No matter what the market is doing, the number 1 question I get from clients is “Is now a good time to buy a house?” With interest rates at their highest level in years, and home values slightly depressed, it’s easy to think that now is not a good time to buy.
But if we take a step back and crunch some numbers, now might be the right time, or possibly the best time, to consider a new home purchase. Per Windermere’s Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner, home prices are down 4-6% from a year ago while interest rates are up about 1% year over year. Higher interest rates mean higher monthly payments but if home prices are down, the lower purchase price means little difference in monthly payments. AND, if you buy a home now, you could possibly refinance within the first few years when interest rates may also see a downward trend, resulting in an even lower payment. A year ago, in the then uber-competitive market, most home buyers had to put in over-asking offers and forego an inspection in order to be the winning contract, but in our current market, negotiating an inspection into the buying process is possible once again, along with less competition, less escalating offers, and the potential for seller’s to make some concessions.
Something else to consider? The likelihood that in Whatcom County, home prices WILL go up this year, even as much as 10%, according to Zillow! So if values go up at a higher rate than mortgage rates go down (or if rates stay the same!), the house you are interested in now will actually be more expensive both in price and in monthly payments by Fall 2023.
So if you have felt the “pull” to make a move, I’m happy to discuss options and opportunities with you!