Pandemic trends led to a high-demand real estate market, with a new wave of remote workers buying in more affordable rural areas, and driving prices up. With inflation on the rise in general, and many housing markets remaining hot through a predicted downturn, it may seem a risky time to buy a home, or to invest in a new property.
Despite signs of real estate being overpriced, the growing number of first-time buyers and investors are keeping the real estate market growing, even while slowing. There are plenty of deals to be had, but no one wants to get stuck paying too much for something that doesn’t keep its value. Homes, and property, as a general rule, are good investments, but as we learned in 2008, investors can tip the scales enough to bring a crash.
While it’s true we’re in new territory, and one would expect a “correction” in markets where prices continue to rise beyond what local median incomes can support, the comparisons to the 2007-2008 housing market crash and the Great Recession are stirring unfounded anxieties.
Consider these tips for navigating the homebuying process.
Buying a foreclosed home could be one option to save money on your investment. But it’s crucial to understand what you’re getting into with an as-is property deal. For example, though you may be able to waive an inspection (especially if you’re buying cash), it’s not always a good idea.
A home inspection can reveal issues that you would otherwise be oblivious to – leading your new property to become a money pit in no time. Hiring an inspector ensures that you find out about leaky plumbing, out-of-date HVAC systems, and roof issues long before signing over your cash.
Treating mold and other hazards is a solid first step, and a good deep cleaning is often in order. You may also consider low-maintenance landscaping to increase your (or your tenants’) enjoyment of the home and yard. After all, the less time spent working, the more time you’ll have for relaxation.
Cleaning the windows, because it’s often neglected by even the most fastidious homeowners, can make a real difference in the presentation of the home. The rooms are slightly brighter, the views more crisp. Cleanliness can have an overwhelmingly positive effect on our response to new surroundings. Thankfully, you can comparison-shop for the best window washers near me.
When buying a home while there’s looming uncertainty, there’s always a possibility that legal issues will crop up. Foreclosures are particularly susceptible to both structural and legal problems. But it’s smart to check out the property’s title status before making an offer – or at least before locking in a contract.
As Rocket Lawyer explains, in most areas, you can perform a free property title search through the county assessor. It could take some digging. But confirming that the title is in good shape is a must when you’re investing in a potentially awful investment.
If you’re looking for a rental property to invest in, you may have funds available for an outright purchase. But if you’re a first-time homebuyer or are taking out a conventional loan, low rates aren’t the only thing to know about in a recession.
Because many real estate markets are becoming increasingly competitive, prospective homeowners can expect to play hardball when it comes to making an offer. That might mean asking for seller concessions or closing cost support is a no-go.
You’ll also need cash for your down payment and incidentals, whether you’re going with a conventional loan or an alternative with lower up-front costs. Conventional loans require a 3 percent down payment minimum, and they are available at fixed or adjustable rates.
By paying more up-front, a homebuyer is proving to the seller that they can afford any unexpected costs during escrow. To be the most appealing to sellers, waving around a bit of cash can’t hurt. Plus, if your down payment is 20 percent or more of the loan amount, you could skip private mortgage insurance (PMI) – a significant savings over the lifetime of the loan.
Because talk around the real estate markets and anxiety over a repeat of the housing crash and great recession, the perception of a volatile market, of an impending crash, or even of a slowing market could affect the prices of individual homes. Another look at a fixer property in a good neighborhood could be worth your time. Similarly, comparing financing options or offering more cash at closing could boost your appeal to sellers.
The predictions are in and despite similarities to the last housing crash, most housing markets will only slow slightly and the demand for housing will continue to drive home prices up. The current forecasts predict that buying today is still a good investment over the long haul.
Buying or selling in the greater Philadelphia area? Make sure to work with a skilled agent from Franklin Investment Realty! Contact them today!
– Shirley Martin