Because you say "before I schedule a visit", I am wondering if you are trying to buy a house on your own. I recommend you connect with a very knowledgeable, experienced real estate broker, preferably a Realtor who has subscribed to a code of ethics, who will do an Initial Consultation with you. Your agent can set up a system with you that helps you know about houses quickly and get into them quickly.
The market in King County has been brisk this spring, but the "absorption" rate always peaks in the spring and the inventory peaks mid-summer. To see what I mean, go to my web site, http://www.karenmcknight.com and click on Market Graphs.
I think you have some piecemeal information on the current lending environment. The government expanded criteria for getting an FHA loan to keep the housing market moving. FHA loans are now getting more expensive to encourage private capital to come back into mortgage lending.
We do have a few more years of "distressed" inventory to sell and that will dampen prices for a few more years, but supply and demand is the overriding factor and we have local, great companies who are hiring.
Due to the percentage of household income now going into housing (low interest rates plus low prices), homes are the most affordable they have ever been, so it is truly a great time to buy. You have time to find the right property for you.
I have a second web site, http://www.buyandsellseattlerealestate.com where you can set up a search and click on the Market Insider tab for great demographics and statistics on each particular neighborhood you searcn.
Good luck in your process.
Your agent will be able to help you narrow down your choices based on what is most important to you. That way when you are ready to physically view homes you will already have them narrowed down to those that will be the best fit within your budget. It sounds like you are already on top of the financing part which is always critically important.
A Realtor will also have greater access to homes that may not yet be listed. Your agent will likely know of any available properties well before they ever make it to an external site where you seem to be looking.
So find a good agent who knows your desired area and let them help you navigate the home buying process. Best of luck to you in in finding a fantastic home!
I wouldn't rush, but I wouldn't necessarily quit looking. You do, however, have to look quickly, as you've been discovering. Nicer properties disappear in one day in this market. Even some not so nice houses disappear that quickly.
The News is continually improving. Below are five articles;
Now that the real estate market is turning up in the stronger US Cities Banks think of their properties very differently than they did a year ago. Now in some areas the foreclosed properties are going up in value.
And the Bankers know that most of the US will improve over time to a healthy economy. They also know that big investors all over the world have been waiting for the first signs of recovery in the US. And they are here, buying. Articles below.
Does it seem odd that all of the reporting on the terrible threat of foreclosures glutting the market never mentioned how that â€˜glutâ€™ would be absorbed. The US is the behemoth economy on earth, is the safest place to invest, and the property values have dropped 30 to 50%.
I guess the media gurus thought the investors would not notice. Could those media people be biased? Politically biased? Surly they would not report in a biased way. In a way that would erode consumer confidence and extend the recession?
Banks typically sell their foreclosed properties to the public through real estate companies just slightly below the market value so the property will sell in a reasonable time. So Bank Owned( foreclosed, REO) can be a good deal but not always. More at Your-Road-Home.com
Best of Luck, stephen webber
The investor who purchased this home with our help was able to rent the property for $2,200 per month.
Given the purchase price of a home at 350,000 that's an amazing return on investment.
If you are not sure you might be paying too much for a property, find out how much you can rent it for in a few years! Depending on your planning horizon, the number might make sense to you.
And as usual, you should consult your tax adviser to see what the After Tax returns will be if you held this home as an investment long term.
If you like I can find a good knowledgeable realtor for you. I and that realtor can work together in order you get the best deal. But remember any house you buy, you have to inspect the house with a Certified Home Inspector.
One thing you don't have to worry about is a return to 2006 prices any time soon. Those prices were artificially inflated by "funny money" loans. Future home values will be determined more by increases in employment and the corresponding increases in salaries.
Buying a home is the most important decision you will make in your financial future and your decision should be based on what's best for you and your family, not someone else's crystal ball about what they think the future of the market is.
Also, if you're planning on putting an offer in I would get pre approved rather than just pre qualified. Make sure that your Loan Officer has taken your application and financial statements so you can show the sellers that you're ready to move forward right away.
I agree with what Karen said below. The spring market this year 2012 is brisk - however, there will be more inventory coming. Be sure you are working with a seasoned REALTOR as Karen suggested. Prices are stabalizing and it is a great time to be in the marketplace. Try to remain patient and I am certain the right home will be yours within the next 6-8 months. Best of luck. Kim Meyer
You're right, well priced homes are going quickly because there's such low inventory. It's great you're so prepared but I understand how it's scary to have to make such a big decision so quickly. Trust yourself - you'll know the right house for you when you visit it. Make sure your agent knows your timeline and can get you in a house within the first day or two it's listed. You really need to be able to be one of the first ones to write an offer if you want to get it now, and don't bother low balling unless it's obviously overpriced, but if you do lowball, have your agent submit comps that support that offer price. Also, don't be afraid to ask your agent to call the listing agent to ask if there are things they'd like written into the offer- other terms about possession, inspection windows, etc, that would make the seller and agent want to work with your offer. These days, a good agent and one with a good reputation is key. Good luck to you!
Windermere Mt Baker
2. Buy for your own use.
3. Do not buy anticipating you will be able to sell for a huge markup in a few years.
4. Plan for the worst case scenario, i.e., when you net less than you paid. Consider this a fee for use.
People seem to have this desire to believe agents have the expertise such that they can predict prices, and it's only a matter of whether or not the agent is lying to them about what they see. In reality, the expectation is misplaced. Agents have no training to predict prices. There are clock hour courses on a lot of silly topics, but I've yet to see one on predicting the future! ;-)
You never know.
From a societal point of view, thank you for putting 20% down. Personally, I wouldn't put 20% down; I'd rather have the bank's money at risk than my own - especially at these interest rates.
But to answer your question . . . let me ask another question: so what if values went down a zillion percent? How would that really affect you?
All the best,
The main thing to consider is to maybe have an agent get you the information on a property through the NWMLS that information is first hand and up to date. Look for a company that lets you sign into their web site that sends you notification as soon as they are posted. Johnlscott.com/rigom will give you access to the search site and you can post properties on the clipboard so they can be reviewed with your agent. Any questions can be answered and appointments made very quickly.
Call me with any other questions.
I wouldn't necessarily rush into buying a home, but if you do want to buy a home now, then you do need to do things quickly! You don't have the luxury of waiting for the weekend to view a property that comes on the market on Wednesday. You need to see it on Wednesday.
If you don't like to rush like that, and there are a lot of reasons not to like that, then it's probably better to wait for a less hectic market. I wouldn't necessarily worry that the current market conditions will indicate significantly higher prices in the future, and slower market conditions might allow you to find a better house even if the price is slightly higher.
It's not unreasonable to jump up and see new listings on the first or second day.
As to multiple offers, two of my recent transactions were buyers who lost in the multiple offer by not overbidding the value, but the winner backed out and my clients ended up with the house. This happened twice in the last 30 days. So I would say don't be afraid to put your hat in the ring. You may just get a call if the highest bidder backs out.
What price range are you in? I'm getting a home ready for market at $449,950 in Maple Leaf. Watch for it. :)
As for your question about the direction of housing prices, here's what you should consider. During the last boom, prices shot up due to easy financing from a variety of different sources: loan-securitization, lower lending standards at Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac, and risk-tolerate investors on a global level.
When all that money flowed away in the housing crash, many home buyers stayed on the sidelines to rebuild their credit and cash positions. Economists call that deleveraging; lay people call that being sensible consumers.
Now that we've gone 3-4 years past the depths of the housing crisis, many buyers have money again. Often, they have enough to not even need money from the tight credit market. While there's talk of shadow inventory, we just haven't seen enough hit the market. So, with low supplies and lot of cash buyers, prices are going up.
Meanwhile, interest rates are diving and rents are rising, making homes ever more affordable. Couple that with slightly easing credit, you're seeing the tip of another huge wave of financed homebuyers, ready to top the bids of the cash buyers and each other.
So, look for a good property that you can afford and push hard to get it. Lock in low rates and wait for other buyers to jump off the fence into the frenzy in the next year.
I would suggest, that as a buyer, you Google every agent that responds to your question here on Trulia, learn as much as you can about who they are online, read their client testimonials, so you know what their clients are saying about them, and then give us each a call and just ask us why we think you should work with us instead of another agent. This will take you a little while to do, but will be time well spent, as choosing the right agent is the first step towards choosing the right home. Then, pick the best fit for you and let them go to work for you with the skill and knowledge that they have. I hope to hear from you soon. 206-841-9976
Good luck, Jirius Isaac
With all that said you need to determine if home ownership is right for you at this time and it sounds like you have done your research and prepared so that puts you in a good position. With the competitive market going in with a pre-approval letter from your lender is a necessity and working with your broker to structure the strongest offer will put you in a better position to compete. The stronger the offer and the fewer the contingencies the more appealing your offer is likely to be to the seller. You may also consider pre-inspecting in order to waive that contingency on the Purchase and Sale Agreement and shortening the response times from the defaults on the contract. I also believe that a personal letter to the sellers is always a positive thing to include.
I wish you good fortune and good luck with the process and your decision!
With kind regards,
As the economy improves, the Fed may be forced to raise interest rates. There is no guarantee that Bernanke will keep the rates low through 2014, as he has promised. A lot can change between now and 2014. Higher interest rates mean you can afford less home, and your payments will be higher. Home price is not everything. Interest rates are probably more important than the price you pay for the house.
The reality is; home prices are rising. It's the economics of supply & demand. We're experiencing seller resistance to listing. Many sellers are reluctant to list right now, hoping to realize some price appreciation before they sell. The lack of inventory is driving-up prices. Waiting to buy a home may not be a good strategy. You could miss out on the best values.
Start by getting pre-approved for a mortgage. Then, you should make a strong offer when you find the house you like. A good Realtor can make all the difference in negotiations, so interview several agents and choose the most experienced agent.
A strategy I advise buyers--look for homes with flaws you can live with or correct. Unlike you, most buyers are financing 96% of the purchase and have no extra cash. Thus turnkey homes are getting the most attention. If you find a home in need of a little updating you may be in position to negotiate a bargain that others are avoiding. Your agent will be able to help with this strategy.
Your Favorite Realtor
Real Estate Broker/Investment Properties Specialist
Certified Short Sale Negotiator
eXp Realty, LLC
It sounds like you are searching on your own and I suggest you choose a buyer's agent to
represent you. They can help with positioning your offer so you have the best chance of
success as well as network with other agents for their upcoming listings. Although this
won't prevent you from being in a multiple offer situation it will increase your odds of