*I am tired of moving
*I need a tax break
*I want a place to call my own, one I can personalize to my taste
If you don't answer yes, proceed with caution; prices ARE down, rates ARE low. BUT no one can predict the bottom of the market. By the time we hit bottom, we are on our way up.
The short answer is if you are buying a home, buy when you find the right one, if you are buying real estate as an investment, proceed with caution. Even IF prices continue to decrease, they will not decrease too much more, buy when interest rates are favorable and you find the right home that you can afford. Best of luck
Best of luck, Dunes
You should speak to a local Realtor, someone who has knowledge of the area.
As you know, the real estate market has been in a protracted downturn. There are opinions in the press on when the national market will turn with home values overall and sales trending higher. Usually the press tracks the 25 to 40 largest metropolitan markets. While there is a considerable amount of information available, for practical purposes, the information is not useful from one market to the next. Over here in Boulder County, the local economies offer different and sometimes contrasting stories. And for a host of reasons, the city of Boulder has fared better than most of the nation, including most of Denver.
Timing the market would be extremely difficult in any case. The upshot: You should consult a knowledgeable professional, most likely your local agent.
A sensible approach offered by others here: You should look at whether you are ready to enter the market and act when your situation and "the right house for you" line up.
My advice for buyers who want to get their ducks in a row:
1) Examine your credit. Contact the credit tracking agencies to see if there are any mistakes on your history. And you might want to read up on improving your credit profile. Experian, Trans Union and Equifax are the three reporting agencies.
2) Get your financing lined up beginning with a pre-qualification letter from a lender. This will help save you a lot of time before you begin working with a real estate professional. It is very important to know how much house you can afford before you put in any footwork.
3) Look for a neighborhood that meets your needs. Look at schools, shopping, fire protection and similar considerations. In smaller markets, there may be few choices. But, in metro areas, there are considerable differences.
4) Determine whether you would be happy living in an HOA neighborhood. If you are unfamiliar with HOA living, you should speak to people who live in these communities to get feedback. Go online and familiarize yourself with the covenants. The financial condition of the HOA is important, too.
5) Start shopping online.
6) Hire a good Realtor who will represent your interests as a buyer. If you are new to buying, you want someone who can give you an assist with everything from locating bargains to negotiating a contract. Notice, I didn't say price. Price is but one aspect of many real estate deals.
If you're considering these questions now and you haven't done your due diligence, you might not even be ready to act for months.
BTW: I like that part of the state. Very rugged in some places, very accessible in others and all quite gorgeous. I wish you the very best.
PML of Longmont, CO
Your question is so general that your motivating factor needs to be addressed to give alternatives that best fit your situation. If you are basing your decision on the market being at the bottom we might be close, if we are close and you wait to save a few hundred dollars on the purchase price you may end losing thousands on the other side by the interest rates going up. I have heard more and more anaylists agreeing they will begin to rise.
If you have found a property you like, can get financed and can purchase it at a good number find a Realtor that knows the market and do the deal.
RE/MAX Alpine View
The other thing to consider is how long you want to own the house. If you buy now and sell 6 months later, you may/may not have a loss. If you buy now and sell 5 years later, you will be in profit.
What you trying to do is spotting the bottom. Even the most accomplished economists and financial gurus haven't been able to pinpoint the bottom. Someone here says by the time you spot the bottom you are out of it. So when to buy....go back to the first line.
Another note: Some answer here suggests you need to get yourself prequalified. I have also read so many articles that say you need to get prequalified. But as a buyer myself, I advice to not have lenders run your credit report unneccessarily.
Get your credit scores and reports. Call your checking/savings account bank. Ask to speak with the underwriter. Tell them everything about your finances and yourself except your SSN and birthdate. Ask them to give you pre-approval for max loan you would qualify for. Take that loan amount and divide it by 2. That is your limit. I am sure I am gonna get some slack from everyone but I believe this is a different strategy.
All Agents are going to ask you to pre-qualify yourself. Why wouldn't they? They don't want to spend time with someone who would later get denied a loan for a house both of you spent time looking.
Getting a prequalification also puts emotional pressure on first time buyers and forces you to quickly jump on a place you cant afford.
An agent cannot ask you about your credit score, your salary, your savings,etc....
There is never a best time to buy. There is a good time to buy. You buy when its best for you personally.
As long as you treat your real estate purchase as a long-term investment, it should be a good one if you buy now, since I project you will see some respectable appreciation in real estate values within the next 5 years. In the meantime, you'll enjoy the tax benefits of real estate ownership not availble to other investments, such as being able to right off mortgage interest and property taxes, (avoid or reduce capital gain tax upon sale, depending on the circumstances), and as an investment, produce income (rent) and write off depreciation. See your tax advisor for more information about these benefits. Of course, one of the most important benefits is fulfilling the dream of home ownership, having something that belongs to you to do with as you please, and not have to answer to a landlord and pay somebody else's mortgage payment.
If you're serious about buying, your first step should be getting a copy of your credit report and score, I suggest from all 3 credit reporting bureaus (Transunion, Experian, and Equifax). Then, meet with a reputable, competent lender who can pre-qualify you, i.e., tell you how much of a loan you could get, which, in turn ,will tell you the maximum house you can afford to buy. You may decide to buy less. And you may discover there is some credit damage to repair that you can work on before you are ready to buy. Your next step is to team up with a competent real estate professional who can advise you as to the market and match you with appropriate prospects to see if the home of your choice exists, then guide you through the buying process once you find your perfect home. Bear in mind it could take you 6 months to get through this process, and to become familiar with the market. So, don't wait to start looking and preparing yourself to buy when the timing is right and the right house comes along. Good luck!
This depends on your personal needs and the opportunity that presents itself.
Our recommendation is to commit yourself to being an active buyer, seeking your "best opportunity." You will be able to recognize it when you find it.
The biggest mistake you could make it to remove yourself from the "hunt."
The Eckler Team
I spend major amounts of time in the Colorado mountains, much of it around Blue Mesa and surrounding towns. Prices seem to keep getting higher year after year, it's one of those if only I would have bought when I was young type of things. I doubt you could ever make a bad investment in Montrose. Alan's right there in Montrose, you should give him a call or call another local Realtor.