2009 promises to be a very interesting year. We’ll have a new president, new predictions on where the market is going, and new lending rules to contend with or celebrate, depending on where the coin falls. In any market there are factors to consider when buying or selling and here are my tips on how to win in 2008.
1. Get a pre-approval for your loan. This will tell you what you can afford and how much you’ll need to put down. You can still use an FHA loan and only put 3.5% down. All loans are based on income and credit – the higher those both are the better the rate will be.
2. If you buy before summer you could get a tax credit loan up to $7,500. Depending on the loan amount this could equal almost 6 months of mortgage payments.
3. Buy what you can afford but don’t forget to look at tax benefits when comparing renting to owning.
4. Make an offer! If you find a home you love write an offer. You’ll never know what a seller is willing to accept unless you put it in writing.
5. Know the market. I will be updating my inventory report every month in 2009, you can check back with Sellpdx.com or subscribe to the RSS feed. Also, sign up for the listing email so you can see what is available and track your favorites with a favorites list.
1. Buyers know the market better than ever before, you should also sign up for the listing email so you can see what is available and track your competition in your neighborhood.
2. If you are moving up you should be talking with a lender about your next loan, you might not need to net as much as you think with rates at their current levels.
3. Make sure your home really shines before you go on the market. We all have a half finished to do list as homeowners and it’s always better to finish it before you go on the market than risk scaring a buyer away.
4. Price your home to be competitive. In any market the best deals go first. If you want to have the best odds you need make sure you’re in the game with pricing.
5. Be patient but aware of the market. Homes take longer to sell these days, know the average time on market and use that to judge whether you need to adjust price or hold tight.
Buyers and Sellers:
I think more than ever it is important to look at reasons other than profit to own a home. It is unlikely that you will buy and sell a home in a year or even two and make a profit in this market. That is why I stress the importance of buying a home you really love in an area you want to live. Real Estate has always been a long term investment and it’s only been in the last couple years that people thought of it as a get rich quick scheme. If you find a place you love and can afford, owning a home can be one of the most rewarding things you’ll do in life.