

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 $265,000 it’s worth, with the 4% interest rate and our mortgages would be almost 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???  Now, here’s the crazy part… last year my house was only worth about $235,000.  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.  When this changes, and interest rates rise it doesn’t mean that home prices will immediately start dropping, they should start leveling off 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)

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…. again…and I can’t say this enough…please remember that your agent is NOT a salesperson, and should not be acting like one.  Real Estate is not really about houses, it is about relationships.  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: Mortgage & Title Insurance explained …..
What happens after an offer is made?
Last Week:  Home owners insurance & home warranties 

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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